I woke up Monday morning with a list. On this list were specific things, in order, that I was going to do to have a productive day before I went to work. Not one thing on that list was accomplished.
The alarm going off at 10 a.m. on Monday caused me to look at an influx of text messages, emails and tweets from coworkers, viewers, work contacts and friends all wondering the same thing: what in the heck just happened to the WVIAC? Like the majority of people, I was blindsided.
As a member of the media, I always hear rumors. Most, I know are completely false. There are a few that will pique my interest and I'll start asking around, but I never report on rumor, thus, most of the time I just let it be. I had heard some rumblings about a few of the WVIAC schools possibility being forced to drop down to Division III, but what actually happened Monday morning was a total shock.
From what I can tell, just about everyone was in the dark. That includes coaches, players and administrators at schools that are a part of the group of nine leaving and schools included in the six that are staying (for now).
I've been told that this is how it all went down: on Friday, the presidents of the nine schools (with football programs) were invited to a meeting. All the presidents unanimously decided that leaving the WVIAC was the best choice for his/her institution. Not a word was spoken over the weekend, most notably to the school staffs. On Monday the story broke in the media. The presidents of the six non-football schools were sent an email informing them of the decision and that was that.
Nothing is ever secret in the WVIAC. That's why I find this situation so amazing. Word never got out over the weekend. That might be because, from what I've been told by sources, these presidents did not inform anyone of their decision. Athletic directors, coaches, players, etc were all clueless.
Presidents, ADs and coaches at the six remaining schools probably experienced something along the lines of the stages of grief, starting with denial. I'm sure the anger period lasted most of the day. Again, no one knew what was going to happen Monday morning.
It's interesting how it all played out but I will not pick a side. People will get over the anger and move on. The six schools left behind will have plenty of options. None of those schools are ruling out keeping the WVIAC together. Though, do to that, the conference would have to add more schools. The nine schools creating a new conference say they did what was best for their athletic departments and I'm sure they did.
I'll just sit back and wait to see what the next big announcement is. It's sure going to be an interesting athletic year.
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