Tag:West Virginia Football
Posted on: January 25, 2011 12:26 pm
Edited on: January 25, 2011 12:27 pm

Bill Stewart signed his own fate November 17

Posted by Chip Patterson

When West Virginia brought in offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen, he was basically given the keys to the program with a head coach guarantee starting in 2012. At the same time, current head coach Bill Stewart was put on a timer, with a leash. Many Mountaineer fans felt bad for Stewart, a coach who has been respected and adored by many around the conference. But what several fans found out this week is that Stewart agreed to the current coaching arrangement back on November 17, in a written agreement recently obtained by the Charleston Daily Mail.

The agreement is between Stewart and athletic director Oliver Luck, on behalf of the West Virginia Board of Governors. It details an amendment to the employment agreement laid out in Stewart's contract. The date of the agreement is particularly interesting, not only because it was just before the Mountaineers closed with three straight wins to tie for the Big East title, but because it was on the same day that the program agreed to move forward with an NCAA infractions case.

At the time, it was those infractions, not the back-to-back losses to Connecticut and Syracuse, that posed the biggest threat to Stewart's employment status. In August, the NCAA accused West Virginia for five major violations for allowing unauthorized people to perform coaching duties, additionally secondary violations were self-reported for use of pads on the second day of practice.

By signing the written agreement, Stewart was given the option to resign at the end of 2010 (and receive a benefits package that included tickets, use of a car, and an "alternate employment position") or the possibility of returning to coach in 2011. If Stewart did not sign the agreement, he would risk losing his job because of the NCAA infractions case. The agreement was amended in a written letter on December 7 to detail Stewart's setup for 2011 as the head coach, with a "coach in waiting" (Dana Holgorsen) brought on staff as offensive coordinator.

If anything, this story is an interesting look into the complicated agreements/scenarios that exist between a college football coach and his university. Clearly Oliver Luck and the West Virginia Board of Governors were trying to put themselves in the best position to move forward regardless of NCAA ruling. The Mountaineers proceeded to finish their season with three straight wins, but their offensive struggles hurt them once again in their 23-7 Champs Sports Bowl loss to N.C. State. Tip of the hat to the Charleston Daily Mail for digging up the documents. You can check out all the Legalese by hitting the links below.

Bill Stewart - Oliver Luck written agreement, November 17, 2010

Bill Stewart - Oliver Luck written agreement (with December 7 amendment on final page)
Posted on: September 14, 2010 5:24 pm

West Virginia CB Hogan suspended after DUI

Posted by Chip Patterson

The West Virginia Mountaineers took a hit to their secondary on Tuesday, when head coach Bill Stewart confirmed at his weekly presse conference that starting cornerback Brandon Hogan was suspended indefinitely for "breaking a team rule."

The team rule no doubt is tied to Hogan's DUI arrest early Sunday morning.  

The senior starter from Manassas, Va., was pulled over at 3:17 a.m. by Morgantown police. He was driving the wrong way on Spruce Street, a one-way street in downtown Morgantown, according to Lt. Harold Sperringer.
"I and I alone will handle the discipline and the punishment in a fair, firm and strict manner," said Stewart.  "He will rejoin the Mountaineer team when I deem fit."

As mentioned by the Charleston Daily Mail, this is far from the first incident for Hogan.  He was held out of spring practice for "not being fully engaged in academics" and then issued a citation for public urination and disorderly conduct in April.  He has been able to avoid a major suspension (aside from the mysterious "personal issues" that kept him out of the Mountaineers' bowl game in 2008) throughout the missteps, but this one was pretty difficult to ignore.

While the length of the suspension is yet to be determined, Mountaineer will be anxious to get the star DB back on the field.  Hogan was on the preseason watch list for the Jim Thorpe Award, given to the country's top defensive back, and his play in the last two seasons has drawn the attention of NFL scouts.

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