Fire Bill Stewart campaign gathering serious steam



Well, ladies and gentlemen, if this isn’t a case of “it hitting the fan”, then, I honestly have no idea what is at this point.

Stories from the Daily Athenaeum and the Charleston Daily Mail are talking about a guy selling “Fire Bill Stewart” t-shirts and other merchandise.

From the Daily Mail…

"CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia Mountaineer Football Coach Bill Stewart has come under fire after consecutive losses to Syracuse and the University of Connecticut, but one fan has taken his criticism a big step further.Vince Skolny has started the “Leave No Doubt, Tell Oliver Luck How You Feel” online marketing campaign. Luck is the WVU athletic director.Skolny is marketing T-shirts and other items such as insulated beverage holders demanding that Stewart be fired. The items are sold on the website.Skolny, 39, of Morgantown, is a 1995 graduate of WVU who received his bachelor’s degree in economics. He said he became a big fan of the Mountaineers after starting school at WVU in 1992.Before that, he attended classes at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh.Skolny’s criticism of Stewart is nothing new, and he has been advocating for the coach’s dismissal for some time. He added that he was “apprehensive” about the athletic department’s decision to hire Stewart immediately after his Fiesta Bowl victory.“I’ve been dissatisfied with him before we started this little losing skid,” he said.Skolny recently began selling the T-shirts and other trinkets on his website. He estimates that he has sold a “couple of hundred” shirts and other items already.“‘Leave no doubt’ kind of became the trademark of this marketing campaign,” he said. “We will not settle for mediocrity.”"

So, he’s trying to make a few bucks off the fans angry with Coach Stewart. That’s fine by me. This is America, and in the current economy, you have to do what you can to make ends meet.

Further on in the Daily Mail article…

"But, Skolny has promised he will donate 25 percent of the profits from sales to the Mountaineer Athletic Club. However, he was not sure if the organization would accept the money.Skolny has also received some hate mail for his stance against Stewart. One person called him a traitor to the state and the university.“They told me that Coach Stewart bled blue and gold, and that’s probably true,” he said.The worst response Skolny received had nothing to do with his message. Instead, it had to do with the fact that he sent a student an unsolicited e-mail.“That person cussed me out,” he said.Skolny said he plans on continuing to run his website and blog until the university fires Stewart or the marketing campaign ceases to become effective."

Regardless, this guy (Skolny) isn’t going anywhere until Stewart is shown the door. And, there was a response from the MAC (Mountaineer Athletic Club) pertaining to his 25% pledge to them.

Daily Athenaeum

"The Mountaineer Athletic Club will not accept a donation from a local entrepreneur who developed shirts and other items in an attempt to fire West Virginia head coach Bill Stewart.Originally, Vince Skolny, a 1995 WVU graduate in economics, said 25 percent of his profits would be given to the MAC. On Tuesday, though, Skolny said MAC executive director Niles Eggleston asked to have “all reference to it removed.”The MAC did not want any reference to its organization on the website.In reaction to that request, Skolny, based on the recommendation of his legal adviser, changed his website to read “Leave No Doubt plans to donate 25% of all net profit to the Mountaineer Athletic Club (if it’ll take the money).”The website also has a disclaimer which reads: “The Mountaineer Athletic Club (MAC) disavows association with Leave No Doubt and any intention to donate any revenue from Leave No Doubt sales should not be construed as the MAC’s approval, tacit or otherwise, of Leave No Doubt, which is not affiliated with or endorsed by West Virginia University, the Mountaineer Athletic Club, Oliver Luck, or head coach Bill Stewart. Ken Kendrick may or may not.”"

Yeah, there’s some serious heat here.

The thing that disturbs me the most from these articles isn’t the money portion at all… it’s the following quote from Coach Stew himself, lifted from the DA Article:

"Stewart said Tuesday he does not know of fans’ dismay with him.“If I don’t know about it, it obviously doesn’t affect me,” Stewart said. “I just don’t have much time to give to that … But, I’m sure there’s a lot of things being said. That’s the right of Americans. We have the right to our opinions.”"

That just reeks of ignorance and stubbornness.

Brace yourselves, Mountaineer football fans, this is going to be a turbulent 2-3 months.