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Friday, October 31, 2014

Did Bill Stewart’s Wife Leak Dana Holgorsen Alcohol Stories?

Over the past few months, the football coaching situation at West Virginia has quickly transformed into a drama-packed episode of Days of Our Lives.  About two weeks ago we told you about an alleged incident involving head coach-in-waiting Dana Holgorsen, during which Holgorsen had to be removed from a casino due to inappropriate behavior assumed to be fueled by alcohol.  A few days later, Chuck Landon of the Herald Dispatch compiled a piece which highlighted six separate alcohol related incidents that Holgorsen has allegedly been involved in.  Landon’s sources, of course, remained anonymous.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the West Virginia coaching situation, here is a little background.  Holgorsen was brought on board as the team’s offensive coordinator and soon-to-be head coach.  He is supposed to be learning under current head coach Bill Stewart, who has had little success with the program over the past three seasons.  West Virginia has made it public that Holgorsen will eventually take over as head coach, so most believe they are waiting out Stewart in hopes that he quits and owes the school $1 million rather than firing him and having to buy out his contract for $850,000.

For that reason, it would be reasonable to assume that Holgorsen and Stewart aren’t exactly best friends.  On Sunday, Mountaineer fan site HailWV.com broke a story that has made the head coaching situation in Morgantown even uglier.  According to the site, it is believed that Stewart’s wife, Karen, has been leaking the alcohol-related stories to the press in an attempt to tarnish Holgorsen’s image.  The university has already backed Holgorsen, saying the stories from the Herald Dispatch contained “blatant inaccuracies” and “fabrications.”  As a result, West Virginia’s severance talks with Stewart have been put on hold as they investigate the most recent news regarding Karen Stewart.

This all sounds more like an episode of the Jersey Shore than a coaching transition at a major university, but the claims being made by HailWV.com are not insignificant.  If West Virginia and AD Oliver Luck determine Karen Stewart was indeed feeding the media false stories about Holgorsen, they could easily fire Bill Stewart with cause and have no obligation to pay him any money.

There is an important lesson to be learned from all of this: if a head coach isn’t working out, fire him.  West Virginia could have avoided a lot of headaches had they simply bought out Stewart’s contract and turned the page toward another era.  Instead, they now have to deal with a lot more than a head coaching transition.

Helmet knock to DCPGA for the tip



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