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State senator questions WVIAC probe

Sharpe wants all documents concerning Glenville State football, other investigations released

by John G. Miller


(June 23) State Senator William Sharpe said Glenville State has not received a "fair hearing" from the West Virginia Conference and is asking league commissioner Barry Blizzard to allow him to view records pertaining to the investigation of the school's football program.

"I know there have to be rules," Sharpe said. "But, it has to be fair and equitable.

"I don't think that's been the case. I don't think Glenville's had a chance to present its case."

Blizzard said Glenville would have its chance during the appeal process. He also said that until the appeal is heard, he couldn't comment on the investigation.

"When anything's under appeal I can't comment on the aspects of the investigation," Blizzard said. "Really, both parties can't comment.

"We believe due process is a very important part of our system."

Sharpe says in his letter to Blizzard that he and many others believe the WVIAC's investigation is flawed.

He's asked Blizzard to provide the following:

n A copy of any written notice given to Glenville that it was being investigated and for what allegations.

n A copy of the league's standards for penalties for various rules infractions.

n A listing of any prior cases in which the WVIAC has put a member school on probation.

n A response to whether Glenville has ever been given an opportunity to answer the allegations.

n A list of any of the college presidents who Blizzard conferred with before making his decision.

n A log of investigations of any alleged rules violations done by the WVIAC during Blizzard's tenure including a summary of the action taken by the league in response to each allegation.

Sharpe believes Glenville State and its nationally-known football program have played pivotal roles in the area's recent resurgence.

Sharpe said, "While I do not attribute the upswing being experienced in the community of Glenville to the Pioneer football program entirely, I do believe that it has had a very positive impact on general community attitudes."

Sharpe added, "It is my opinion that the solution to this problem may require enactment of legislation to protect this sort of thing from happening again.

"Indeed, it is unfortunate that the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference cannot establish a procedure of handling matters of this nature that is compliant with even the most crude and basic understanding of due process of law."

Sharpe's letter indicated copies were being distributed to Gov. Cecil Underwood, senate leaders, other legislators from the district, WVIAC college presidents, Glenville State President William K. Simmons and Athletic Director Steve Harold and prominent Glenville businessmen I.L. Morris and Philip A. Reale.