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WVU AD Wren Baker: I Told Heather Lyke We Want to Play



WVU AD Wren Baker on Backyard Brawl

West Virginia Director of Athletics Wren Baker has made his stance clear when it comes to the future of Backyard Brawls.

Baker, during a scheduled appearance with the WVU media, said there’s a “willingness” from West Virginia to extend the Backyard Brawl on the gridiron. But he didn’t stop there, further saying that he supports continuing the brawl in every sport.

“I’ve told her (Pitt AD Heather Lyke) we want to play, we want to play as much and as long as they want to play,” Baker said Wednesday. 

It’s not the first time Baker has expressed an interest in playing Pitt since he arrived as WVU’s new AD in November. His comments also come not long after WVU head coach Neal Brown talked about what the Backyard Brawl means to him and how he believes the Brawl should be played every season.

As the college football landscape has continued to change over the last couple of years, the topic of schedules often arises. Baker specified that his ideal non-conference football schedule would only include one Power Five program, and after promoting the idea of playing Pitt every season, it appears WVU prioritizes playing Pitt — and continuing to do so — over other notable rivalries.

Pitt and WVU renewed the Backyard Brawl last season at Acrisure Stadium, after over a decade of inactivity, and it was the largest crowd in stadium history — for a sporting event. The Pitt-WVU game at Milan-Puskar Stadium next month should hold the same level of significance and fan excitement.

But Pitt and WVU have played on the court, with a game scheduled this December in men’s basketball and this November in women’s basketball, and if Baker gets his way, the Backyard Brawl will continue to be played on the field, on the pitch, on the court and everywhere in between.

It’s a stark contrast to the way Pitt’s other rivals have approached scheduling further games in the future.

This story originally appeared on PSN’s sister site WV Sports Now

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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1 month ago

When I was a kid I looked forward to Pitt, WVU, PSU every year, those games were an annual highlight of my fall. Kids today have barely gotten a taste of how intense a rivalry with a nearby school can be. What a shame. This isn’t good for the future of the game. I hope there is some type of major interdiction soon that will rearrange these conferences geographically otherwise interest will dwindle.

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