Mike Carey unleashed a denunciation (tirade? tongue-lashing?) against the people in the state of West Virginia who have criticized his coaching and his players during their recent struggles. Carey’s Mountaineers started the season 13-1 and have since gone 2-7 in the past nine games.
I appreciate that Carey is willing to stand up for his players and for their effort on the court, but what is he referring to? Who exactly is questioning the hearts and effort of the women’s basketball team? Is there a massive movement against his team that I’m not aware of? Does anyone really care enough about the women’s team to criticize them, and if they do have critics, isn’t that a good thing?
As the Voice of West Virginia, I follow all things West Virginia University as closely as anyone in the world. In addition, I’m the only journalist in the West Virginia media with the panache to call out coaches and players for poor performance. If anyone was going to call out the WVU Women’s Basketball team, it would be me, and I never even thought to do so.
Carey said of these mysterious naysayers of his team, “Man, I’m from West Virginia and I’ve never seen anyone turn on you like we do around here. Jesus, God. We were 10-1 and we were the greatest, then we lose some games and suddenly I can’t coach and the players can’t play. We don’t play hard. How soon we forget that before I got here the team went to the NCAA Tournament twice in the history of the program.
Mr. Carey, do you not realize that coaching in major college athletics comes with expectations and criticism? West Virginia fans, in general, are the most supportive and blindly loyal fans in the whole nation!
Carey continued: “I’m a little upset about some people, about what’s being said. I’m from the state of West Virginia, I love the state and we don’t act like that. Most of the people that act like this have never been on a team, never played a sport. I would love to have them come to my office and watch film.”
I will absolutely take you up on that offer, Mr. Carey. I would gladly sit with you and watch film and discuss ways to improve your program. Just as you have offered your advice to the media and the West Virginia fanbase, I would be happy to lend my opinions on your team.
Carey ended his rant by saying, “It’s ridiculous how people turn on you. And I’ll remember that. Because when we’re good, don’t come around me then. You find out who your true friends are and who has your back. I was brought up to support people and show loyalty good or bad.”
There isn’t a fanbase in the country that is completely blindly loyal and that doesn’t criticize the team when things aren’t going well. This is what you signed up for, Mr. Carey. You have been successful, your teams have won a lot of games, and when they aren’t doing well it’s natural for fans and media members to wonder why. Frankly, you should be glad that someone cares. Although I’m a fan, women’s college basketball is not a sport that generates a lot of enthusiasm and interest.
Rest assured, no one has turned on the West Virginia Women’s basketball program, no one has turned on you, Mr. Carey, and please appreciate that you are the Head Coach of the university with the most loyal, most forgiving fans in the country.
Check out Mike Carey’s full interview below:
Mike Carey would like a word with fans who have turned on his program — and the same could be said for those turning on Bob Huggins’ team: pic.twitter.com/mkAmUseqCX
— Nick Farrell (@ByNickFarrell) February 16, 2020