Morgantown, West Virginia – The West Virginia Mountaineers flew earlier today into Austin, Texas, a place in the middle of a crisis, to play a basketball game against the Texas Longhorns.
Texas is slowly coming out of a deep freeze that left millions of Texas without water and power for the past several days. Tens of thousands of residents in the area are still without power and water, and yet, the NCAA decided that it’s appropriate to play a college basketball game there.
In an interview with NPR earlier today, Natasha Harper-Madison, a member of Austin’s City Council, called what’s happening in Texas right now “a Katrina-scale crisis” and an “absolutely awful nightmare.”
“I mean, ultimately, what we’re talking about here is this is a Katrina-scale crisis happening across our entire state and especially right here in Austin,” Harper-Madison said.
Yet, the West Virginia Mountaineers, a team that faces travel horrors unlike any other team in the country, flew right into the middle of it today. In addition, the Mountaineers will play three games in six days (Saturday at Texas, Tuesday at TCU and Thursday at Baylor) while in Texas.
Bob Huggins said the following about the team’s road trip: “It’s not in anyone’s best interest to play three games in six days. Come on. Particularly when you’re playing different styles, when you’re playing on their home court(s), there’s a lot we’re up against, and we’re the only ones doing it.”
Huggins continued, “We have a lot of things that other teams don’t have to endure. We’ve really had to back off on practice and the intensity in which we practice because we’re getting ready to go through something that I don’t think anyone else in America is going to go through. Nobody else is going to play three games in six days and bus in between.”
All things considered, West Virginia should have cancelled this trip to Texas entirely. Not only is playing three tough road games in six days unfair, Texas is perhaps the least hospitable place in the country right now and are in the middle of a legitimate crisis that the state hasn’t dealt with in some time.