Morgantown, West Virginia – Before Kerry Martin became one of the most hated, disrespected Mountaineer players ever by the West Virginia fanbase, he was a two-time Class AAA All-State First-Team selection, a three star recruit out of Capital High School in Charleston, West Virginia, one of the top rated high school players in the state his senior year.
Kerry Martin could have gone to a lot of different schools. He was recruited heavily by Army, Rutgers, Cincinnati, Howard, Toledo, among many others, but he decided to stay home and represent his state as a member of the West Virginia Mountaineers.
During his first season with the Mountaineers, Martin started 4 games as a freshman, finishing the season as the 6th-leading tackler on the team, and was on the Pro Football Focus All-Freshman 3rd team.
Martin was on his way to starting in the West Virginia secondary this season and an incredible career with the Mountaineers. Then, Kerry Martin spoke out on social media about his then-defensive coordinator, Vic Koenning. He was uncomfortable with the way that Koenning conducted himself around players, claimed that he made questionably racist comments, and pushed his religion on him.
Following an “investigation”, Koenning was fired. Most of the West Virginia fanbase – rather than supporting Martin’s decision to speak up for himself – instead turned on him and said they would no longer support the program following Koenning’s dismissal.
A few weeks went by and the hysteria surrounding the situation calmed, only to have Martin announce that he would opt out of the current season due to health concerns (sickle cell and asthma). This, of course, re-ignited the fans’ dislike (hatred?) of Kerry Martin. Fans claimed that he was a baby, a prima donna, a problem, a cancer for the team who should be dismissed from the program. Martin heard and read things about himself from supposed-supporters that he should have never had to see or hear.
The truth is, very few know exactly what happened within the West Virginia football locker room. The University’s refusal to release details into the “investigation” will likely make it impossible for anyone to ever fully understand it.
Perhaps Kerry Martin isn’t the enemy here. Maybe Vic Koenning really did deserve to be fired. The fact is, one of these individuals is still a part of the team and one isn’t. Kerry Martin is a young man who came to Morgantown to represent our great state, to give his all on the field, and to be supported by the best fanbase in the country.
Boy have we let him down.