Morgantown, West Virginia – In response to records requests concerning the departure of former defensive coordinator Vic Koenning, West Virginia University not-shockingly found a way to prevent it and to continue to sweep it under the rug.
Back in late June, Koenning was accused by sophomore defensive back Kerry Martin of making him feel uncomfortable with his words and pushing religion on him. Martin listed several incidents involving Koenning, one of which included him using the word “retarded” towards Martin after he made a mistake during summer workouts in 2019, and another describing him openly debating the protests going on around the country with the student athletes.
Koenning was immediately put on leave while an investigation was done before West Virginia University and Koenning “mutually separated.” Obviously everything about this is ridiculous. Koenning certainly did not want to separate from the program and the investigation should have revealed why he was dismissed from the team.
West Virginia University will never reveal precisely why he was let go. Their policy of hide, evade, deceive and sweep under the rug is a huge part of the athletic department. They don’t owe us anything, they believe, and they won’t ever tell us anything. It doesn’t matter if we’re the very people that support and pay for their programs to operate.
It’s pretty clear why Koenning was fired. He crossed religious boundaries and attempted to share his beliefs with his players. The players, many who practice other religions, felt uneasy with it and didn’t want to continue to play for him. Koenning was likely unaware of any wrongdoing, which had to have made the allegations even more shocking.
While it’s previous obvious what happened, the public, particularly donors and supporters of the program, deserve to know why he was dismissed. However, in true West Virginia University fashion, they decided to cover up the incident, citing the Family Right and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA).
The point is, it would be far easier to simply explain what happened and move on. This secrecy is simply unacceptable and completely unnecessary. A coach lost his job and we have no idea why. What exactly is West Virginia University hiding?
— Brad McElhinny (@BradMcElhinny) September 15, 2020