The Ben Schwartzwalder Trophy was created in honor of former West Virginia University football player and Syracuse University head football coach, Ben Schwartzwalder. The trophy has been awarded to the winner of every football game between Syracuse University and West Virginia University since the trophy's introduction in 1993. The trophy is currently held by Syracuse after they won the final game between the two schools as members of the Big East Conference on October 22, 2011. West Virginia University has since joined the Big 12 Conference and Syracuse University is scheduled to join the Atlantic Coast Conference beginning with the 2013 football season. Syracuse University and West Virginia University are scheduled to meet in the 2012 New Era Pinstripe Bowl on December 29, 2012 at 3:15 p.m. EST at Yankee Stadium in New York City.
When asked if the Ben Schwartzwalder Trophy would be on the line at the Pinstripe Bowl, Syracuse head coach Doug Marrone stated that it would not be. It is unknown whether this decision was made by Syracuse University or if it was requested by the Pinstripe Bowl.
Syracuse and West Virginia fans and alumni have expressed confusion and concern regarding this decision, and many have decided to forgo buying tickets to the bowl game. By failing to honor the tradition of the Schwartzwalder Trophy, the significance of the 2012 Pinstripe Bowl and the long-standing rivalry between Syracuse and WVU will be damaged. It is the belief of the creators of this petition, that the winner of every football game between Syracuse University and West Virginia University, regardless of whether that game occurs in the regular season or postseason, should be awarded the Ben Schwartzwalder Trophy. If the trophy is not awarded to the winner of the 2012 Pinstripe Bowl, it would mark the first time since the introduction of the award that the winner of a Syracuse versus West Virginia football game would not receive the trophy. The Pinstripe Bowl chose the Mountaineers and the Orange for their storied rivalry, yet the trophy that symbolizes that rivalry will be left on the sidelines. If you disagree with the decision that has been made to withhold the trophy, and would like the it to be awarded to the winner of this important rivalry game as it has been in the past, please add your name to this petition. It is what Mr. Schwartzwalder would have wanted.
By failing to honor the tradition of the Schwartzwalder Trophy, the significance of the 2012 Pinstripe Bowl match-up between two longtime rivals will be impaired. Due to this decision, some Syracuse and West Virginia fans have decided to forgo buying tickets to the bowl game in protest. The winner of every football game between Syracuse University and West Virginia University, regardless of whether that game occurs in the regular season or postseason, should be awarded the Ben Schwartzwalder Trophy. If this decision was made to avoid conflicting with the Pinstripe Bowl, then the trophy could easily be transferred separately. Not honoring this tradition would be a great disservice to the late Mr. Schwartzwalder, who loved and provided so much for Syracuse and West Virginia. Please do the right thing and honor this storied tradition.