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Shane Lyons appears on WV MetroNews, blasts West Virginia president Gordon Gee

The former West Virginia athletic director did not hold back in his interview this morning!

NCAA Football: Kansas at West Virginia Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

Hoppy Kercheval sat down with former West Virginia Mountaineers athletic director Shane Lyons in an interview that quickly went from boring to scorched earth. Asked about a wide range of topics, Lyons did not hold back on his feelings.

The interview began with Lyons claiming he was used as a scapegoat by West Virginia University President E. Gordon Gee and Interim Athletic Director Rob Alsop, who then approached the WVU Board of Governors. Lyons noted that two weeks prior to his dismissal, he received a text message from Gee seemingly affirming his commitment to Lyons and the direction of the WVU football program.

Lyons later went on to say there was a push to have Country Roads Trust promoted by the West Virginia coaching staff and the program itself, but refused to cross that line due to the fear of possibly opening the athletic department to Title IX action.

The interview concluded with Lyons reaffirming his commitment to Neal Brown, stating that he viewed the 2022 season as “year two” and that he would have brought Brown back in 2023.

Here are some of the most noteworthy quotes from the interview:

On Neal Brown:

“People don’t see behind the scenes which, as an Athletic Director, you do. Last week proved a point that he had not lost his team. You’re in the locker room. You’re around the student athletes. They played very, very hard at a tough place to play”, said Shane Lyons. “Is it where we need to be? The answer is no. We were looking for seven or eight wins. Did they meet expectations? No. At the same time, a couple plays go our way and we’re sitting at seven wins and we’re not having this conversation. The first couple years and what Neal Brown took over and the players he had and throw COVID in there, I look at this as Year Two for Neal Brown.”

Year Two. This seems like a very tough stance to take for Mountaineer fans who no longer care about COVID, transfer portal or any other excuse, no when the coach is in his fourth year and has a losing record in three of them.

On Neal in 2023:

“If I was still sitting in that chair today, yeah, I would. I think he checks every box we’re looking for in a head coach. Unfortunately, the big box is he needs to win more football games. I believe that’s coming in the future.”

No thank you, bringing back a coach who is 22-25 and hasn’t won is suddenly going to fix everything? As the interview shows, Lyons was intertwined with Brown and was going to do everything he could to keep him. It ultimately appears to have cost him his job.

On the Transfer Portal and Country Roads Trust:

“Based on the discussion with President Gee, he thought we needed to be more aggressive in that area. Something else that came up in the conversation was the transfer portal. The transfer portal is not the Athletic Director’s responsibility. It’s our coaches and our assistant coaches that recruit from the portal.”

And that appears to be the death knell. Refusal to be involved in any sort of program that would help the student-athletes and keep West Virginia competitive was the ultimate straw that broke the camel’s back. It has been reported that Shane was very much a compliance officer and did not like to muddy the waters and refused to do so.