Monday, February 25, 2013
West Virginia asks Big 12 for travel help
By David Ubben
West Virginia is at least 800 miles away from every Big 12 team. That didn't pose too many problems during football season when the Mountaineers only had to travel once a week a few times a season, though consecutive weeks in Texas had a rough ending when the No. 5 Mountaineers were routed at Texas Tech.
Athletic director Oliver Luck spoke with the Times West Virginian about struggles elsewhere that West Virginia spoke with the Big 12 about in hopes of finding a solution.
WVU already knocked out two Big 12 men's basketball road games before classes started this semester so players' late-night returns wouldn't require them to go to class or have academic responsibilities the following day.
Their latest request to the league is a whole lot more interesting. From the Times:
“We have asked that when reasonable they give us a two-game stay over on the road,” Luck revealed.
Twice this past season WVU was scheduled to go out on the road, play a Saturday game, fly home on Sunday, practice Monday and fly out again on Tuesday for a Wednesday game.
League rules do not allow them to stay on the road during that time, so they use up most of two days traveling.
Rather than doing that, they would prefer to play a Saturday-Big Monday on the road with a Sunday stay over, which would cut back on taking the long trip to and from Morgantown.
The Big 12 said it would work with them but offered no guarantees. I don't have a problem with the league working with WVU here, and helping the Mountaineers try to avoid similar treks like back-to-back trips to Texas -- two of West Virginia's longest trips -- in consecutive weeks.
It's not a huge deal for football, but avoiding that would surely be appreciated. WVU is an outlier in the Big 12 and faces challenges no other Big 12 team does and knows how to deal with.
Nothing wrong with trying to accommodate the Mountaineers.