MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The announced crowd of 4,814 at the WVU Coliseum left more than 9,000 empty seats for Thursday night’s drubbing of Georgia Southern.

Perhaps the student section was less populated because of kids getting a jump on the Thanksgiving break. Maybe other fans stayed away because the opponent was, after all, Georgia Southern.

And some fans might still need convincing this West Virginia team is actually an improved version of last season’s 13-19 squad.

“I don’t blame the fans—we had a terrible year,” said junior guard Gary Browne after WVU rolled to a 101-68 victory. “I don’t blame them for nothing. Those that came, I appreciate it a lot, but we really don’t think about that. We think about winning games.”

Photo gallery: WVU-Georgia Southern

West Virginia twice drew fewer than 5,000 fans last season—with 4,982 showing for a nonleague game against Oakland last Dec. 19 and only 4,966 on hand for an “ESPN Big Monday” 9 p.m. tipoff vs. Texas on Feb. 4.

Attendance for this season’s opener against Mount Saint Mary’s was 8,336 (staged the night before the Texas football game) and a crowd of 6,038 showed for last Sunday’s win over Duquesne.

Bob Huggins wasn’t ranting about Thursday night’s low turnout, the smallest home crowd of his seven-year tenure at WVU. But when a reporter broached the topic, Huggins dismissed the excuse fans shouldn’t care to watch WVU face a mid-major opponent.

“We have this notion of what great fans we are—well, great fans come all the time,” the coach said. “Great fans come to see their team, they don’t come to see the other team.

“We do have some great fans, don’t get me wrong. But we obviously just don’t have 14,000 of them.”

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Comments

  • wes2003

    A few things

    1) Don't feed the trolls
    2) It's nice to actually watch a team that works together and enjoys playing with one another

    3) The attendance is what it is. There were small turnouts for games like this in the Final Four season. I live two and a half hours away and work until 6:00 every night. Sorry I can't make the trip for many weeknight games. Every other school in the B12 are in areas with hundreds of thousands of people within a half hour radius. It is a little unrealistic to expect sellouts when the majority of your fan base lives 2+ hours from the arena. Weeknight games at 7:00 aren't doable for most WV'ians.

  • MoMoney

    You reap what you sow, Bob Thuggins.

  • NJ MOUNTAINEER

    I try to support our university as much as possible. It is very expensive. I wish more fans would support our school, but understand from a finanical standpoint the cost today is not like it was. But we want to play with the "Big Boys", so I guess the high cost goes along with it.

    I have aken vacation days from work to travel to WVU games.

    I hope we as fans support our team no matter how good or bad they are.

    I get what coach is saying. Some fair weahter fans only come when a team is winning.

  • MoMoney

    Hey Big Bob,
    I had better things to do than watch the product you have fielded over the last few years. I had to shampoo my hair. I had to give the dog a bath. I had dishes to wash. I had laundry to do. I am not buying into your crappy product anymore. Looks like there are 9,000-10,000 people who think like me. People are tired of your product. They are tired of being continuously fleeced by the Athletic Department. There is very little parking around the Coliseum anymore, and what is there costs $20, when it used to be free. Most people won't drive 10 miles, then have to pay $20 for parking, $40 for a ticket, $5 for a hot dog and $5 for a Coke, and then have to sit thru a usual crappy performance from your team. No thanks. I'll stay home, not risk my life in traffic around the Coliseum, and watch an NFL football game on TV. And save my money.

    • GoEers

      good... I don't think anyone wants a troll like yourself there anyways

    • Mister Man

      You don't have to worry about traffic in Huntington.

    • Hailey

      Mo money, you better save yo money, I'm sure McDonalds doesn't pay real well ....and yes I will take a large fry with my order

  • Barrett

    I've always been amazed at WV fans. They piss me off and I love the Mountaineers!! Bitter and "everyone is againest us" mentality goes no where. I've sit and watched the football stadium clear out after half time because WV either isn't up by enough and the game is violating party time at Crockets or WV is getting thumped and "fans" quit.

    Tell me a better coach that would come and coach basketball at WV? Didn't Dana Altman take the job then back out before they got lucky...........yes got lucky with Beilein. Huggins is a winner. Do they pay him too much......probably. Will they win the Big 12 with him? Probably not but he loves the school and he is a whole lot better than Gale Catlett and Dana Altman. And John Beilen was going to figure it out sometime, it just so happened to be in Morgantown.

    WV has won nothing......fans want it so bad but they parallel South Carolina. S Carolina has never won anything in football but their sellouts started way before Spurrier and Holtz. They show up, party and support their team. Learn from them people.

    • MoMoney

      Don't let facts get in the way of a good rant. Facts are pesky little things, aren't they?
      Dana Altmann? He was Marshall's basketball coach. Never accepted a job at WVU and then resign. You might be thinking of a guy named Dan Dakish. He is such a good coach, that he is an ESPN radio commentator now. He cannot find a coaching gig.
      And you say about Thuggins, "he loves the school and he is a whole lot better than Gale Catlett". So that qualifies him to be WVU's basketball coach? What an IDIOT.

      • Barrett

        Dan Dakich..........159-144 yea he's a good one. Hasn't coached since 2008. You watch much basketball? Get used to the sweatsuits. Love the sweatsuit.

      • GoEers

        Bob Huggins took WVU to 5 straight NCAA tourneys and a Final Four in his first 6 years.

        Your jealous hate filled comments are that of a marshall troll.

        • Big Larry

          Thank you Mrs. Huggins!

          • GoEers

            Was that 2 losses in row by Marshall to Morehead St. and Stephen F. Austin? Haha!

            go marshall! Big larry's favorite team!

          • Hailey

            No, thank you Mrs Holiday

  • shawn

    EVERY ATHLETIC DEPT. IS OUT TO MAKE MONEY. THATS HOW YOU IMPROVE YOUR FACILITIES. YOU SHOULD GO LOOK AT A BUDGET FOR THE DEPT. JUST TO SEE WHERE ALL THE MONEY GOES AND WHERE IT COMES FROM.

  • wvtd

    it is to far to drive during the work week.

  • Aussie01

    A lot of the blame for the low turn out needs to
    go to Oliver Luck for his re-seating this year. I
    know from my experience. I had 2 season tickets for over 20 years in the upper deck and because I would not donate money in order to buy my tickets, my tickets were sold to someone else. If WVU is only about money, they will and are going to lose a lot of
    fans.

    • Rick S.

      Aussie, I think you are on to something. The average fan is being priced out of being able to attend basketball and football games. And forcing people to lose their long-time seats is not good customer relations and will result in losing them as fans.

      The current athletic business model focuses on catering to the wealthy, which probably works from a short-term financial standpoint. But WVU is supposed to be the flagship university for all the people of West Virginia, not just the wealthy. When attending a basketball or football game becomes economically out of reach for a large segment of fans, attendance should be expected to fall, which is what we are seeing.

      As for Coach Huggins and his statements, he is wealthy and probably does not even realize what life is like for the average West Virginian. He is able to live a different lifestyle than most of us.

      • WSC

        I am and have been a loyal Mountaineer fan for 35 years! I am not wealthy, I work HARD everyday, sometimes seven days a week, just to pay the bills! I would LOVE to be able to come support my team! Coach do you not realize how wonderful it be for me to see a game live! I got out my calculator and did some figuring! I live in Cabell county. It would take minimum $100. just in fuel, not to mention the parking, the tickets and oh yes I would have to eat! When I way those costs to rooting for MY team at home, well, that is a no brainer! So I turn on the radio and cheer at home! Oh, but let me
        see I can't get the broadcast now that money has taken over and I can't get the new stations! I wish you the best coaches, and |I love the Mountaineers, but get a clue!

        • Shadow

          Adopt your local high school team, they try hard, need your support, and you meet a lot of nice people. I have been doing it for 17 years and enjoyed every one.

      • Rock Solid

        @Rick S: I hear you about people not having the money to go to a college baketball game. Why don't they go get a job at the Ford or GM plants around the state? Maybe IBM or Exon are hiring. OH THAT"S RIGHT WVa doesn't have any industries to earn a decent wage. So let's blame WVU for no longer accepting food stamps for prime seats at games, and for trying to put a realistic value on their seats in stadiums and correct the nepotism that has gone on in WVa where just because you have had seats at mid court for twenty years but hardly contributed any money, while better contributors sit in less attractive seats and you think you are being slighted?? You deserve to sit in less attractive seats until you anti up. Yes it is about the money, it is in every place in the world. If you are making welfare wages don't expect anyone to feel for you when you don't get prime rib for dinner. Go outside WVa and see the real world, and stop bitching about your plight in life and how you can't measure up to pay WVU prices. You are the one who keeps voting for the losers we have in Charleston who are too stupid to invite industry back to WVa. You have what you deserve! Empty seats while fixing the eons old problem needs to be done. This ain't Obama welfare baby!! Find a better job and shut up.

        • Rock Solid

          What in the world is wrong with you people at Metro news? "Awaiting moderation"? Is there no one at Metro that has any testosterone left in their supposedly male bodiies that can handle the truth stated in my blog. Don't post it but it isn't going to change the truth. It just shows how sad you all are! Duh don't tell the truth you might get someone to start a revolution or something. We will just stay the backwoods hicks that we are, because we are too stupid to change.

  • rekterx

    Huggs just needs to suck it up and accept that he has to win back a lot of WVU fans who have grown weary of him and his program over the last three years.

  • Big Larry

    WVU's 13 heralded wins in 2012-2013

    Every one of these teams WVU last season beat were pitiful. Especially Texas Tech who beat WVU in the Tournament. Look these teams up and then look at their record and who they played and you will see how really bad they were.

    Marist
    VMI
    Marshall
    Virginia Tech
    Oakland
    Radford
    EKU
    Texas
    TCU
    Texas Tech
    Texas
    TCU
    Texas Tech

    QUESTION: How much has this teamed improved over last year?

    ANSWER: Two games…Look for the Mountaineers to win 15 games this year.
    Remember…it takes 4 years to learn Huggins complicated system.

    QUESTION: Can WVU win more than 15 games this season?

    ANSWER: Yes...anything is possible but it will be difficult.

    QUESTION: Will the fans be happy and keep buying tickets if the team only wins 15 games?

    ANSWER: Of Course...As long as Huggins is the coach. That is the only reason they come. They couldn't possibly be coming to watch a good WVU basketball team.

    But as a rule, people do not spend money to watch their favorite team consistently lose…Last night was proof of that and attendance figures usually don't lie.

    QUESTION: Will the WVU Basketball program ever recover after Huggins leaves?

    ANSWER: First of all, it probably will not be in our lifetime time that we see Huggins leave, at least not mine, but to answer the question…As a rule, it takes 5-10 years for a program to recover after it has fallen into the Abyss.

    • Wow

      Big Larry

      I knew you was a great football mind, now I find out your even a greater basketball mind. I have to get Mr. Luck to talk to you so we can get all the football and basketball woes fixed. Do you know this much about everything? I could use some help from an expert at work sometimes!!!

      • Steve

        He is a Marshall tool bag troll.

        He is what he is.

        • Billy

          He stated facts, you resorted to name calling and presented no facts nor did you try to disprove his. So who is a troll?

          • GoEers

            Hi Billy..here are some facts as noted by steve below:

            Big Larry what are you talking about? 4 years to learn Hugg's complicated system? They went to the Sweet 16 in his first year. They went to the Final Four in his 3rd year. He went to the NCAA tourney in 5 of the 6 years he's been at WVU. During that time his teams have beaten every team in the old Big East multiple times. They've also beaten duke, Kentucky, Arizona, Ohio state just to name a few.

          • GoEers

            and some more facts to add is that both you and big larry are marshall trolls...marshall lost to Stephen f. Austin and morehead state...you guys should probably stop commenting on WVU and worry about your own team

        • WSC

          Marshall has nothing to do with this! Blame Marshall for us losing, Hey TROLL, we don't even play them any more! Take that from a loyal MOUNTAINEER!

    • Steve

      Big Larry what are you talking about? 4 years to learn Hugg's complicated system? They went to the Sweet 16 in his first year. They went to the Final Four in his 3rd year. He went to the NCAA tourney in 5 of the 6 years he's been at WVU. During that time his teams have beaten every team in the old Big East multiple times. They've also beaten duke, Kentucky, Arizona, Ohio state just to name a few.

      We all know you're a miserable Marshall fan who hasn't seen the Herd play in the NCAA tourney in over 25 years. Yes that's right big Larry, Marshall has not played in the NCAA tourney since the Reagan administration lol!!

      Maybe you should start worry about coach Heroin or whatever his name is as well as Marshall's do nothing AD!
      What a sad, pathetic, jealous Marshall troll you are.

  • William

    Bob "Sweatsuit" Huggins Has been a BIG failure at WVU. The only time he has won at WVU was with Beilein players!
    He has been an embarrassment on and off the court, maybe that's the reason there was only 4,814 at game
    Many GREAT fans are not happy with the WVU athletic dept. when its ONLY about the MONEY
    Sweatsuit Huggins make over $10,000.00 dollars a day, WHAT A BIG JOKE. I will never give WVU a dime of my money!

    • Big Larry

      William...

      "Love your work"

      • Steve

        We all kind of figured you and William have a love affair with each other!

      • Neil

        Big Larry, I'll be looking for your resume at the end of the year. The new Head Football Coach. Thanks!

      • Hailey

        Big Larry, why don't you get a room with lil Willie

    • Graywv

      WOW! Theirs big larry spouting his great knowledge on sports(at marshall level) than comes the great looney william(also marshall fan) spouting his hate monologs! SUGGESTION for you two/e-mail each other and keep the rest of us in the dark pppplease.

      • GoEers

        they are probably one in the same...big larry needs to create a fake name so that someone will go along with his jealous hate filled rants

        what a sad/pathetic human being he is...this all starts at childhood from not getting enough attention

    • shawn

      William....WVU doesn't need or want your money. All they want you to do is move out of the state.

    • Big Fred

      How bout Big Larry as the new football coach and William as the new basketball coach. Big "man in black" Larry and Sweatsuit William.

  • richard

    he's right.

  • Pudge

    Two down years in football with a down year in basketball between with leave a mark. Fans won't show up just for the helluva it no matter how much coaches want them to.

    This ball team will have fans showing up soon enough. They seem to be much improved.

  • WVcoal

    Just win baby.

  • THE MEB

    Just maybe the great fans are tired of being dumped on by the Athletic Department. It could just be when you started charging $20 for parking, which here to fore was free, and then change the seating around to peeve your great fans even more, maybe, just maybe the reason we fans, who are only great if we show up, are being over priced. Even at that, if I thought the team had some potential, this not so great fan would have shown up anyway.

    • Alum

      The last sentence of your post just proved Huggs point.

    • Steve

      MEB you should ask that your post be deleted. It makes you look real really bad/sad.

    • Greg

      I pay $35 to park next to the stadium at a Carolina Panthers game each time. Twenty bucks sounds like a bargain to me! I don't like it but it sure beats the alternative of walking a country mile.

    • Ron

      I didn't pay anything to park at the basketball games and football games, I parked out on the road. I figure most of you guys need exercise, so park on the road and get some exercise walking to and from the games. It is not that far and you meet a lot of good people.