THE TITLE sponsorship of the Capital Classic basketball series runs out with Wednesday night's game. Chesapeake Energy is finishing a five-year, $200,000 contract for the naming rights.
WVU and Marshall split all Capital Classic revenue after the bills are paid, and the $40,000 Chesapeake has ponied up annually is part of that. Toyota, the previous title sponsor before Chesapeake's 2007-11 run, paid $28,000 annually to put its name on the Civic Center series.
Mike Parsons, West Virginia's deputy athletic director, said negotiations with Chesapeake for an extension with the state rivalry series are alive and well, and a deal could be announced soon, perhaps even by tipoff Wednesday night.
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WITH ANOTHER sellout -- the 12th year in a row the Herd and Mountaineers have done that in Charleston -- the schools should eventually realize about $140,000 apiece from the doubleheader.
The Classic revenue for each school was approximately $139,000 last year, up slightly from $136,000 in January 2009. That figure has climbed about $25,000 each year since 2004.
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THE STATE of the in-state series is in a sorry state, if you're looking for some Mountain State players who would share the passion for the game like much of the populace.
The state has no recruited scholarship players in either game of the doubleheader Wednesday. On the men's side, this marks the fifth consecutive year that no recruited scholarship player from either team hails from the Mountain State.
In that span, the only in-state player who went on a grant-in-aid immediately for either school was Marshall's Adam Williams, the former high school player of the year from St. Albans. Williams played 8 and 3 minutes, respectively, in the 2008 and '09 Classic games, but only after he had transferred from Kentucky.
The last in-state players to make a significant impact on the series played their last Capital Classic in January 2006 - WVU's Kevin Pittsnogle from Martinsburg and the Herd's Mark Patton from Cabell Midland.
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THE MEETING of the in-state foes is the 20th consecutive in the series at the Civic Center, and the game has become a staple for the teams while sandwiched into their conference schedules.
In those 20 seasons (counting 2010-11), the Classic was played only once before the teams began league play, in December 1996.
Only five of the 16 Big East men's teams had non-conference dates once league play began this season - and all games except Marshall-WVU are national TV dates: Connecticut against Texas and Tennessee, St. John's facing Duke and UCLA, Maryland at Villanova, Xavier at Cincinnati, and this past Sunday's Purdue-West Virginia game.
Besides Marshall with non-league foes WVU and Savannah State, the only Conference USA teams with schedules that interrupt 16 league games belong to Tulsa (Arizona State), Memphis (Gonzaga) and Southern Mississippi (Loyola of New Orleans).
Contact Sports Editor Jack Bogaczyk at ja...@dailymail.com or 304-348-7949.