Dana Holgorsen's Title Could Change Soon, Is Bill Stewart Responsible?

Jeff WoollardCorrespondent IIJune 7, 2011

Dana Holgorsen
Dana Holgorsen

If West Virginia University football fans were concerned about the coach in waiting scenario in Morgantown, WV, recent developments may be positive proof that the situation is much worse than expected.

Reports are surfacing that Bill Stewart asked former WVU beat writer Colin Dunlap to dig up dirt on coach in waiting Dana Holgorsen back in December.

Couple that epiphany with the speculation that Stewart was behind a recent article in the Huntington Dispatch that outlined Holgorsen as a party animal and you have the makings of an excellent Jerry Springer episode.

On May 13, WVU posted a job for a recruiting coordinator, non-coaching.

The posting came as no surprise. John “Doc” Holliday, the highly respected recruiter at WVU, left for the head coaching position at Marshall University.

His replacement, Chris Beatty, became a casualty in December when Holgorsen was named coach in waiting.

Since then, there has been no official recruiting coordinator on the Mountaineers’ staff.

If not widely accepted, it was speculated that Stewart could fill that vacant position after his final season as head coach was over. Stewart himself has stated on numerous occasions that he could be an excellent ambassador for the university and the state.

Add that Stewart was expected to be kept in some capacity after the 2011 football season, and the speculation gains momentum.

Why would an individual with a guaranteed contract and a potential position for the near future put any of that in jeopardy by masterminding this scandal?

If Stewart’s involvement in this scandal is proven, it will cost him everything at WVU and tarnish his reputation in his home state forever.

Keep in mind that Stewart stands to make mid six figures if retained. A salary like that is hard to duplicate in general, and almost impossible in West Virginia.

For his part, Holgorsen should not have opened this can of worms by involving himself in the Cross Lanes Casino incident in the first place. Very few positives arise for public figures at parties that last till 3am in the morning

Still, one has to wonder how much of the situation was pre-arranged. If a plan was in place to sully Holgorsen’s reputation in the press, it is fair to speculate that the situation at the casino may have been premeditated.

Keep in mind that the underlying tone to this situation is that battle lines appear to be forming. On one side is the old coach with his supporters. On the other are the new athletic director, the new coach, and their supporters.

The greatest fallacy in this entire story is that there is a rift forming between university president Jim Clements and his hand picked athletic director Oliver Luck. If anything, this scandal has cemented the relationship between Clements and Luck.

Luck is a former member of the Board of Governors and apparently has their full support.

In the midst of this scandal, Luck championed his beer sales policy at the recent Board of Governors meetings, the policy passed, and a resounding show of support for Luck ensued.

As with Clements, the Board of Governors has thrown their support squarely on Luck’s side.

It is a safe analogy that Stewart and Holgorsen do not share the same lifestyle. Unfortunately, the notion that Stewart is somehow a better choice is getting lost in translation.

While not intended, should the allegation against him become fact, Stewart has proven Luck’s decision to replace him was necessary.

Stewart often talked of his daily walk, referencing his Christian beliefs. There is nothing Christian about the allegations flowing in Morgantown now.

It is a sad day to be a Mountaineer, indeed. Whatever direction this story takes as it matures, few positives will surface.

The irony is that what Stewart was allegedly trying to prove about Holgorsen, he might have proved of himself.