Tag:Karen Stewart
Posted on: June 7, 2011 11:58 am
Edited on: June 7, 2011 11:59 am
 

WVU AD has '100 percent confidence' in Holgorsen

Posted by Chip Patterson

The publicity mess at West Virginia accelerated this week when Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writer Collin Dunlap told 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh that head coach Bill Stewart asked local media to "dig up dirt" on coach-in-waiting Dana Holgorsen.

Athletic director Oliver Luck joined the morning show on that same station on Tuesday. Initially planning to discuss the recent approval of beer sales at athletic events, Luck ended up opening by offering a few comments on the Stewart/Holgorsen soap opera.

"It's difficult to know what's fact and what's not," Luck said in response to the various reports. "Before I make any comments I need to figure out what the facts are, it's as simple as that. I think that's the only fair way to go about this."

Much of this began with a string of reports on Holgorsen's off-field behavior. More than a handful of incidents regarding gambling and/or alcohol have been mentioned in recent weeks, causing the university to take action. After finding certain flaws in the reporting, the school has begun an investigation into possible leaks from the football program. Leaks which many believe will lead back to Stewart.

"The investigation that I undertook to look into a lot of these allegations left me with a high level of confidence that, as the university put it, there were a number of 'blatant inaccuracies' in these allegations and I did not find any substantiation."

"I've got a high level of confidence in Dana, and his persona and his discipline," Luck continued. "I, again, have 100 percent confidence that he'll do the right thing. But unfortunately, some of the reports and some of the allegations are 'blatantly inaccurate,' and beyond that I can't say very much."

Luck went on to admit that while the "coach-in-waiting" scenario seemed like a good idea at the time, he was not sure if he would repeat the process again. The purpose of bringing in Holgorsen would give the young coach an opportunity to teach his offense for a season before taking over the reigns as head coach. Now depending on what the university decides in their internal investigation, Luck may have some tough decision-making ahead.

Hearing the vote of confidence from Luck makes me think that Holgorsen will not find himself a victim of anything more than the bad publicity. If the internal investigation reveals that Stewart played any part in the "blatant inaccuracies," he will likely be fired or forced to resign. However, if Stewart denies Dunlap's recollection of the "dig up dirt" phone call then the university will have to figure out a way to rebuild some torched bridges. The plan was for 2011 to be Stewart's last season, which is making it awfully hard for West Virginia fans to take his side considering the current reports.

But as we saw in the beer sales debate, Luck will not be swayed by the fans' will. He has no worries about the Mountaineers in 2011 on the field, and if he thinks that Stewart and Holgorsen can co-exist for that one season then that may happen. But judging by mud that has already been slung, I find it hard to see the two co-existing for much longer.
Posted on: June 7, 2011 9:00 am
 

Stewart asked media to dig dirt on Holgorsen

Posted by Chip Patterson

The soap opera in Morgantown took another turn for the worst late Monday night/early Tuesday morning when a Pittsburgh-based sports writer told KDKA-FM that West Virginia head coach Bill Stewart suggested that the writer "dig up dirt" on future replacement Dana Holgorsen back in December.

Colin Dunlap, of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette was a guest on Chris Mueller's late night radio show on 93.7 The Fan (CBS Radio - Pittsburgh). As you will see from the excerpts below, Dunlap said that Stewart called him on December 18, three days after Holgorsen was hired by West Virginia as offensive coordinator and awarded the "coach-in-waiting" title.

(You can listen to the audio here, via KDKA-FM, Sports By Brooks)
“It was actually my birthday, December 18, it was the day he (Stewart) was going to the bowl game because I distinctly remember there was a coaches convention in Pittsburgh with high school coaches. He was (then) flying from Pittsburgh down to Orlando to the bowl game for pre-prep work..“

” … He (Stewart) tried to flame-throw the guy (Holgorsen) in December by calling me and at least one other reporter because the reporter and I discussed it. He said, ‘can you get the word ’scumbag’ tattooed on the front of the sports page?’

“‘(Stewart said) you need to dig up this dirt. You need to get it out on this guy.’ And I said, ‘hey man, I’m not a part of some witch hunt.’” “… If you want to go look at my cell phone records you can, I don’t need to hide from it. The conversation happened the day he (Stewart) was driving to the airport from the high school coaches convention in Pittsburgh. He was on his way to Orlando. Dave McMichael (West Virginia assistant coach) was in the car with him. The conversation happened.”

This is obviously one of the pieces that led to all the "Benedict Arnold" talk that began on Sunday night. For Stewart to reach out like that to a sports writer who primarily covers the Mountaineers' chief rival is dancing with the devil and walking her home. Unfortunately, we can only assume the reaction from this will either be a full denial from Stewart or some swift action from West Virginia.

The school began an internal investigation into leaks from within the football program after Chuck Landon's damning article of Holgorsen included what the university called "blatant inaccuracies." While this reported phone conversation did not lead to any successful "dirt," it does not look good for Stewart (or anyone connected with him) that he was trying to get bad press on Holgorsen as far back as December.

Buckle in folks, Morgantown: 26501 is just heating up. Keep checking in back here at the Eye on College Football for the response from Stewart and/or West Virginia.
Posted on: June 6, 2011 11:19 am
Edited on: June 6, 2011 11:23 am
 

Report: West Virginia investigating leaks

Posted by Chip Patterson

West Virginia coach-in-waiting Dana Holgorsen has come under fire in recent weeks due to some local reports regarding alleged incidents at several casinos and race tracks. On Sunday, reports began surfacing (most notably from SB Nation's Smoking Musket) that have identified current head coach Bill Stewart as being one of the sources of the damaging reports.

On Monday morning the Charleston Daily Mail reported that Stewart's official separation agreement with the university (which has yet to be signed), has been tabled as the university investigates the entire football program for the source of "blatant inaccuracies" that were contributed to the damning reports about Holgorsen. Two high-placed sources at the school informed the Daily Mail that the Stewart's contract has been awaiting signatures for weeks, but no further work will be done in the deal until the internal inquiry is completed.

Chuck Landon, of the Huntington Herald-Dispatch had perhaps the most damning column. Assembling the stories of many different incidents, Landon repeatedly calling out Holgorsen for alcohol and gambling related issues. There are many different voices in this mess who believe that one of the main sources for Landon's column was Karen Stewart, Bill's wife.

There have been all kinds of reports of disarray within the West Virginia football program. While Oliver Luck has been busy getting beer sales approved at athletic events, the Mountaineer coaching staff looks far from united. For a team that has the talent coming back to win the Big East, news of unrest in the leadership positions comes at a poor time for West Virginia fans. As the school engages in this investigation, one thing is for sure: this is going to get messy.

Keep it here at the Eye on College Football for more on the West Virginia investigation as it develops.
 
 
 
 
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