West Virginia and Virginia Tech have come to an agreement that will see the schools play each other in common sports beginning this year.
Called the Black Diamond Challenge, which refers to the region’s coal history, the schools will not sign a formal contract, but will commit to play as many non-conference games as schedules permit.
The schools have 12 common sports, including football and men's and women's basketball. The two are already scheduled to play in football in 2017 at FedExField in Maryland and have a home-and-home series set to start in 2021. The schools have met 51 times in football, but not since 2005.
In men's basketball, the Mountaineers and Hokies have a home-and-home series scheduled through the 2017-18 season and plan to continue it beyond then.
"It only makes sense for these two great land grant institutions, with long and rich athletic histories, to be competing against each other in the athletics realm," West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck said. "This border rivalry is good for the fans and coaches and it provides great competition for the student-athletes."
Virginia Tech AD Whit Babcock shared a similar sentiment.
"Rivalries are a special part of college athletics. They are enhanced based on frequency of playing each other. We certainly have some great rivalries within our conference, but this has been, and will continue to be, a special one for us outside of the ACC," said Babcock.
- Phil Watson