Posted on: May 25, 2011 10:24 pm
Following reports that West Virginia offensive coordinator and coach-in-waiting Dana Holgorsen had been escorted from a Charleston-area casino by casino security last week, Mountaineer athletic director Oliver Luck released a statement Wednesday afternoon calling Holgorsen's actions "inappropriate."
"After looking into the details and thoroughly investigating what took place last week, I believe inappropriate behavior did occur," Luck said. [Current head] Coach [Bill] Stewart and I have made it clear, and will reiterate, that our coaches and staff are representing the University and the state at all times. We expect them to always display appropriate behavior.
"I take this matter very seriously, but I do not plan on commenting on it further.”
Holgorsen also released a statement through the school.
"I learned a valuable lesson from this incident," Holgorsen said. "As a football coach I am always in the public eye and I have to hold myself to a higher standard, which is what I ask our players to do. I'm sorry that this incident has put the University and the football program in a difficult position. I will not put myself in that situation again."
Ironically, West Virginia's statements were released shortly before news broke of USC's denied appeal by the NCAA. I guess Holgorsen and USC learned that when dealing with a casino or the NCAA never forget: the house always wins.
Posted on: May 25, 2011 1:39 pm
Edited on: May 25, 2011 1:44 pm
PONTE VERDA BEACH, Fla. - Here’s an update from the Big East cancelled athletic director-gate, for those who care:
On Tuesday night after meeting with the league’s coaches and athletic directors all day, Big East commissioner John Marinatto told the attending media that the league’s athletic directors would reconvene Wednesday morning around 8 a.m. The Wednesday AD's meeting was scheduled to end by noon – as the AD’s Wednesday meeting has for the past several years that the spring meetings have been held at the Ponte Verda Inn.
On Wednesday morning, though, I was contacted by a Big East spokesperson, who told me that the athletic directors’ meeting had been cancelled because some of the ADs, including West Virginia’s Oliver Luck, had to return to their schools earlier than expected.
A West Virginia spokesman said that Luck had always been planning to return to Morgantown, WVa., early Wednesday to attend the school’s rifle team fund-raiser Wednesday night. The fact Luck was returning the night after news of the Dana Holgorsen casino incident broke was purely coincidental, the WVU spokesperson said.
Pittsburgh athletic director Steve Pederson and Rutgers athletic director Tim Pernetti also left Ponte Verda Beach early Wednesday and apparently did not plan to attend Wednesday’s AD meeting.
So the athletic directors’ meeting was cancelled – unless, of course, perhaps there never was a meeting scheduled? But then why would Marinatto indicate Tuesday night the agenda the ADs would be discussing on Wednesday, including the league’s bowl payout situation, scheduling, television and BCS matters if there was no meeting?
So there you go: the only thing more confusing than the meeting/cancelled meeting is which football schools the league will add for expansion. Don’t worry, I’ll get to that one soon enough. As soon as I come down from the grassy knoll.
Posted on: May 25, 2011 10:33 am
Edited on: May 25, 2011 11:38 am
PONTE VERDA BEACH, Fla. – Wednesday morning’s Big East athletic directors meeting at the league’s spring meetings was cancelled because some of the league’s ADs, including West Virginia’s Oliver Luck, had to return back to their schools earlier than expected.
Luck returned to Morgantown, WVa., to apparently deal with an incident at a casino involving Dana Holgorsen, West Virginia’s new offensive coordinator and head coach in waiting. Pittsburgh AD Steve Pederson and Rutgers AD Tim Pernetti also left early and were unable to attend the meeting.
On Tuesday, Big East commissioner John Marinatto said the league ADs would address several subjects on Wednesday including the league’s bowl payout situation, scheduling, television and BCS matters.
“Routine stuff,” Marinatto said.
Those items have now been pushed back to be discussed at the league’s football media days in Newport, R.I., Aug. 1-2.
Posted on: May 24, 2011 1:51 pm
PONTA VERDA BEACH, Fla. – UConn basketball coach Jim Calhoun admits he likely won’t be coaching when it happens, but he still sees it coming. And it can’t be stopped.
Rapture? The end of the world? Not quite, but the end of the Big East Conference as we know it now.
“My own personal opinion – and I won't probably see this – in the next couple of years, four or five years down the road, I think you'll see a separation [of the football and non-football membership],” Calhoun said. “I think it's inevitable.”
The Big East currently has 16 members, including eight football members. Next season with the addition of TCU, that number inflates to 17 all-sport members and nine football members.
That number could increase even more in the next couple of years with the Big East looking to expand its football membership by as many as three teams, which conceivably could result in a behemoth 20 member conference, including 12 football members.
Big East commissioner John Marinatto has said the Big East’s 16-team basketball league could evolve into 20-teams, split into four pods of five teams or two 10-team divisions.
“If you go to 18 [members], oh boy,” Calhoun said. “We're talking about going to 17 [now and that] creates enough different issues.”
A split of the football and non-football schools has been speculated for some time, but league sources feel that would happen as only a last resort.
Calhoun, 68, said if the league split, the eight basketball members – DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Notre Dame, Providence, Seton Hall, St. John’s and Villanova – would pursue some additional teams from the Atlantic 10, such as Xavier and Dayton.
“That’s what I think could happen,” Calhoun said.
Posted on: May 24, 2011 1:49 pm
PONTE VERDA BEACH, Fla. – Being that this was his first official Big East function, you’ll have to excuse TCU coach Gary Patterson for not realizing shorts, and not long pants, are the preferred attire in this beach town.
Still, it wasn’t Patterson’s slacks, but the bling on his right ring finger that stood out the most – the Horned Frogs’ 2011 Rose Bowl championship ring.
And by joining the Big East in 2012, Patterson believes the Horned Frogs will have an easier road to make even more BCS bowls. Leaving the Mountain West after this season for the Big East will be a huge boost for the Horned Frogs in recruiting.
“[In the Mountain West] we weren’t an [automatic] qualifying conference and [now we can] get a chance to get into a BCS game without going undefeated,” Patterson said. “And then for us, the TV sets [the Big East reaches 30 percent of the nation’s television sets] by being able to go east.
“That’s the same reason the Dallas Cowboys did it. Geographically it doesn’t make any difference to come to [play] Philadelphia. That’s how they became – quote – ‘America’s Team’ because they became seen so much. We’ll see how that works.”
So far last year’s announcement of TCU moving to the Big East has already made an impact.
“I think there will be [excitement moving to the Big East],” Patterson said. “The excitement is the new recruiting class, they’re the ones the Big East will have an effect on and maybe the class coming in. We haven’t really talked about it. Our whole thing is getting a chance to win one more championship in the league we’re in.”
Patterson said he didn’t think anyone was considering them “a lame duck” in their final season in the Mountain West.
“You have to play the games,” Patterson said. “Schedule-wise, except for the Boise game [which was changed from a TCU home game to a Boise State home game by the league] … the Mountain West could have played it anyway you wanted to as far as the league was concerned.
“We don’t get a return game one way or another [with the other league opponents]. The only thing I’m worried about is making sure our stadium is ready for the first home game.”
Patterson said attending the Big East’s spring meetings gave him a chance to become more familiar with how the league operates.
“My whole premise was to get to know people [here], getting the lay of the ground work,” Patterson said. “I’m still loyal to the Mountain West. I get a chance to meet people and understand [how the league works] when we come into the league next spring.”
Posted on: May 24, 2011 1:45 pm
Louisville will lose three of its 25 football scholarship this year due to substandard academic progress rate (APR) scores, the school announced Friday.