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Idea was bad from the start at WVU

In The Box

June 10, 2011
EDGAR?KELLEY , The Inter-Mountain

I could probably count on one hand the number of times in my life that I've predicted something that's actually become a reality. But when I wrote months ago that Bill Stewart coaching with Dana Holgorsen wasn't going to work, I knew it was a for sure bet, a gimme.

It's like moving your wife's ex-husband in to live with you. For a day or two it's going to be fine and dandy, but eventually the inevitable is going to happen and all hell will break loose - it just won't work.

But to be honest, I didn't foresee the off-the-field drama that's transpired in the past couple weeks. I thought it would be football-related issues that would have the two coaches at each other's throat and causing the one thing the football program doesn't need - a distraction.

Whether Stewart leaked info to the media about alcohol-related incidents with Holgorsen, some of which West Virginia University found to be false, or he attempted to coax Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reporter Colin Dunlap to dig up dirt on the coach-in-waiting and tarnish his reputation, this is the kind of publicity the program doesn't need.

And don't think for a moment that the country isn't watching the soap opera which has given outsiders yet another reason to poke fun at our beloved state. Former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach made some sort of hillbilly comment about the situation earlier this week. Not to take anything seriously from a coach who was fired for abusing his players, but this is the kind of trash already circulating.

The scenario of having both coaches at the helm wasn't going to work before and there's no way in the world it can work now. It's evident that Stewart isn't going to pack up and leave, which he should have done as soon he's learned he was a lame-duck coach. So the only way to fix the problem now is for Athletic Director Oliver Luck to let Stewart go.

This could be a blessing in disguise for WVU football, however. Ever since Stewart found out he was on his way out and that he would have to coach his final season along side his replacement, the Mountaineers' chances for success in 2011 have been hampered. It was evident from the start that the team was going to be much better this season without Stewart than with him.

And it seems Luck has come to the realization that his decision to have the two coaches work together was a mistake.

"In my mind I thought it made some sense," Luck said earlier this week. "In retrospect, we can all second guess. Would I do it again? I don't know."

Hopefully, Luck gets this mess cleaned up sooner than later and we can all go back to concentrating on what matters most - football.



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