Wheeling Hall of Fame Grows Today


Seven additions to the shrine will be inducted today at a banquet at WesBanco Arena.

While all seven have outstanding credentials for the award, I would like to focus on the three living inductees because I am most familiar with them and their background.

First, it’s appropriate that DENNY MAGRUDER is being recognized inside WesBanco Arena, the home of the Hall of Fame.

It’s also where Magruder has called his professional “home” since 1986 as the executive director of the public facility.

Besides his arena duties, Magruder has taken on the role of running the renovated Capitol Music Hall, a staple of the downtown area for many years before falling idle over needed repairs and a change in ownership.

When one views downtown Wheeling, it’s rather obvious the three most positive public venues are the arena, Capitol and the Heritage Port.

And Magruder runs two of those venues as well as working with events at the Heritage Port. Being one of the major players in bringing a wide variety of events to the area is why Magruder is aptly dubbed “Mr. Entertainment” for Wheeling.

He’s gone the extra mile in working for his home community and the area and has earned this award the old fashion way – with hard work and vision.

That includes working with him on the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference Hall of Fame and Sports Museum inside the arena, a project unmatched anywhere in West Virginia or the tri-state area.

Second, I’ve always called JACK FAHEY “Mayor” out of respect for the office he held when the Hall of Fame project got underway.

He has served his community, and area, in several capacities on the city, county and state levels. He’s a public servant from a well-known family of workers and volunteers for the public good.

He, like Magruder, are also avid sports fans and supporters of area sports-related projects.

The “Mayor” has a legacy of caring for his hometown community and one that is deserving of this special honor.

Third, I don’t know the MOST REV. BERNARD W. SCHMITT but I do know his role, and position, has earned him the admiration of numerous people who do know the only Wheeling native to serve as the Bishop of the Wheeling-Charleston Diocese.

He has been a positive role model not only for his faith but for thousands of others in the community.

By the way, all three honorees share a common education thread – they all graduated from Central Catholic High School.

They will be joined in the Hall by four deceased honorees – ELIZABETH STIFEL KLINE, GEORGE LUTZ, RALPH KITCHEN, and JAMES REEVES.

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First-year West Virginia University athletics director OLIVER LUCK may be opening up a can of suds with his proposal to sell alcoholic drinks inside Puskar Stadium during home football games.

Bad idea.

There’s a reason,

(1) The NCAA bans alcoholic drinks at its championship or sponsored events.

(2) More than 90 Division I NCAA colleges don’t permit alcoholic drinks to be sold to the public inside stadiums during football games.

(3) Alcoholic advertisements are banned at most college facilities where the majority of students are not of legal age.

At WVU, a soldout Puskar Stadium is the largest “city” in the Mountain State and is TWICE as large, with 60,000 persons, as the city of Wheeling.

Making that large of a group, which includes about 10,000 underage students, have access to alcoholic drinks is not wise for several reasons. That grouping has several thousand drivers who leave the stadium area following the game. Does the term “DUI” come to mind?

In other words, the college sporting events, for at least a couple of hours, should be about the game. The social tailgating before, and after, the event are fine as long as legal consumption is permitted. The law should be upheld no matter the location.

But expanding the availability inside the stadium during the game would add to any potential problems, especially in the area of security and police work.

The WVU powers-that-be are rather hypocritical in the regard they don’t like the “party school” image for WVU portrayed in some national publications but they want to increase the party atmosphere during the games.

And, please don’t insult our intelligence about this suggested move not being about the money generated from beer sales.

It’s all about the money. Especially the money needed to bolster WVU athletic department funds depleted by the over-payment for a new football coaching staff.

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Enjoy the weekend.