Morgantown, West Virginia – During Neal Brown’s weekly press conference, Brown briefly mentioned that Tennessee transfer defensive lineman Darel Middleton “was no longer with us.”
Brown didn’t elaborate on the departure, but Middleton cleared it up on social media. “I made that decision, not them. Say what’s all been said.”
I made that decision not them. Say what’s all been said lol 🤣 media 🤦🏾♂️ https://t.co/57sQho2Ty3
— Darel E. Middleton (@Darel__) October 12, 2021
We reached out to Middleton to clarify why he left the program and Middleton made it clear that he didn’t feel like the coaching staff lived up to what they promised when he transferred from Tennessee.
“That staff is ruining lives and needs to go. I’m not saying this because I’m leaving, I’ve been thinking this for a while now and so have a lot of the players on the team. You’ll see, there’s going to be several players leaving soon.”
Middleton, who played in 22 games and started 12 games in two seasons with the Volunteers, saw only very little playing time with the Mountaineers. Middleton was baffled by his lack of playing time and felt that he could contribute and help make the team better.
However, according to Middleton, there was no communication or structure from the coaching staff. “Look, you know how we wear suits for our home games? I was there in the locker room and someone said, ‘We need to go get our suits on.’ I had no idea that we were supposed to wear suits because no one told me. It was just stuff like that. No structure and no communication. I never even had a conversation with Neal Brown.”
Middleton is a sincerely nice young man who was thrown into a situation that just wasn’t right for him, and he will now opt out of this season and prepare for next season. He has one year of eligibility remaining and says his “next move will be his best move.”
We wish Middleton the very best of luck moving forward. However, his comments paint a concerning and disturbing picture of the locker room at West Virginia University right now. Perhaps players are simply frustrated with losing and lack of playing time, but it sounds like it’s much more than that.
It sounds like the football program is falling apart.