Almost as soon as the news leaked that new West Virginia offensive coordinator and coach-in-waiting Dana Holgorsen had been kicked out of a Charleston-area casino in the wee hours of a weekday night, rumors started flying that this was hardly the first such incident for the offensive whiz. And now one West Virginia newspaper is willing to put those rumors into print.
The Huntington Herald-Dispatch is reporting that Holgorsen has been involved in "as many as six" alcohol-related incidents in the past six months alone. As they recap:
The Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register reported Saturday that Holgorsen allegedly was asked to leave both a bar inside Oglebay Park and, later, at Wheeling Island Hotel, Casino and Racetrack earlier this year.Even if not all of these allegations are proven accurate, clearly there's enough veracity here to declare the initial casino incident far from an isolated occurence. Even worse, when there's this much evidence of a pattern of this kind of behavior, it throws serious doubts on Holgorsen's statement Wednesday that he would "not put [him]self in that situation again."
Sources say there was also an incident at Pete Dye Golf Club in Bridgeport, W.Va., which involved Holgerson being told to leave and not come back. And, then, there are rumors of three incidents at the Morgantown hotel in which he lives, including being banned from the hotel bar.
Also, there are allegations he was asked to leave the Union Pub And Grill in Huntington on Oct. 28, 2008.
To be fair to Holgorsen, he has not been arrested in conjunction with any of these incidents, and there's no record of his performance during his initial spring practice with the Mountaineers being anything less than professional. (In fact, judging by the explosion of points and yards in the WVU spring game, Holgorsen's arrival appears to have been a smashing success.) Taken individually, no one incident even rises to the level of being suspension-worthy, much less a fireable offense.
But taken as a whole, it's difficult to argue Holgorsen's pattern of behavior doesn't indicate that the Mountaineers are handing their program (and millions of dollars) over to a man with legitimate self-control issues. It's far, far too early to make any judgments about Holgorsen's fitness for leadership, or, certainly, his eventual Mountaineer tenure. But if this most recent run-in at the casino doesn't prove to be a turning point for him, that time for judgment -- from an already embarrased athletic director Oliver Luck -- may arrive in an awful hurry.