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Former WVU AD Shane Lyons Offers Honest Feelings About Neal Brown, Football Program

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In his first interview since being removed as West Virginia’s athletic director, Shane Lyons opened up about his true feelings about several topics surrounding the WVU football program right now.

Lyons appeared on the WV Metro News Talkline with host Hoppy Kercheval Monday morning to discuss his honest evaluation of the state of the program, head coach Neal Brown, the win at Oklahoma State in the final game of the season and the impact making a coaching change could have on the future of the Mountaineers.

“People don’t see behind the scenes, which as AD you do. I think last week proved a point that I felt strongly when I was AD that he had not lost this team,” Lyons said when asked about how he feels Brown has been doing at WVU. He then touched on what his expectations were entering the 2022 football season.

“Is it where we need to be? The answer is no. We were looking at probably 7 or 8 wins this year. So did it meet our expectations? No. Did it meet Neal Brown’s expectations? No,” Lyons admitted.

Lyons even explained what he would do if still WVU athletic director concerning Brown’s status. “You make a coaching change, you’re taking 3 years backward steps. You’re not moving forward. You’re going to lose kids to the portal. You’re going to lose a very good recruit class that he has right now,” said Lyons, making it clear he would retain Brown if it was still his decision.

The West Virginia native, who accepted a position to return for a second tenure at Alabama, even gave his feelings about the state and the university he has degrees from.

“I’ll always be a West Virginian. Can’t take that away from me. West Virginia University…I’m still gonna support. I’m disappointed the loyalty to some people…” Kercheval then followed up and got Lyons to pin point a big name he was referring to.

“There will be bitterness there,” said Lyons. Then when asked if he meant WVU president Dr. Gordon Gee: “Yes.” He then added, “They call themselves friends and did blindside. That’s not the way I do business.”

It’s safe to say, Lyons did not appreciate his firing and was not about to make a football coaching change if he was still guiding the athletic program. It’s also safe to say, and this is no surprise, the decision to part ways with Lyons was about football above all else. While we may never truly know all the details of what went on in the days leading up to WVU deciding to move on from Lyons and his comments are only one side of the story, it will now remain to be seen if those still in place leading WVU athletics feel the same way he does about Brown and the future of the program.

 

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