WVU AD: Stewart, Holgorsen will be professional
West Virginia coach-in-waiting Dana Holgorsen and head coach
Bill Stewart are making unwanted headlines that has the
Mountaineers athletic director re-examining his decision to have
them work together.
Oliver Luck said Tuesday in a statement he doesn’t discuss
personnel matters publicly. But with signs that the strained
relationship between Holgorsen and Stewart is boiling over, when
asked by KDKA-FM whether he would do the same arrangement again,
Luck said, ”I don’t know.”
Still, with two months before players report for fall camp, Luck
is confident the program is in good shape despite what’s unfolded
over the last few weeks.
”I’d be the last one to deny that we’re not in the middle of a
little bit of a controversy,” he told the station. ”We are having
a little bit of drama and certainly we’ll try to get to the bottom
of that. I don’t see much damage at all going into the football
season because we can get all this sorted out, this summer
An intoxicated Holgorsen was escorted out of a casino last
month, but no charges were filed.
And Monday night, former Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reporter Colin
Dunlap told KDKA that Stewart called him shortly after Holgorsen’s
hiring in December and asked him to ”dig up” some dirt on the new
Dunlap said Stewart also called at least one other reporter on
the issue. Dunlap said he discussed it with the other reporter, who
he didn’t name.
Dunlap recalled Stewart saying, ”’You need to get it out on
this guy.’ And I said, `hey man, I’m not like a part of some witch
Luck didn’t address Dunlap’s comments directly and neither
Stewart or Holgorsen responded to messages left by The Associated
This wasn’t the direction Luck had in mind when he said he was
taking the program on another path when he hired Holgorsen away
from Oklahoma State with plans to have him replace Stewart after
the 2011 season.
Luck, Holgorsen and Stewart all promised a smooth
It hasn’t been.
And with news reports appearing almost daily lately on either
Holgorsen, Stewart or both, Luck said he needs time to sort out the
facts before commenting on them.
”There have been various reports, much speculation, and rumor
around our football program and coaches,” Luck said in the
statement. ”But I want to make it clear that I consider these to
be personnel matters and while I take them very seriously, I am
dealing with them internally and privately – and I will not discuss
Things appeared to escalate after police escorted Holgorsen from
the Mardi Gras Casino in Cross Lanes on May 18. Holgorsen issued a
statement a week later saying he had learned a ”valuable
WVU players said Tuesday they’ve been focused on summer
conditioning and not the headlines their coaches were making.
”There’s been a lot of talking going on,” defensive lineman
Bruce Irvin told WDTV-TV in Bridgeport. ”We’re not focused on any
of that. We’re focusing on winning the Big East and getting to a
national championship. All the extra stuff is irrelevant to us. It
is what it is. We’re not going to let it bother us.”
Luck said Tuesday his expectations of his coaches and staff
”That is to run a clean and honest program with the upmost
integrity and professionalism,” Luck said. ”Anything less is
unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”