West Virginia players have a ball at practice

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NEW YORK -- The New York Hilton certainly has played host to its share of galas in its midtown Manhattan ballrooms.

On Wednesday, though, the hotel played host to a more dressed-down event: Indoor practice for the West Virginia football team.

The team was supposed to begin bowl week with practice at Fordham University, but coach Dana Holgorsen moved practice from the Bronx to one of the Hilton's ballrooms because of an impending storm that brought freezing rain and snow to the city.

The team is staying at the hotel.

"We had a really good practice, were able to get some good work in," quarterback Geno Smith said "It was room temperature ... 75 degrees. Ballroom setting. High ceilings. We were able to throw the ball around. It was neat."

Smith said the team's trainer worked them out pretty hard and the day was far from wasted.

"We would have been more than happy to go outside here," Holgorsen said. "This should clear out, and we'll be able to go out the next two days and get some work done."

The team is scheduled to practice today at Fordham.

Bailey chilled by N.Y.

Count receiver Stedman Bailey as one of dozens of Mountaineers who had never been to New York before flying in Christmas night for the Pinstripe Bowl.

Bailey said it reminds him of what he has seen in the movies, but one thing stood out: Cold temperatures.

"I just came from home ... Miami. When the doors opened for me to exit Newark Airport, it was extremely cold. I'm like, 'OK, we're back in the cold,' but it's been pretty fun," he said. "Everything I've seen on TV is true. Everything is kind of mind-blowing. I'm glad I'm here. It's a great city."

Busy day

Bowl events scheduled for today include a trip to the New York Stock Exchange, where Smith and Syracuse quarterback Ryan Nassib will ring the opening bell.

Those two players will be joined by their coaches along with Yankees president Randy Levine and teammates Bailey and Tavon Austin from West Virginia and Siriki Diabate, Justin Pugh and Shamarko Thomas from Syracuse.

The two teams will practice later and visit the Sept. 11 Memorial in lower Manhattan.

Syracuse suspends two

Syracuse coach Doug Marrone suspended two players for a violation of athletic department rules -- tailback Adonis Ameen-Moore and backup tight end Max Beaulieu -- according to the Syracuse Post-Standard. Both will be ineligible for the game.

mobilehome - wvusports


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