Holgorsen’s Postgame Approach Inexcusable

WVU Head Coach Denies Fans Ability To Hear From Players


MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia’s players didn’t show up Saturday afternoon at Mountaineer Field.

We’re not talking about the 50-39 beating administered by No. 11/12 Oklahoma State.

We’re talking about post-game interviews, and that’s inexcusable.

Maybe if we were Holly Rowe ….

The ABC-TV sideline reporter was the last member of the media to chat with a WVU football player.

Quarterback Will Grier opening his house so she could join the Mountaineer quarterback, his wife and daughter for breakfast this week.

We’re not knocking that gesture. She was doing her job and Grier was doing his. It made sense. He was still being looked at as Heisman candidate then, WVU needs the publicity and his is a warm, nice story.

It was the right thing to do.

And we’re not saying it was Grier or any of his other teammates who took a knee on post-game interviews.

That had to come from the head coach, Dana Holgorsen.

And that’s wrong.

Not for us, the media.

We’re simply the go-between for 57,507 fans who shelled out there hard-earned cash to sit in the rain to watch what was a tortuous afternoon of football and the players.

They want to know what the players have to say, what they think.

Yes, what they have for breakfast.

And that says nothing about the thousands of fans across the nation who watched the game on television, fans who want to know no only what happened to make Will Grier throw four interceptions and Justin Crawford to fumble but how it was linebacker David Long could play like an All-American with 18 tackles, seven for losses, or Kenny Robinson could intercept a pass and run it in for a touchdown.

Fact is, we can’t ever talk to Kenny Robinson due to the fact he’s a freshman and they are off limits to the media.

Now part of playing college football is growing up and you have to learn to take the good with the bad. Interviewing skills are as much a part of many of these players’ future as is their ability to run with or catch the football.

The picture painted of them by the media helps them to advertising contracts and, if you turn on any sport, color commentators or, yes, sideline reporters.

It’s hard, no doubt, after a loss to go out there and listen to some mindless questions … and the media asks a lot of them, especially in a college setting where a good many of those credentials media are inexperienced journalism and broadcast students.

You have to learn how to deal with it on both sides.

I know, for I had to approach the great and quite intimidating pitcher, Bob Gibson, after he had lost a 2-0 game to the Atlanta Braves on a two-run home run by Felipe Alou, one of only three hits Gibson would allow in the game.

There really is no good way to go about this, but I did learn on that day that you do not open the interview by asking Bobby Gibson after he lost a 2-0 game on a home run what pitch he had thrown.

Suffice it to say the answer I got was unprintable and I could do little more than slink away and talk to other members of the Cardinals, a valuable lesson learned the hard way.

West Virginia tries hard to do a good public relations job, but media has changed in recent years with the rise of social media and IMG holding the rights and thereby putting the school in a position to put things out as they want them.

The interviews with the coaches were fine. They faced the music, offered up insights and told the story they had to tell about this loss.

But it’s the kids who play the games and who really are the face of the program. They have a story to tell, too, a necessary look into why Grier would throw five touchdowns or why he would throw four interceptions.

See, in sports, for every home run there’s a pitcher who threw it, for every fumble recovery there’s someone who fumbled it, for every winner there’s a loser … and each has a tale to tell that completes the experience of the fan, the reader, the viewer or the listener.

Home forums Holgorsen’s Postgame Approach Inexcusable

This topic contains 14 replies, has 13 voices, and was last updated by Butlereer Butlereer .

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  • #33324

    WVU Head Coach Denies Fans Ability To Hear From Players MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia’s players didn’t show up Saturday afternoon at Mountaineer F
    [See the full post at: Holgorsen’s Postgame Approach Inexcusable]

    #33335

    There are many things I can say to to your rant.

    Been there.

    There are times when you as a coach do what you perceive as the best for the whole of your organization and I’m guessing there was an overall pissed off mood, especially by the folks you truly wanted to talk to so the fans could get a glimpse of that frustration.

    They are not pros nor are they at times emotionally prepared to handle the rigors of what the probing questions presented by the press will be to get certain responses.

    As a coach after this game, I would have done the same thing.

    The fluff stuff by the network was exactly what was presented and didn’t represent the game.

    To softly compare the two is bullshit and you know it.

    #33337

    It’s the coaches call period. I know you said the reporters “you” were the go between for us fans and the team but it seams like a little sour grapes on your part. I mean you don’t ask most of the questions us fans wanted asked. Most of the time the questions after a loss are similar to the ones asked after the last loss. I will admit that I crawl under a rock when the Mountaineers lose and don’t want to hear why because I’m upset. The answers the press get are bland and safe. After this rant you may want me to stay under a rock. If the players weren’t made available that’s the coaches decision. Maybe you should’ve interviewed the regular fans after the game and wright about what they said. Now there’s a fresh take for once. I figure my grammar will be under a microscope but who cares.

    #33404

     

    Good to have conversation about it.

    #33409

    Not a huge fan of how Dana takes losses but then again… it ain’t easy. Wish he would have a touch more class or be less cinfrintational but at the end of the day he is more upset than we are. It guts him to see his guys lay an egg like they did today.

    Can only hope he stops telling us how great Wickline is and holds him accountable for a unit that has not played all that well of late.

    Tough deal but precious few (who have won a lot more than Dana) get away with acting like he does after tough losses.

    Still a fan of his though.

    #33421

    I don’t have a problem with the decision not to allow players out on occasion. I understand Dana was trying to send a message with the move, and although not making players available isn’t exactly a punishment for them, I get it. He’s trying every means available to make the point about being dominated physically. Effort was lacking at times, especially with the WRs, and the OL got crushed.

    Now, Is till disagree with the blanket barring of freshmen, and the unavailability of players until they play a lot, but it’s our job to work around that and present to you what we know, observe and learn. (Compare this to Huggs – the only guys he won’t let come out are suspended guys, or those getting treatment due to injury.) Different approaches, but the latter does make for a better job in presenting the whole picture.

    #33439

    Good Move by DH.  These kids don’t need to be exposed to the barrage of the same questions they get after every game.

    Someone buy Hertzel a big hunk of cheese to go with his Whine!

    We all know what opinions are like – and Hertzel is one!

    #33454

    I actually enjoy reading Bob’s articles as well as the other BGN writers and I guess I should comment more.  I also agree with Mex about Dana.

    Post loss locker rooms can be pool of extreme emotions and sometimes it takes a special athlete to control those emotions to handle an interview calmly without allowing those emotions to say something that can damaging to the individual and team.  It’s the coaches call as the final decision.

    As for the coach?  It’s part of the gig and you know it.  Your words will be dissected, interpreted and judged and it’s your responsibility to represent your team and the university by controlling the emotions as well as you can especially after a disappointing loss.

    #33662

    So here we go with the ENTITLED BS by the fans and the press—as far as Mex goes he has NEVER been anything but a RR man NEVER!!!!!

    #33721

    I agree that Hertzel’s article comes off a bit self serving, but there is plenty of entitlement to go around.  If you’re willing to bask in the glory of a win, then man up and answer when you lose.  I realize that the players didn’t make that decision, but “protecting” players, or even, as Mr. Kinder says, punishing players by forbidding them from talking after a loss is misguided in my opinion.  Most of the players won’t be professional football players, but hopefully they will be professionals in some field.  Hiding them from accountability is hardly a way teach them how to be professional.

    #33802

    In all honesty, most people could care less what the players have to say after a loss like that, because in reality nothing they say will make any of fans feel any better or the players themselves feel any better.  It was a poor performance and we do not need some reporting asking questions about “why” did this happen or “what” do you think caused your poor play.  At the end of the day it does not matter.  I actually get what Dana is attempting here in this situation.  I think he put everyone in that locker room on notice in hopes it lights a fire under some asses this week in practice.  Time will tell if it works or not.  But 18-21 year old guys love getting their “me” time from the press, so taking that away might do something.  Who knows, lets see how they come out Saturday.

    #33927

    I agree that Hertzel’s article comes off a bit self serving, but there is plenty of entitlement to go around. If you’re willing to bask in the glory of a win, then man up and answer when you lose. I realize that the players didn’t make that decision, but “protecting” players, or even, as Mr. Kinder says, punishing players by forbidding them from talking after a loss is misguided in my opinion. Most of the players won’t be professional football players, but hopefully they will be professionals in some field. Hiding them from accountability is hardly a way teach them how to be professional.

    Well said.

    #33994

    We pay the CEO of our program to make decisions that are in the best interests of WVU football and our players. This choice ,was in his mind, the best thing to do under the circumstances. Unless you have ever had responsibility for a large group of people (employees, athletes, students) it is hard to appreciate all that goes into a decision like that. You had plenty of access to them on Tuesday and could ask them anything you want after they had time to overcome the disappointment of the loss. Some coaches NEVER allow assistants to speak

    and significantly  limit player access. Get over yourself. It’s not national security.

    #34132

    We pay the CEO of our program to make decisions that are in the best interests of WVU football and our players. This choice ,was in his mind, the best thing to do under the circumstances. Unless you have ever had responsibility for a large group of people (employees, athletes, students) it is hard to appreciate all that goes into a decision like that. You had plenty of access to them on Tuesday and could ask them anything you want after they had time to overcome the disappointment of the loss. Some coaches NEVER allow assistants to speak and significantly limit player access. Get over yourself. It’s not national security.

    One thing to note, there are several players, including Will Grier, who are unavailable Tuesday due to classes. That’s ok, but everyone isn’t available.

    #34156

    Yada, Yada, Yada …. Hertzel …. Boo Hoo Hoo ….. Hertzel ….. Cry Me a River….. Hertzel….. I’m entitled to an interview. You have to talk to me…… You have to make my job easy……

    Bob Hertzel is the typical crybaby reporter that complains about everything that makes his job a little harder. Dana did what he thought was best for the program. He doesn’t need a crybaby reporter picking apart every aspect of an interview with his players after a devastating loss where they just didn’t play well. He just doesn’t need a “reporter” trying to air out dirty laundry in an interview with 19,20,21 year old kids.

    My advice to Hertzel …… suck it up and do your job. Quit complaining about what the coaches don’t allow you to do.

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