You hear a lot about fans and their feelings on the Backyard Brawls with West Virginia. But in a Q&A with USA Today, Pitt point guard Tray Woodall talked about the rivalry ... particularly, playing road games at West Virginia. This was Woodall's response about his favorite road environment:
Carrier Dome (Syracuse). They fit the most people in there. I would also say West Virginia, but we don't play them anymore. I love West Virginia. It gets crazy with West Virginia and is nowhere near the same with anyone else. It's different. I know their fans don't get anywhere near as rowdy as they get with us. It goes back before my years. But I don't even think they understand why they don't like us. They just don't like us because they felt they were told that. It's ridiculous. It got to the point where it was just unsafe. It should not get that bad. It's crazy. Throwing stuff at us, spilling drinks. I was like, "What's up? This is crazy." ... They are throwing stuff on the floor — quarters, popcorn. I'm glad we came out on the other side and not the same side as the student section or it would have probably gone down.I've never gone to a basketball game in Morgantown, so I can't talk from personal experience. Because of that, some of the stories from Pitt fans I've heard about threats of violence and being harassed, I tend to take with a grain of salt. But when the players start coming out with these types of stories, it's a lot more credible.
I can't even imagine a player able to concentrate (let alone playing well) if the concerns about their safety are even that great. Frankly, I'm one who will miss the Backyard Brawls in both sports. As long as fans can remain level-headed and things don't get out of control, rivalries are supposed to be a bit hateful. But if the players really have those types of concerns about their own welfare, maybe it's best if the series at least takes a short hiatus.