This past Saturday was the start of a new era in college football in Morgantown. From everything I have heard, the visiting Baylor fans had a good time in their first trip to our state.
There were no stories about harassment of visitors, no stories of bad sportsmanship or boorish behavior on the part of any fans from our state.
Give President Jim Clements, athletics director Oliver Luck and their staffs credit for making a specific and conscious effort to attack the image that fans in Morgantown are not friendly to guests. In years past, it seemed there was a shrugging of the shoulders at bad behavior, and it was enabled by saying "well it happens everywhere."
That should not be acceptable. Yes, it does happen in many other places, but it does not have to happen in our state.
Give the new WVU administration credit for trying to change the culture.
They are trying to make it "uncool" to be a jackass to visiting fans at the stadium. I think it is working. Playing in a new league gives WVU a chance at a fresh start and to get rid of the combative, couch-burning image.
Last week, the Charleston Daily Mail ran a photo of a Maryland game from several years ago. In the picture, a college-aged Mountaineers fan was verbally harassing a college-aged Terrapin fan as he walked to the stadium. The administration hopes that type of scene will not happen in the future.
This weekend. WVU will play at Texas. I have a feeling fans in this state will have a great time in Austin. If my past experience in Austin is any indication, Mountaineers fans will also find Texas fans to be some of the friendliest and classiest hosts in the country.
There are other states with great reputations as fan bases. None better than Nebraska. That hospitality in Nebraska is one of the reasons why the College World Series has stayed in Omaha for so many years.
Oliver Luck is hoping WVU and our state can develop the same type of reputation. Give Luck credit for seeing the problem and trying to fix it. Last weekend was a step in the right direction.