Travel Woes

Curtis Feigt

Incoming freshmen have a great deal to do in planning and packing for the trip to their new college homes, but a few face an additional layer of challenges.

Among that group are natives of countries other than the United States, who have to secure proper travel documents and make plans that go beyond organizing a car ride or making a domestic flight. Those problems have combined to put a damper, and perhaps a delay, on the start of incoming West Virginia football freshman Curtis Feigt's college career.

Feigt, a native of Germany, played last year at Mercersburg Academy in Pennsylvania. After taking in West Virginia's spring game and graduating, he returned to his homeland for a visit. In attempting to get everything organized for his return trip to the U.S., however, he ran into some problems.

The first was a scheduling issue with a flight from Berlin.

"I was supposed to fly out Berlin on [June] 28th and get back to Morgantown the same day," Feigt told BlueGoldNews.com. "But when I was booking the flight, I didn't pay attention to the connecting flights. So it turned out that my connecting flight back to Washington from Amsterdam, where I fly to on the 28th, is exactly 24 hours later. So I would've flown out Amsterdam on the 29th and arrive in Morgantown on the 29th around 6:30 p.m. That would have caused me to miss the first day of classes and workouts. That was completely my fault and I have to apologize to everybody for that mistake when I get back."

For someone not experienced in international travel, such an oversight is certainly understandable. And, in the grand scheme of things, one day of missed work would not be a big deal. Feigt's attitude about the entire situation, however, shows just how conscientious he is about his commitment to WVU, and portends good things for a player that is just scratching the surface of his potential.

The second problem, one that is much bigger, is totally out of the defensive end's control. He has been waiting nearly three weeks for the wheels of bureaucracy to grind to completion on what should be a routine issue, but until that happens he is in limbo. The process, which involves the reissuance of his passport and student visa, started off o.k., but is now something of a mystery.

"I arrived in Berlin on June 7 and scheduled an interview with the American Embassy on June 8. You go in, get in line, and give them your passport and necessary papers for the visa and then they ask some questions concerning why you exactly need to go to the U.S. When I got there everything went down fairly quickly and easily. There were no problems with anything and I was ensured that I would get the passport and new visa within two weeks."

Since then, however, Feigt has heard nothing from the Embassy, and despite repeated phone calls, doesn't have any information on the status of his request. He can't enter the U.S. without those documents, and is thus playing a nervous waiting game as he awaits his travel papers.

The truly bad side effect of the issue is that if Feigt doesn't get his visa in time, he will have to rebook his flights, which will result not only in a later arrival but also in a good chunk of additional money. He's doing everything he can to find out the status of his request, but so far, he hasn't been able to get a solid answer. That's been frustrating for Feigt, who has had just one thing in mind since signing his scholarship letter of intent with WVU.

"I don't want all this to happen, because the only thing I want is living my dream -- to play for the Mountaineers."

It doesn't appear that there are any problems with Feigt's request – after all, he was in the U.S. all of last year playing football, and nothing has changed in his status since then. It looks to be just a bureaucratic issue – one that he hopes will get sorted out quickly.

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