Tag:Dana Holgorsen casino incident
Posted on: June 2, 2011 12:41 pm
Edited on: June 2, 2011 1:07 pm

WVU source denies Holgorsen alcohol allegations

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

As soon as the Huntington (W.V.) Herald-Dispatch published its May 29 column reporting that new West Virginia head coach-in-waiting Dana Holgorsen had been involved in "as many as six" alcohol-related incidents in the past six months, the paper was rebuked by Mountaineer fans believing it to be exaggerating rumors and grinding an ax for local WVU rival Marshall.

We doubt officials at West Virginia reacted quite so vehemently. But they may not have been pleased all the same, as a report in today's Charleston Daily Mail cites a university source claiming the Herald-Dispatch report contains "blatant inaccuracies":
WVU sources said Tuesday and again Wednesday the university was reviewing the accusations in a Huntington Herald-Dispatch column from Sunday and an Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register column from the day before.

WVU was assessing the validity of the claims it believes are false. University officials were also determining whether a response to the publications would be necessary.

A WVU source said Wednesday the university will not take any action, but "knows the Herald-Dispatch story had blatant inaccuracies" ...
Specifically, that "six" number appears to have been on the high side:
A source said WVU officials have not seen the video footage from Mardi Gras Resort & Casino, but have spoken with those who have and that WVU trusts their review that Holgorsen was guilty of nothing too severe. WVU officials also called the Wheeling Island resort and casino and asked about an alleged incident before spring football began.

Holgorsen - and many others connected to WVU - attended an annual party in Wheeling that eventually spilled into the casino, but WVU found nothing wrong in conversations with casino management about that party and the behavior of those in attendance ...

The Daily Mail made attempts at different times on multiple days to speak with employees and management at Wheeling Island and the Glassworks Grill at Oglebay Resort, which was the alleged site of a separate incident. No one - and no documentation - could confirm any incident at either spot ...

The Herald-Dispatch also said Holgorsen was involved in three undefined incidents at the bar in Waterfront Place in Morgantown and that he'd been banned from the bar.

"Absolutely not true," one source said. An athletic department source also denied the ban. Holgorsen has lived in that hotel since late March.
The Daily Mail story also disputes the Herald-Dispatch's accounts of Holgorsen's visit with Houston to Marshall in 2008 and the relationship between WVU AD Oliver Luck and president James Clements. So was the original column exaggerating, possibly even "rumormongering"? It certainly seems that way. (To be fair, it admitted that some of the incidents it was reporting were "rumors.") Holgorsen may not be -- is probably not -- as incorrigible as the Herald-Dispatch column (and subsequent headlines) have made him out to be.

But does that mean this is a nonstory? No. The Daily Mail report appears to acknowledge that Holgorsen was involved with incidents of some fashion at two separate casinos, and the stern response from Luck makes it clear that this is an issue the WVU administration is taking very, very seriously. Holgorsen maybe hasn't been the out-of-control devil he's been made out to be in some quarters, but he hasn't been a saint in his time in Morgantown, either. Whatever the degree of improvement in Holgorsen's self-control that might be necessary for him to remain in charge at WVU, none of today's refutations change the fact that some improvement is required.

Posted on: May 29, 2011 2:40 pm
Edited on: June 2, 2011 1:08 pm

Report: Holgorsen in six alcohol incidents

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

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.

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.
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."

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.

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