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West Virginia bills itself as “Wild and Wonderful.”
I believe the wonderful part of that slogan pertains to its gorgeous mountains, bucolic towns and friendly people.
The wild part? That’s all about West Virginia football.
The Mountaineer football program grabbed center stage with developments around its head coaching situation.
Bill Stewart had been the head coach. Dana Holgorsen was the “coach in waiting.”
Holgorsen was brought in, not in the vein of the Bud Foster coach in waiting model. At Virginia Tech, Foster will assume the top position when, and only when, Frank Beamer decides he’s ready to retire.
They do things differently in West Virginia. There, they brought in Holgorsen with the understanding that he’d take over as head coach when the current guy’s contract expired.
In other words, Stewart was being told that he was done for as head of the Mountaineers and that he was to groom his successor.
The fact that Stewart led WVU to the championship of the Big East last year had no impact on his job security.
Put yourself in Stewart’s shoes. Let’s say you work the assembly line or are an accountant or you’re a sports writer.
One day, your boss tells you that you have a new underling. You’re further informed that in two years, this underling will take over the job you will no longer have.
Then you hear stories of less-than-admirable behavior about said underling.
What would you do?
Recent news out of Morgantown was three-headed. First, Holgorsen (Stewart’s underling) allegedly was involved in an alcohol-related incident at a casino. Supposedly, this is not the first time that Holgorsen has been so involved.
The second bit of news was that Stewart supposedly asked a reporter he knows to dig up dirt on Holgorsen. Apparently, Stewart felt that there was plenty on Holgorsen.
So, which of these two got the heave?
Why, Stewart, of course.
Now, as a newspaper guy, should a coach point a reporter in the direction of a story, I’m all for that.
What I don’t get is the tolerance WVU seems to have for Holgorsen. Six booze-fueled incidents? And that’s all we know about. What is going on in Morgantown?
Well, that leads me to the third related story. In the midst of this drama, the school announced that it would now sell beer at its football games.
Was this at the behest of Coach Holgorsen? One has to wonder.
Perhaps the Mountaineers will also have some slot machines installed in their stadium. That’d be a nice touch.
I like a frosty beer just as much as the next guy. I can tell you, though, with absolute certitude: Football games at Morgantown, or at any college venue, do NOT need more alcohol added to the mix.
Where has West Virginia been the last couple of decades? Have its leaders not witnessed the impact of MADD and other like-minded organizations?
My only reaction to all of this is: Thank goodness for the Civil War.
Besides the obvious ramifications of the Civil War, there is something that is paying dividends today: The secession of West Virginia from the Old Dominion.
You see, history tells us that it was the Civil War that drove West Virginia to declare its independence from our commonwealth.
As such, we in Virginia are spared being part of what is going on with West Virginia football today. In a nutshell: It’s not wonderful.
Although you have to admit that it is wild.