Athletic Director Shane Lyons stood behind the podium during the West Virginia media day session and answered questions about the cancellation of the upcoming game between the Mountaineers and North Carolina State.
“Obviously these decisions are not easy decisions to be made,” Lyons said. “There’s a lot of input from a lot of different people. We were waiting as long as we could to make this decision and it came this morning after talking to NC State and their officials.”
The game doesn’t look like its going to be rescheduled any time soon, according to Lyons.
“Looking at our schedule, it’s going to be very difficult. Looking at our dates, October 20th, I will not be scheduling a game on our off week. Anybody that knows football knows that I’m not going to play a game on Saturday and turn around and play Thursday night.”
The other open date is Dec. 3, which lines up with the Big XII Championship. Shane hopes the team will be in Dallas that weekend competing for a Big XII title.
The final potential scenario would involve flipping the series and have the Wolfpack travel to Morgantown this year, with the understanding that the Mountaineers would then go to Raleigh next season. Lyons made it clear that was not an option.
“You’re trying to sell 60,000 thousand tickets. You don’t have food for the concession areas. You don’t have the emergency response people on the books ready to go. It’s a lot more difficult than it sounds, logistically, to make things happen that way.”
So how will they fulfill the contract in a home and home series?
“As far as I’m concerned right now, we fulfilled the contract. I was planning on going there; I wanted to go there; we did everything in our power to go there,” Lyons said.
There’s not an open spot on West Virginia’s schedule until 2022, but the Mountaineers already have two P5 teams on the schedule that season with Pitt and Virginia Tech. The next availability is in 2024, but in again, there are two P5 teams lined up (Pitt and Penn State). 2025 is the next realistic year West Virginia could pencil NC State on a future schedule.