(AP Photo/Kathleen Batten)
Morgantown, West Virginia – Prior to yesterday’s game, Neal Brown was barely hanging onto his job and was well on his way to being fired. In fact, the program’s poor performance was likely to cost not only Neal Brown his job but also the job of athletic director Shane Lyons.
And despite West Virginia beating the Oklahoma Sooners – the worst Oklahoma team in decades – that should not change.
Neal Brown still deserves to be fired. So does Shane Lyons.
Brown has led the Mountaineers to a 21-24 overall record and has failed miserably regardless of how you look at it. West Virginia hasn’t been anywhere near the Top 25 since Brown has taken over. The Mountaineers haven’t won three games in a row. Their record in the Big 12 Conference is abysmal. Recruiting has been fine, but recruiting doesn’t matter without the results on the field. The only thing that matters is what happens on the field and it’s been bad.
You can blame COVID – something that every coach in the nation dealt with – , you can blame NIL and and the changing landscape in college athletics – again, something every coach in the nation has had to deal with – , and you can blame the perceived lack of talent left on the team when he took over, but the bottom line is that Neal Brown has not gotten the job done.
Lyons’ decision to give Brown a contract extension will cost the university millions of dollars, and again, despite any other good that he’s done for the university in the past, that’s a mistake he just can’t come back from.
Winning yesterday simply temporarily put off the inevitable.
Neal Brown and Shane Lyons deserve to be fired. They’ve earned that. This has nothing to do with who these two gentlemen are personally. College athletics is an enormous business and they have failed and they will be held accountable.