Shame on you, West Virginia University.
Shame on you, Marshall University.
And -as always -shame on you, ESPN.
But, when to comes to ESPN and the money it offers to televise a football game, there is no shame.
Last week, when Marshall University announced its 2010 football schedule, we learned that the annual Friends of Coal Bowl game between the Thundering Herd and the Mountaineers will take place on Friday night, Sept. 10, and that ESPN will televise the game nationally.
What's wrong with that? What's wrong with allowing our two state universities to shine in the national spotlight?
If this game were being played on any other night of the week, the answer would be there's nothing wrong.
But it is being played on Friday night and that is high school football night in the Mountain State.
You know what is going to happen on Sept. 10.
The die-hard high school football fans will go watch their favorite team. Virtually everybody else in the Mountain State - other than those fortunate enough to get a ticket to Joan C. Edwards Stadium - will sit in their living room and watch the WVU-MU game.
That means that high schools who are the home team that night will watch their gate -and their entire athletic program -suffer as a result.
It's no secret that at most high schools there is only one sport that generates revenue -football. Thus, it must pay the bills for all the other prep sports.
Most high school teams have five home games to make that money. Take away even one and a school easily could be looking at an athletic financial crisis.
I know if I was a West Virginia high school athletics director, I seriously would consider not playing that night and moving the game to either Thursday or Saturday.
Yes, that takes the team out of its weekly routine. But that might be a better alternative than playing a game before a sparse crowd and taking a huge financial hit.
It's a tough call. One that high school athletics directors shouldn't have to make, but they have been placed in this position by ESPN, WVU and MU.
That's not right, but it's the way it is and the way it is going to be.
Like the high schools, colleges need money to fund their athletic departments.
When ESPN or any other network makes an offer to televise a game, it virtually can dictate the time and date it will be played.
Just once I would love for two schools requested to play on a Friday night to say no, thank you, Friday night is reserved for the high schools that serve as our feeder systems.
That's unlikely to happen, but if two schools did it, they might gain more in the positive publicity they would get than the check ESPN writes them for playing on Friday night.
Contact Dave Poe at email@example.com