Over the Memorial Day weekend we linked to a report from Chuck Landon in a Huntington, WV newspaper that, citing anonymous sources, indicated that West Virginia head coach in waiting Dana Holgorsen had been involved in as many as six alcohol related incidents in his time in Morgantown. Today, Mike Casazza of the Charleston Daily Mail, citing sources within the West Virginia Athletic Department, reports that the allegations against both Holgorsen and Athletic Director Oliver Luck are false.
The column alleges Holgorsen was asked to leave a bar in Huntington after a game October 2008.
A former colleague of Holgorsen's at the University of Houston said Holgorsen chartered back to campus that night and did not stay in Huntington.
The only Houston official to remain in Huntington following that game was an athletic trainer attending to Cougars' wide receiver Patrick Edwards, who broke his leg during the game.
Sources in the column said WVU President James Clements ordered Athletic Director Oliver Luck back from the Big East Conference meetings in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., Wednesday.
WVU sources told the Daily Mail Luck had previously planned to be back in town for the rifle team's annual fundraiser at the Mylan Park Community Center that evening. A plane ticket was purchased weeks in advance.
The column also cited a source that said Clements told Luck "that if he read one more article about the coach-in-waiting, it would cost Luck his job."
One WVU representative close to Luck and Clements called that an "outright lie."
An administration official concurred and said it was "not Clements' style."
We were always somewhat skeptical of such a scandalous report coming from a newspaper based in the rivals university's hometown, so no one should be shocked to see West Virginia shoot holes in some of the more sensational allegations in Landon's original report. Still, Holgorsen's reputation for being eccentric and unwilling to conform to the button-up image of coaches will make him the constant target of reports just like these.