Current West Virginia University athletic director, Shane Lyons, announced last week that WVU had finalized a deal with the University of Pittsburgh to renew the Backyard Brawl. The four game series will start in 2022 in Pittsburgh and continue until 2025.
While there have been rumors surrounding the renewal of the rivalry there has apparently been some misconceptions as to who was truly blocking the deal. Metro News first reported that in 2013 the two schools were close to finalizing a deal that would renew the Brawl in 2016. However, according to information received by Metro News then WVU AD Oliver Luck did not finalize the deal.
To make this revelation even more interesting, Pitt signed a home and home series with Marshall starting in 2016, the same timeframe for which Pitt was negotiating with WVU. The original deal according to the article was for a 6 game series between the two schools and then Pitt head coach Paul Chryst had signed off on the deal.
A side not to this development, sources close to Marshall have contended that a renewed rivalry between the Herd and the Mountaineers is “very unlikely” for the foreseeable future. The source went on to say it was not a matter of money that was negating the series. However he would not elaborate further. While Mountaineer fans are seemingly split on renewing the Friends of Coal Bowl the Mountaineers do not have much space left on their future schedules to accommodate a game with Marshall.
While it is not immediately clear why Oliver Luck did not finalize the deal it does show that Pitt was willing to negotiate. Regardless of past relationships, both schools new AD’s have seem to put the past behind them and are moving forward.
You can see WVU’s future schedules HERE