Morgantown, West Virginia – To be clear, press credentials are a way controlling media members, particularly in the state of West Virginia and even more in particular at West Virginia University.
In today’s world, credentials are far more about appearances and far less about substance. Access to players and coaches are the very same whether you’re in Morgantown ten feet from Neal Brown or 700 miles away in Florida watching it from the comfort of your home.
On last night’s The Neal Brown Show, the following question from “Brad in Morgantown” was asked on the show: “Coach, do you hope that Jarret Doege returns next season? Or do you think it’s time for the younger quarterbacks to step in?”
Brown’s answer was predictable: “Well, you know, I’m worried about this week and this game against a really good Oklahoma State team. I’m not really thinking about next year. When that time arrives, we’ll figure that all out. But yeah, Doege does have another year of eligibility left.”
Brown’s dismissal of a really important question to the future of the West Virginia football program is absolutely unacceptable and very revealing. Brown answering a question about the future of the team wouldn’t take away from his concentration on Oklahoma State any more than Brown answering a question from Tony Caridi about his daughter’s volleyball game.
Imagine Tony Caridi asking Neal Brown about his daughter’s volleyball game and Brown responding, “You know, Tony, I can’t really answer that because I’m so concentrated on this Oklahoma State game.”
The relationship between the media and coaches is very strange. Coaches have found ways to dance around the most meaningful, relevant questions by responding to the most banal.
The question that all West Virginia fans would most like to hear the answer from is the very question that was given the least thought and effort by Neal Brown. The role of a journalist is to be the mouthpiece for the population they serve and this is precisely why West Virginia media members fail so badly; they aren’t serving anyone but themselves.
Neal Brown works for us. Neal Brown represents us. Our state, our university, our Mountaineers!
Since Brown didn’t answer the question, here’s what can be inferred: Yes, he hopes Jarret Doege returns for another season, despite it being detrimental to the growth and development of his young quarterbacks. In Brown’s mind, Doege’s experience and knowledge of the offense gives West Virginia the best chance to win next season. Maybe a really talented quarterback like Garrett Greene ends up transferring due to lack of playing time, but he’ll still have Will “Goose” Crowder and freshman sensation Nicco Marchiol there to learn behind Doege for another year.
But who knows? Because he wouldn’t just answer the question.