West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck released a statement Tuesday morning regarding the Mountaineer football team's 4-8 (2-7 Big 12) season.
Here is the statement in its entirety:
First, I want to thank all Mountaineer fans who supported our football team through a difficult and trying season. Though there were some high points this year, including our upset victory over No. 11 Oklahoma State and the inspired play from many first year student-athletes, there were far too many disappointments.
We have high expectations at West Virginia University for success on and off the field and as Coach Holgorsen has acknowledged to me, we are not meeting those expectations on the field. Coach Holgorsen and I met at length and reviewed this past season. We discussed the coaching staff, recruiting, player development, strength and conditioning, academic support, facilities, in short, all the components that make up a successful program. We are working diligently to improve our capabilities in all of these areas.
I strongly believe in our coaching staff, including the work that our strength and conditioning staff is doing. In my opinion, continuity is the key ingredient that will bring our football program back to the high level that Mountaineer fans expect.
We had plenty of challenges this season; nonetheless, we should not and will not use those as excuses for our performance. We simply must get better.
Coach Holgorsen and his staff are on the road recruiting this week, securing the future for a successful Mountaineer football program. We need to do our part as well by continuing to move forward with the facility improvements needed to compete at the highest level in our conference.
We have high expectations for the 2014 football team, and I have shared those with Coach Holgorsen. He and his staff are eager to get started to prepare for our opening game against Alabama. We are well aware that we have a lot of work to do.
We have tremendous student-athletes in our program and a very accomplished core of coaches who want to bring championships back to West Virginia University. We will do all we can to help them in that endeavor, and I ask for your continued support as we move forward to a brighter future.
It’s hard to think of a modern band that has produced three singles as irresistibly catchy as “Time to Pretend,” “Kids” and “Electric Feel” and then gone as weird as side two of the latest album.
MGMT has indeed frustrated fans who were thrilled to find an indie band with a feel for a hook.
But, as frontman Andrew VanWyngarden said in an interview last week, the people who have stuck with them “want a band that tries to create worlds for the listeners.”
That’s exactly what MGMT did Monday night at Stage AE taking the stage with the psychedelic explosion of “Flash Delirium,” VanWyngarden twisting the ’60s mantra with “turn it on, tune it in.” The six-piece band was backed by an eye-popping light show and a big screen flashing Crayola bursts that would have made Timothy Leary smile.
The second song, “Time to Pretend,” was met with a high-pitched shriek, and far from being bored with its 2008 hit — we can say “hit,” even though the popular “Oracular Spectacular” songs were not actually Top 40 hits — MGMT went at the tongue-in-cheek song about being rock stars with plenty of drive, thanks to energetic drummer Will Berman.
“Introspection,” an obscure and poppy Faine Jade cover, put us deep in the psych-folk ’60s realm, except for VanWyngarden’s cool high-tech trick of doubling as cameraman with a hand-held device that projected onto the screen, with psychedelic effects.
Fans of that first breakout album — who listened to other than the singles — were treated to the stone soul revival of “The Youth,” “Of Moons, Birds & Monsters” and “Weekend Wars” in the middle of the set, mixed with the dreamy, snowy ambiance of “Siberian Breaks.”
Its electronic ending segued brilliantly into “Electric Feel,” which quickly turned Stage AE into an “American Bandstand” scene of twirling bodies. Once again, it was an excited, electrifying version of the kind of song MGMT has at least temporarily abandoned. Same goes for the joyful “Kids,” which veered into a pounding club mix.
Having heard all three singles, there was a stream of people heading for the exit three songs before the finish. One thing they missed was Jackson and Jarod, from Pittsburgh’s own Grand Buffet (a former MGMT tourmate), jumping on stage to swing at an oversized cowbell like kids going at a pinata.
Someone commented that this show was “four years too late,” and, yes, it would have been nice to have seen MGMT and Pittsburgh-raised VanWyngarden in the “Oracular” heyday. On the other hand, the band’s psych-rock/space-rock/indie-pop worlds blended nicely in their own weird way. Let’s hope, though, for the sake of the pop fans, they can deliver one more of those tasty gems the next time they come around.
Time to Pretend
Introspection (Faine Jade cover)
Of Moons, Birds & Monsters
Cool Song No. 2
Your Life Is a Lie (with Grand Buffet)
A meteorologist once told me that forecasting weather, especially winter storms, beyond the next 48 hours is largely guesswork.
Last week bore that out, when forecasters couldn’t get it right even after the snow began.
Weather forecasters rely on a variety of sophisticated computer models to predict what will happen. Unfortunately, Mother Nature is no model.
That hasn’t stopped all three TV chief meteorologists from peering across the vastness of winter and telling us exactly how much it will snow each month until the end of the season. These much-hyped Winter Weather Forecasts are likely forgotten by most viewers shortly after they air.
But people, we should never forget.
This is the first of what I hope will be periodic reviews of the accuracy of those forecasts.
We’re not off to a good start.
Jeff Verszyla of KDKA told us November would bring 2.2 inches of snow with near-normal temperatures, while WTAE’s Mike Harvey forecast 2.0 inches and temperatures a half-degree below normal.
The fizzle of last week’s storm spared both a blizzard of embarrassment: the actual monthly snow total was 9.3 inches and temperatures were a full 3.5 degrees below normal.
WPXI’s Stephen Cropper didn’t issue his Winter Weather Forecast until Nov. 25. After revealing the monthly snowfall totals we’ll be getting through March, Mr. Cropper transitioned to the shorter-term forecast of the pending storm, with repeated cautions that it was unpredictable and snowfall totals could fluctuate. Yes, he told us precisely how much snow we would get in December, January, February and March, then basically admitted he couldn’t be sure how much it would snow the next day.
Peering into their crystal balls, or maybe they were snow globes, the three produced widely divergent forecasts for December and for the winter season as a whole.
Mr. Verszyla says it will snow 4.4 inches this month with temperatures 5 degrees warmer than normal; Mr. Harvey says we’ll get 8 inches with temperatures a degree below normal; Mr. Cropper says 10 inches with “quick shots of cold air” (a bold call for December) but no specific temperature prediction.
For the season, Mr. Verszyla expects 32 inches, which is well below the seasonal average of about 42 inches. Mr. Harvey says we’ll get 48 inches. Mr. Cropper’s video report began with his assertion that 41.5 inches would fall from December through March; but he went on to give a month-by-month breakdown that added to 42 inches even.
Mobile signs advertise Route 28 road work “to begin 12-5” but PennDOT’s Steve Cowan said that’s when a contractor will begin mobilizing equipment for the next (and final) phase of the megaproject. The around-the-clock outbound lane closure will start again soon; no date has been finalized, he said.
Alternating one-way traffic will be in effect on Route 30 between Santiago and North Star roads in North Fayette from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays through next Tuesday.
Brief lane closures will occur in the Fort Pitt Tunnels from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. today while crews put up signs.
Washington Boulevard will be closed all day Saturday from Negley Run Road to Frankstown Avenue during removal of loose concrete from the Larimer Avenue Bridge above. The work might extend into Sunday, according to Pittsburgh public works.
A huge improvement project at the intersection of Broughton, Brownsville and Curry Hollow roads in the South Hills has been completed, Allegheny County and PennDOT announced this afternoon. While the announcement claimed the project was finished ahead of schedule, our story at the start of the 2 1/2-year project said completion was projected for spring 2013, so we're assuming they finished ahead of a revised schedule.
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A few business/law stories from the Post-Gazette that you might have missed over the Thanksgiving break:
My colleague Deborah Todd wrote about Innovation21:
After an introductory meeting a few weeks ago that drew around 40 Reed Smith attorneys, an official program that made urban entrepreneurs the latest clients of the high-powered law firm was born. Already 17 companies have received pro bono services worth $60,000 to $70,000.
Our suburban section profiled Jeff Fromknecht, who wanted to be a dentist, but changed course and became a lawyer:
"I already had everyone waiting to see if I would get into dental school. I didn't tell them I was taking the LSAT or anything. I just told them when I was accepted into law school," he said.
And Jon Silver had the story of a Swissvale estate feud that's playing out in public:
Filled with mud-slinging, an arrest, a deathbed marriage, allegations of document fraud and conniving relatives, the battle over Elwood Gaither's money has drawn the attention of Allegheny County's district attorney, an ethics commission and possibly a grand jury investigation.