Tag:James Clements
Posted on: October 28, 2011 5:46 pm
Edited on: October 28, 2011 6:44 pm

West Virginia expects July 2012 arrival in Big 12

Posted by Chip Patterson

West Virginia president James Clements made it very clear the way he felt when issuing his opening statements on the Big 12 Update teleconference.

"It's a great day to be a Mountaineer, and a great day to be a member of the Big 12 conference," Clements boasted to the media on the line. After a week filed with back and fort reports regarding their conference affiliation, West Virginia finally had a home.

When, exactly, the Mountaineers join the Big 12 is still unknown. Big East bylaws require a 27 month withdrawal period after the official notification from the departing school. Athletic director Oliver Luck confirmed he officially informed Big East commissioner John Marinatto of West Virginia's intentions on Friday morning.

Both Luck and Clements repeatedly used the target date "July 1, 2012" as the school's expected arrival in the Big 12. When multiple questions were posed to West Virginia's leadership on how they planned to leave before the completion 27-month period - the response was predictably vague.

"Our team and their team were in discussion today, tying to make that happen," Luck said of the negotiations with the Big East office.

As required in the bylaws, West Virginia has already paid $2.5 million - half of the $5 million exit fee - to the league offices along with their official notification of withdrawal. Luck and Clements were both confident in their ability to join the Big 12 in time for the 2012-2013 season, though there was no elaboration on the negotiations with the Big East.

West Virginia to the Big 12
Another important development from Friday's teleconference was the Big 12's announcement that the reported grant-in-rights was close to being approved by the member schools. The agreement, which was confirmed as a 6-year deal, is currently "being circulated" among the member schools with the expectation it will be approved in a Tuesday meeting.

The Big 12 announced that this would likely be a stopping point, for now, for expansion. Ten teams allows for a round-robin conference schedule, and "a true champion" to be crowned in the regular season. Missouri has not officially left the Big 12 as of Friday's call, but it was clear they did not expect the Tigers to be a conference member for much longer.

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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.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com