Morgantown, West Virginia – While the entire world of West Virginia athletics is swirling with rumors and speculation surrounding the potential firing of head coach Neal Brown, the director of athletics, Shane Lyons, has remained mum.
Lyons, who has been unconditionally supportive of Brown over the past three seasons, has so far ignored his critics and continued to back his head coach despite the overwhelming uproar from the fanbase.
Lyons last released a statement concerning Brown following the team’s 0-2 start to the season after losses to Pittsburgh and Kansas, saying, “I know our fans are frustrated with the start of the football season, but so are our coaches and student-athletes, who have busted their tails getting ready for the year.”
Lyons continued: “As athletics director, I am as disappointed as the fans, but I see how much our coaches and players care and want to win and make our fans proud. Everyone involved knows that the on-field results have not met expectations and absolutely no one is satisfied. There are 10 games left in the season and the focus is still on getting the results that we all expect.”
Now, with seven games remaining, the results and the expectations have still not been met. Remember, this is a team that Neal Brown, his coaching staff and likely Shane Lyons all believed would be a 8-10 win team this season. To have those kind of lofty expectations and perhaps only win 2 or 3 games is a major catastrophe, particularly when previous seasons were not successful either.
Neal Brown is 19-21 overall and 11-17 in the Big 12 Conference in his 4th season with the Mountaineers. Lyons continuing to accept mediocrity sends the message that West Virginia University does not take winning seriously. Universities around the country are firing head coaches with far better resumes and with better results than what Brown has produced.
Shane Lyons owes the people of West Virginia an explanation; not just for his decision to give Neal Brown a contract extension and raise after an 11-11 start which has cost the university millions and millions of dollars but also for continuing to accept inferior results.