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Asti: Criticize Neal Brown, Don’t Accuse Him of Not Caring About West Virginia

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va – No one likes to lose. That’s a pretty safe analysis to make about the population as a whole.

If people liked to lose, losing wouldn’t mustard up so many emotions. “I don’t like to lose,” is something West Virginia football head coach Neal Brown literally said when he was asked about the losing season the Mountaineers have been enduring this year. Some could argue that’s such an obvious statement that it should’ve gone without having to say while others may liked hearing it, just to feel the head coach of the team they care so much about cares as much as they do.

In reality, and for all the criticism that is valid, and there’s plenty that is fair, especially in year four, it’s absurd to criticize Brown by claiming he doesn’t care and that he isn’t hurt by losing. He hasn’t made excuses, and even makes sure to state his team’s immense injury list can not be used as an excuse for poor play.

Brown has made a point to repeatedly mention he is tuning out the noise, initially done in direct response to my question about what Pat McAfee had to say, and then again after the loss to Iowa State on his own. “It is not personal,” Brown said when referencing the social media venom that’s often directed his way.

West Virginia Football HC Neal Brown Responds to Pat McAfee’s Comments About Team

And Brown is right. What people are saying about him on social media, most notably the hate or jokes, wouldn’t exist if he was just some guy. Unfortunately, dealing with criticism and even hate that goes way too far comes with the territory of being in a high profile position like the head football coach at a major university with a rabid fan base like WVU. It also comes along with making upwards of $4 million a year and having a buyout that exceeds $16 million. The average person doesn’t get hate for failing at their job, but the average person doesn’t make that kind of money and the average person isn’t exposed to the pubic at the large through the fame their job provides.

But attempting to tune out the negativity is what Brown has to do. Doing anything else would likely drive him crazy more than any loss could. “It doesn’t make anybody feel good,” added the 42-year-old coach about losing far more than he expected to since taking over at WVU, especially this season.

Asti: Neal Brown, West Virginia Football Should Tune Out Noise

One thing is for certain, Brown has had more sleepless nights about what’s happened on the field for West Virginia than most fans. He has said the Texas Tech game is the only game he feels the necessary effort was missing. It’s clear that game bothers him the most. It’s not the only time WVU has been blown out under Brown, but it was definitely a night his team never appeared to have a chance at all, losing 48-10. His WVU tenure has been marred with close losses or defeats with controversy too. The Backyard Brawl and the loss to TCU being two recent examples. “If that’s not pass interference, I don’t know what is,” Brown was quoted as complaining following a pass interference call that was not made late against the Horned Frogs.

All of that together has to be incredibly frustrating for a man who has experienced success in his career before coming to WVU and professed that he would bring the program back to glory, something that most fans, media and former players felt he was the right man to do just that upon being hired.

It very well might be best for the WVU program to move on from Brown. And even though making a decision to fire a head coach of a college program does come with some complexities, it’s tough to argue that it wouldn’t be the right call with the team in the midst of a decline and unable to even guarantee being competitive against other struggling teams.

Asti: The Pros, Cons to Removing a Head Coach for West Virginia

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