The once-high-flying football program at West Virginia University seems to be imploding these days, and Houston is doing more than its fair share to move along the process.
Two of the three main protagonists: a) newish athletic director Oliver Luck, who used to be a Houston Oiler and a president of the Dynamo (not to mention father to Stratford High's Andrew Luck, odds-on Heisman favorite) and b) new football coach-in-waiting Dana Holgorsen, who spent two years as UH's offensive coordinator, coaching Case Keenum in that time.
The third is head football coach Bill Stewart, a longtime WVU assistant who replaced Rich Rodriguez when he went to Michigan to do his own bit of imploding.
Luck hired Holgorsen to be a top assistant this year and head coach in 2012. Apparently it didn't sit well with Stewart.
Luck told a radio station he's going to have to "spend some time trying to figure out what the facts are" in the case, but so far:
-- Last month Holgorsen was asked to leave -- at three in the morning -- what sounds like the funnest place on earth, the Mardi Gras Casino & Resort in Morgantown, West Virginia, which is also a dog track.
-- A paper then printed a column saying the casino incident was only one of six such happenings on Holgorsen's record. (Several of the allegations in it have been shown to be false.)
-- A WVU beat reporter said that shortly after Holgorsen's hire, Stewart called him up and asked him to "dig up dirt" on the guy.
-- Luck and the university are now looking into the whole affair, including whether Stewart and his wife have been leaking derogatory info on Holgorsen.
Holgorsen has issued an apology for the casino 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," Holgorsen said. "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."
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One of the purported six instances of similar behavior, by the way, involved the Coogs.
USA Today's report on the Luck radio interview quoted him:
"The investigation that I undertook left me with a high level of confidence that as the university put it there were a lot of inaccuracies in these allegations," Luck said. "I did not find any substantiation. One of the allegations was that he was thrown out of a bar in Huntington the evening of a University of Houston-Marshall football game. The truth is he, along with all the other coaches, went back to Houston on the team charter. That's an example of a blatant inaccuracy. I've got a high level of confidence in Dana and his persona. I have 100 percent confidence that he'll do the right thing. Some of the reports were blatantly inaccurate and beyond that I can't say that much."
Basically, if you meet any Mountaineer fans, don't tell them you're from Houston.