March 4, 2024

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COLUMN: Mesidor felt unsafe on WVU campus | WVU Mountaineers

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MORGANTOWN — At initial look, Akheem Mesidor’s goodbye information to the lovers of West Virginia was incredibly considerably like what is speedily approaching a hundred of so other goodbye messages from Mountaineer athletes as they enter the transfer portal, except for a cryptic, relating to passage buried down in the vicinity of the finish.

Immediately after going through what has come to be an sector large regular for this sort of social media bulletins, thank yous to all of these who have aided together the way, Mesidor hinted at what pushed him into the portal and it was indeed troubling to read through:

“Despite the the latest media conference and public speculation, I have made a decision to transfer for my overall effectively becoming and in pursuit of a much better environment for my development on and off the subject. These previous 48 several hours have been exceptionally demanding and at situations I have felt unsafe on campus.”

The italics are mine and placed there for emphasis.

Naturally, anything experienced transpired in the earlier two days to force Mesidor out the doorway and into the portal.

Mesidor’s point out of protection comes just a few of months soon after a teammate, basic safety Saint McLeod, was stabbed in a downtown incident. An investigation of that incident and what it was about and who the instigator was remains in development.

No arrest has been made.

Questioned about the demand that Mesidor felt unsafe on campus, WVU athletic director Shane Lyons claimed:

“Student security is a focal stage for each device on this campus. West Virginia University performs every day to present a safe and sound natural environment for all its pupils. I was amazed to read through Akheem’s remarks. Our coaching team functions tirelessly to give an surroundings in which our student-athletes can get to their complete likely on and off the area. A positive student-athlete experience will generally be the precedence in our division.”

Experienced the knife attack entered into his selection or experienced there been an incident involving Mesidor that created him experience unsafe? The tweet experienced occur right after Neal Brown’s press convention, so Mesidor obviously experienced currently made his conclusion and it was general public.

No matter what it was, it certainly experienced to be one thing of significance to have him react so immediately and decisively.

Or was it merely a ruse, anything to deflect anger and blame getting solid upon Mesidor?

Since NIL was initiated, gamers have started working with brokers and they generally immediate what is remaining composed into their exit Tweets, which is why they all go through very a lot the exact same. This just one, even so, provided up criticism of the WVU ecosystem and hinted at a basic safety issue.

That was uncommon and properly could have been positioned in the Tweet to give Mesidor a reason for leaving other than basic greed.

Normally, transfers are initiated to get a lot more playing time, because of a difficulty with a mentor and participant, to broaden NIL choices in this brave new planet we have entered into, because of homesickness, even to get closer to a girlfriend or boyfriend.

Did all or any of that play a portion in the choice or was it simply a element of what is the new truth in the activity, that being other school’s coaches “tampering” with gamers on scholarship somewhere else. The principles are that when a player enters the transfer portal, other educational facilities can descend on him as if they ended up a faculty of piranha.

But if he has not entered the portal, they can not actively recruit him.

Could someone have gotten to Mesidor and persuaded him, his mother and father or his brokers to make the leap? It will be attention-grabbing to see wherever he lands and if there is a coach at that faculty who has collected in other WVU players.

If, having said that, WVU truly didn’t generate the very best surroundings for Mesidor to develop on and off the subject or if he was manufactured to seriously feel unsafe on campus, the challenge stretches far past the walls of the athletic section and belongs in the hands of the President’s business and the campus police.

The magnitude of the circumstance was these kinds of that it drove a wedge into what was seemingly a sturdy, binding participant-mentor connection in between Brown and Mesidor.

When Neal Brown recruited Mesidor, a Canadian with limitless possible but not a great offer of knowledge, Mesidor was attending Clearwater Academy in Florida and was not a 4- or 5-star prospect.

Brown, on the other hand, favored what he noticed and eagerly pursued Mesidor. It is mentioned that he flew to Clearwater to communicate to him and, that same day, jumped back again on a plane and flew to Canada to communicate with his mothers and fathers.

He and his personnel, alongside with the campus he now finds “unsafe,” received Mesidor more than, worked with him, took his physical abilities and molded them into a soccer player, one who would gain ESPN Freshman All-American position as a relentless pass rusher.

It was explained that he was not thrilled having to engage in inside when Darius Stills remaining very last calendar year, sensation it cut down on his major participate in capability and, with it, his marketability to the NFL, but there in no way have been public grievances.

Very the opposite, in reality.

He was always an amiable, willing participant in media periods, intelligent and effectively spoken, under no circumstances featuring up any indicator that he was anything but staying content as a West Virginia Mountaineer.

How significantly Brown cared for the particular person who is Akheem Mesidor was apparent in the emotion he confirmed in saying the defensive tackle’s departure, stating he was “hurt” and “sad.”

That was stark a 180 from the way he experienced publicly depicted other defections, supplying up only that he wished them perfectly in the future that the crew would transfer forward with a up coming male up frame of mind.

He took this individually and definitely would welcome an investigation into what went into generating Mesidor’s determine to transfer.

Follow @bhertzel on Twitter

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