Dead Man Walking

Morgantown, West Virginia – Make no mistake about it, Neal Brown has sealed his fate. At this point, it’s a matter of when not if Brown will be fired from West Virginia University.

You don’t lose to the Kansas Jayhawks at home in the first night game in years, and you don’t give up 55 points doing it.

Now 0-2 on the year and 17-20 overall during Brown’s tenure in Morgantown, an exit plan has likely already been devised by Shane Lyons and the top brass at West Virginia University.

The problem is, Lyons is so tied to Neal Brown. The irresponsible, reckless, senseless contract extension that Lyons gave Brown last year has put the West Virginia Athletic Department in a terrible situation.

If West Virginia were to fire Neal Brown today – something that he absolutely deserves – West Virginia would owe him $20.2 million dollars to buyout his contract. Lyons will inevitably express his support for Brown publicly, but in private he has to be fuming. 

Brown has been a tremendous disappointment and Lyons has staked his professional career to him. If Lyons were to admit that the extension was wrong – something everyone can easily see now – it would reveal his inadequacies as an athletic director and put him in squarely in the bullseye to be fired himself.

So while Lyons will continue to support Brown throughout the remainder of the season, there is absolutely no way that he will bring him back for another season as the head coach of the Mountaineers.

Neal Brown is essentially a dead man walking.  

After the season – a season that will ultimately end with another disappointing record – West Virginia will still owe Brown a hefty $16 million buyout, but it’s a move that will need to be made. Trust in Brown as a head coach is over and the West Virginia football program is at an all-time low right now.

Shane Lyons’ ineptitude as an athletic director has cost West Virginia University millions and millions of dollars and wasted four seasons of football in Morgantown. He’s made this mess and it’s his responsibility to now clean it up.