Should West Virginia fire Dana Holgorsen?
It's pretty ridiculous that some are posing that very question after recent reports surfaced saying Holgorsen, West Virginia’s new offensive coordinator and head-coach-in-waiting, was asked to leave the Mardi Gras Casino and Resort on the night of May 18.
The apparent reason why Holgorsen was asked to leave is still not known at this point, yet that sure hasn’t stopped the message board elite of the college football culture from spreading rumors and furthering speculation.
The Charleston Daily Mail, the paper that first learned of the incident, quoted sources saying that police were called to the casino, located in Cross Lanes, W.V., after 3 a.m. to escort Holgorsen off the premises.
Holgorsen was said to have been fully cooperative with law enforcement.
Nitro Police spokesman Raymond Blake was quoted as saying, "We got up there and spoke to the male and said, ‘Hey, they want you to leave.’ He complied, walked out, sat out on a bench, waited for the taxi and when the taxi arrived he got in and left.”
The details are still vague as to why Holgorsen was initially asked to leave the casino, but the police did make it clear that no crimes had been committed and no charges would be filed.
So from the looks of things, it doesn’t sound nearly as scandalous and shocking as some are making it seem.
Now sure, if you’re a West Virginia fan, there is cause for concern.
This is the future leader of your team we're talking about, so any incident and negative media attention is never a good thing.
It makes you question if Holgorsen understands the responsibility and accountability that comes along with being the face of a major college football program.
Still, from all the reports and details that have come out thus far, there is nothing that indicates Holgorsen did anything that should cost him his job.
West Virginia AD Oliver Luck, the man who hand-picked Holgorsen to replace current head coach Bill Stewart, had this to say in a statement released to the media yesterday.
"After looking into the details and thoroughly investigating what took place last week, I believe inappropriate behavior did occur."
"Coach 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."
Holgorsen also issued a statement.
"I learned a valuable lesson from this incident. 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."
While apologies don’t excuse what happened, Holgorsen seems truly remorseful for getting caught up in a situation that reflects negatively on him, the team and the university.
It’s not as if West Virginia exactly has a pristine reputation among the college football community as it is, so this incident certainly won’t help matters.
It’s not something, however, that should jeopardize Holgorsen’s future with the team.
I’ve seen some Big East fans already comparing Holgorsen’s actions to those of Mike Haywood, asking why he shouldn’t suffer a similar fate as the former Pittsburgh head coach who was relieved of his duties back in December, just two weeks after being hired.
Well, let’s put on our rational hats for a second and use some reasoning. Being not-so-politely asked to leave a casino and being accused of assaulting your wife are two far different offenses.
We’re all well aware that Holgorsen arrived in Morgantown with a bit of a reputation for living hard.
We knew he was a guy who certainly wasn’t opposed to knocking back a few cold ones every now and then, so the fact that he ran into a small bump in the road when he was out late one night shouldn't exactly rock our worlds.
Let’s put it into perspective.
It’s not as if Holgorsen was pulling a Larry Eustachy and doing keg stands with college kids.
It’s not as if he was caught driving under the influence a la a certain fan favorite Mountaineer coach.
Holgorsen simply found himself in a bad situation, realized he had overstepped his bounds, called a taxi and went home.
No harm, small foul.
It’s strike one, not strike three.
Hopefully, Holgorsen will learn from the incident and realize that life as a college football coach can be great but it also takes a commitment to living clean in the public eye.
There’s no reason to overreact to this and call for Holgorsen’s head. Mistakes happen and the media is there to help blow them out of proportion.
If Holgorsen’s Air Raid offense shines this season and West Virginia wins the Big East, I have a strange feeling that most Mountaineer fans will have no problem overlooking this small transgression.