Morgantown, West Virginia – Kerry Martin dropped his accusations against defensive coordinator on social media on June 23rd. That’s 15 days ago.
While West Virginia University is certainly entitled to do their due diligence to determine next steps when it comes to Koenning’s position with the team, what message is this sending to the team, the players and the fans?
Either Koenning acted out of line and should be dismissed as the defensive coordinator of the team, or his actions were appropriate and we should all move forward.
This is the perfect opportunity for Neal Brown to stand up for his players and against any kind of discrimination within his football program. Even if Koenning isn’t guilty of any terribly egregious, overcoming the stigma surrounding a racial issue without major change is almost impossible.
Brown and Koenning have known each other for some time now and have undoubtedly formed a friendship or bond outside of football, but if Brown wants to move on from this negative stain on his program, he should make the difficult decision of recommending that his defensive coordinator be fired.
This, of course, is not an easy decision for Neal Brown, who is clearly a loyal and devoted person, but it’s ultimately what must be done to move forward. The idea of Koenning returning and everything being hunky dory and copacetic among the players is unrealistic. Martin is not the only player involved in this; many other players on the team have either openly supported him or showed support by liking his comments on social media.
It’s very possible that Brown is playing the waiting game, hoping that the independent investigation that West Virginia University has conducted comes back saying that Vic Koenning should be dismissed. This would be the easiest, best solution for Brown.
However, if Neal Brown wants to show his players that he truly has their best interest at heart and that he fully supports them, he should make a statement saying that he stands behind them. You can’t have it both ways. You can’t support the players while also defending the actions of the accused person.
In fact, Brown should have already done this. This wishy-washy stuff about an independent investigation and support for both sides sends the wrong message for the current players, the culture of the program, and future recruits.