CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The House of Delegates wants to make sure the annual WVU-Marshall football game continues.
Between the lengthy readings of bills on the House floor Thursday, members found time to pass several resolutions, including one asking that West Virginia and Marshall universities continue their annual "Friends of Coal Bowl."
The resolution cites the game's economic benefits for the universities and cities of Morgantown and Huntington as the foremost reason to continue the series.
The entire text is available here.
"It makes no sense for a small state, such as ours, to not stage one annual event that brings national attention to our two largest academic institutions," the resolution states.
"With all of the benefits that are provided to our state, to our young people, to our academic institutions and to our residents and business people, it is only fitting that the football series between West Virginia and Marshall be continued on an annual basis."
The annual series is expected to end next year, unless athletic directors at both schools are able to work out an extension.
Former Gov. Joe Manchin pushed hard for the series and lobbied officials at both schools for it to continue during his final months as governor.
Many WVU fans loathe the series and say it weakens their team's schedule - a key metric in Bowl Championship Series ratings.
Marshall fans want to see the series continue, in hopes of finally beating WVU. The team came close this past year, before WVU was able to pull out a win in overtime.
Delegate Jim Morgan, D-Cabell, was lead sponsor of the resolution among several other Cabell County delegates.
Although he represents Thundering Herd Country, Morgan holds a degree in agriculture from WVU - though it's not necessarily by choice.
"They didn't have an agriculture school at Marshall," he said.
Morgan owns a Book Exchange franchise in Huntington and said the game brings in good business when the Mountaineers are in town.