During the college sports stoppage, two WVU administrators helped ensure the return of competition this fall, and the commissioner of the Big 12 Conference is now applauding them for serving as guides during a critical period for Division 1 athletics. 

In an exclusive interview this week with Gold and Blue Nation, Bob Bowlsby commended the efforts of WVU athletic director Shane Lyons and president E. Gordon Gee, both of whom assisted the league during both the initial stoppage and return to play phase. 

“The West Virginia Mountaineers have been very much at the epicenter of the discussions, and they’ve just done a terrific job,” Bowlsby said. 

Lyons, who became West Virginia’s athletic director in 2015, serves as the chair of the Division I Football Oversight Committee. In that role, he headed the development of a return to play model for college football teams and advocated for fall sport eligibility relief. The NCAA ultimately approved a blanket waiver for eligibility, granting fall sport athletes the option for an extra season and an extension of their period of eligibility.

Bowlsby, who previously served as the chair of the Football Oversight Committee, said Lyons has been a “true, true champion” throughout the pandemic. 

“He has done a spectacular job not just for the Big 12 and not just for West Virginia, but for college football as a whole,” Bowlsby said. 

The commissioner also praised Gee, who began his second stint as the president of WVU in 2014. 

“He has been through the wars as a longtime university president and has been a real stalwart in terms of advising me and advising our board,” Bowlsby said. 

Watch the interview with Bowlsby Saturday morning on Mountaineer GameDay. Check your local listings for details.