MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - West Virginia University and Virginia Tech are scheduled to renew their football rivalry in 2021.
WVU Athletic Director Oliver Luck made the announcement Wednesday morning. The agreement is for two games: one in Blacksburg, Va., and one in Morgantown.
Both teams are guaranteed $100,000 for each game, according to Daily Mail sources. Visiting teams are guaranteed 3,900 tickets, plus 400 complementary tickets. If one of the schools wants to pull out of one of those games, it will take a $300,000 buyout - unless that decision is made within 12 months of the game. Then it will cost $500,000.
"During my three years as Athletic Director at West Virginia University, I have heard from legions of Mountaineer fans, particularly those in the Southern part of the state, who have expressed their strong sentiments to renew the football rivalry with Virginia Tech," Luck said. "This game is great for college football. We all know that the two schools have extraordinary fan bases, and both schools will be counting down the days until the Hokies and the Mountaineers meet again.
"I want to thank Virginia Tech Athletic Director Jim Weaver and Coach Frank Beamer for their efforts in helping to get the two teams back on the football field. It will be a great day for all involved when the rivalry is renewed."
Both schools will battle for the Black Diamond Trophy once again, starting with the 2021 game being played in Morgantown on Sept. 18, with the second year of the deal taking place in 2022 in Blacksburg on Sept. 24. The Black Diamond Trophy, which was started in 1997, went to the winner of the annual game, and was used as a symbol of the Appalachian region's rich coal history.
"I am pleased we are able to resume the rivalry between Virginia Tech and West Virginia and have every belief that this rivalry will flourish and be good for college football," Weaver said.
WVU last played Virginia Tech in 2005, with the Hokies claiming a 34-17 decision in Morgantown. The series eventually ended as Virginia Tech left the Big East to begin its current membership in the Atlantic Coast Conference, as contests in 2004 and 2005 were played as non-conference games. When the series resumes in 2021, there will be a 16-year hiatus in the border rivalry.
The series has been played 51 times, beginning in 1912 with West Virginia owning a 28-22-1 overall advantage. The Mountaineers own a 16-9 record in games played in Morgantown and 5-1 in games played at a neutral site, while Virginia Tech has a 12-7-1 mark in games played in Blacksburg.
The most current portion of the series was played every year from 1973 until 2005, a span of 33 years. The Mountaineers edged the Hokies during that time, 17-16.