In his first post-election press conference Governor-elect Jim Justice fielded questions about the future of the WVU/ Marshall series. While Justice stopped short of saying it would not happen he did allude to the fact that Marshall is not currently in a state to compete with the Mountaineers. When asked about whether the two should meet again on the football field Justice replied with the following,
“Well, you know, right now, Marshall’s got some real issues athletically, and we’ve got to get that back on balance first and foremost.”
The two schools have not played against each other in football since 2012. Also, the basketball series was not renewed following last season. Justice, a Marshall alum, did say he wanted what was best for both universities. At this time it does not seem a renewal of the Friends of Coal Bowl is in the best interest of either schools according to Justice’s statements.
The series was originally renewed in part due to then Governor Joe Manchin and was met with stern resistance from fans from both schools. And while the topic of renewing the rivalry has died in recent years it would only take a single act of legislation to renew the controversial game.
The Mountaineers finished their regular season 10-2 while the Herd finished 3-9.