February 04, 2010
Arch-rival Pitt was in town and its name rhymes with a prominent four-letter word, so it should come as no surprise that West Virginia's foul-mouthed student section refused to cut back on profanity-laden chants during Wednesday's 70-51 victory. But would it have been too much to ask from the Mountaineer Maniacs to have refrained from hurling more than just obscenities?
When bottles, shirts and other debris flew out of the student section in the direction of a referee who'd made a questionable second-half call, West Virginia coach Bob Huggins immediately grabbed a microphone and addressed his home crowd.
"Hey, don't throw anything on the floor," he said. "You're going to hurt one of the players. That's stupid. That is stupid. If anybody sees someone throw something on the floor, point them out so we can throw them outta here."
The brief ceasefire lasted until the 5:12 mark of the second half when a near-scrum erupted underneath one of the baskets involving members of both teams. As referees reviewed the play on a courtside monitor, someone threw what appeared to be a coin and this time it nailed Pittsburgh assistant Tom Herrion under the eye.
"We're not going to make a big deal out of it," Pittsburgh coach Jamie Dixon told the Charleston Gazette afterward. "It was an unfortunate incident, but I don't want one person to reflect on an entire university... Our guy's OK."
Wednesday's incident is the latest in a series of increasingly ugly episodes involving the West Virginia student section.
Profane chants from West Virginia students were audible on TV last month against Ohio State, while on 10 separate occasions during last Saturday's matchup with Louisville, students chanted the name of the woman that Cardinals coach Rick Pitino had an affair with outside his marriage.
"It's annoying," West Virginia's Da'Sean Butler told reporters afterward. "It shows people outside our state that we don't have class. That's not what we're about as a team or a state. It gives us a bad name."