Gee Delivers Pep Talk To WVU
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – There were many messages delivered Friday to West Virginia’s football team as it went through a full scrimmage, but perhaps the most poignant message was delievered not by the coaches, but by G. Gordon Gee, the university president, when he spoke to the team after practice.
Gee is a much traveled administrator and he tossed a challenge at the Mountaineers.
He noted to them that he won a national championship at Colorado and that it would be nice to add one at West Virginia.
“So, we’re hoping to do the same,” wide receiver David Sills said.
West Virginia, of course, has never won a national championship, the closest coming in 1988 when they played Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl, a game billed as being for the title. But quarterback Major Harris, the driving force behind an undefeated regular season, was injured early in the game and Notre Dame won and took down the crown.
“It’s always good to see him, it’s always good when he comes around the program,” Sills added. “So, it was really good for him to come and talk to us (Thursday) at practice.”
Friday’s scrimmage, which was closed to the media, was said to be lively and a much needed breakaway from the routine of daily practice.
“It felt good,” Sills admitted. “We have a lot of our stuff in now; we’ve been working at it for a couple weeks now just in camp and every day just getting repetitive on what we’ve been doing.
“But I think it’s good for us. We’re getting good timing down with (redshirt junior quarterback) Will (Grier). I think we’re showing good energy and we’ve been competing for a couple weeks, so I think it was good today.”
Sam linebacker Xavier Preston wasn’t biting on the bait when it was put out there, asking him what he predicted the team would be this year.
“I project us being a team,” he said. “A whole unit, not just one game one side of the ball is doing well. I predict us to all come together during the season and be a team and have something this state can be proud of.”
WVU’s athletic department is projecting approximately a three percent drop in season ticket sales this season to 27,000. That would be the sixth consecutive year season ticket sales declined.
The school has sold about 26,300 season packages to date, according to Matt Wells, senior associate athletic director. Tickets for the six-game season are priced at $365 with donations required for premium tiers.
WVU is coming off a 10-win season and is ranked No. 20 in the preseason poll.