Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

The State of WVU Tech

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

The State of WVU Tech

Article excerpt

Kenny is always getting killed in "South Park."

And it isn't easy for the Kenny in Montgomery either.

When he came back from the Christmas break, WVU Tech athletic director Kenny Howell found his basketball court partially submerged. A water leak had warped about a sixth of the court and he was staring at a $23,000 bill. Hopefully, insurance can take care of the court. But Howell has other issues in front of him.

Always.

Perhaps never have I seen a school that struggles so mightily with its sports identity. First, it's in the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Then it's out. Then it joins the Mid-South Conference. Then it reapplies to the WVIAC. Then, it's out of the Mid-South. Now, it's in something called the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

Oh, and the school is also set to move to Beckley.

Got it? Maybe. Maybe not. But let's hope Howell and his school's program can find some stability in the near future. The effort is certainly being put forth in Year 1 of the KIAC. (Pronounced by Howell as the "key-ack.) The school had been an independent NAIA team without an affiliation.

"We couldn't be happier now, Howell said. "It's been three years since we were in an actual conference. It was getting harder and harder to put together schedules.

"You have a 30-game basketball schedule. You not only have to put it together, but make it financially feasible. A lot of schools wanted to host us, but no one wanted to come to Montgomery.

In the old Mid-South days, Tech had trouble recruiting against private schools like Georgetown and Lindsey Wilson. I kidded Howell, asking why Tech doesn't have athletic endowments like those schools.

"We do, he replied. "It's the same as our coffee fund.

OK, so let's reset. You know Tech is now in the KIAC. If you're wondering how the Golden Bears fit in the league, know they were picked to finish fourth within the KIAC's men's basketball Colonial Division - seventh overall.

Which brings us to the subject of location.

"If everything is a go legislatively, Howell said, "we'll have freshman classes in both Montgomery and Beckley in 2016. There will be no athletics in Beckley for the year except clubs and intramurals. …

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