Friday, April 21, 2006
SPY INFILTRATES MARSHALL PRACTICE, CONFIRMS MEDIOCRITY
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Not taking his school's preseason hype as a given, a West Virginia undergrad thought he'd do his part to give the Mountaineers every available advantage for its opener against rarely-faced cross-state rival Marshall:Heading into only their second matchup in 83 years — and it took the governor's involvement to help set this September's game — school officials on both sides confirm a West Virginia student was caught spying at a Marshall practice this month.
The student was confronted April 11 after he was spotted sitting in the bleachers at Edwards Stadium taking detailed notes in a stenographer's notebook.
Thundering Herd practices have been open to the public this spring, but NCAA rules prohibit opposing coaches or football program representatives from attending another school's practice without permission.
The student works in the building where West Virginia's football offices are located. His name wasn't released because he wasn't criminally charged.
"We're treating it as a student conduct incident," Marshall Public Safety Director Jim Terry told the Charleston Daily Mail.
Mark Gale, Marshall's director of football operations, said the student never admitted that he was enrolled at West Virginia. But officials found a card in his pocket that listed the names of the Mountaineer football staff and their phone numbers.
Marshall officials said the undergraduate student initially claimed to be a member of the media who was taking notes for a story. When challenged, they added, he said he attended the University of Alabama-Birmingham, one of the Thundering Herd's Conference USA rivals.
Then he allegedly tried to flee.
West Virginia athletic director Ed Pastilong said the student was acting "without the authority of anyone in the athletic department or anyone on the football staff."
By far, the best part of this story is that the kid actually tried to pin the petit espionage on UAB, then - in flagrantly un-Nathan Hale-like fashion - run away.
So: now that Marshall knows that West Virginia may know, do they change their schemes...or is that just what the Mountaineers want them to do?
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Zis is Marshall! Ve don't do spyink here!
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