Morgantown, West Virginia – Let me preface this by saying that I 100% agree with West Virginia University’s decision to “mutually separate” from former defensive coordinator Vic Koenning. It was an unfortunate situation and there was no other reasonable, realistic resolution to the matter.
With Koenning gone, the question turns to what to do with ultra-talented sophomore defensive back Kerry Martin, Jr.? Before today, I would have said that the team could move on following Koenning’s dismissal, but there has been an ugly turn today. Martin’s social media post following the Koenning announcement, as well as the backlash from the West Virginia fanbase, leads to me to believe that Martin transferring would also be what’s best for the football program.
You can interpret Martin’s social media post today quoting the Quran any way you wish, but the actual translation of the quote he used is this: “To know the attribute of the True God, as against the false fancies of men.” In other words, all other gods are false. Although he’s certainly free to choose whichever religion he wants, the timing of this feels like a slap in the face of a man that just go fired.
Remember, Vic Koenning crossed lines by pushing his religion on his players and he no longer works for West Virginia University because of it. Just as Koenning would have been a distraction if he remained on the staff, Kerry Martin, Jr. would be a lightning rod for criticism and anger from the Mountaineer fanbase if he were to return.
A very large percentage of West Virginians do not agree with the decision by the university today. Kerry Martin, Jr. is now a villain in the eyes of this big portion of the fanbase and it doesn’t appear that they are willing to easily forgive him. Although he is a native West Virginian and an outstanding young player, this isn’t just going to go away. Fair or not, he will forever be the player responsible for the dismissal of a “good coach and man.”
With this said – and I really hate to say this because I’ve been in his corner from day one – but Martin transferring is what’s best for the program now too. In order for the football program to move on and put this all behind them, Martin will need to leave as well.
Unfortunately, this will not be easy. Kerry Martin, Jr. has not violated any rules that we’re aware of yet and perhaps he doesn’t want to transfer. Maybe Kerry Martin, Jr. will stay in Morgantown for the next 3 years and finish his career as a Mountaineer, but it just doesn’t feel like that’s what is going to happen now.