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October 9, 2013

Huggins says recruit’s status still unclear

MORGANTOWN — West Virginia University basketball coach Bob Huggins still doesn’t know if recruit Jonathan Holton will be cleared to play this year.

“I don’t know any more than I did last week,” Huggins said. “It’s out of my control. I guess we’ll find out when they tell us.”

 Holton was recruited and given a scholarship despite having pled no contest to a felony charge of video voyeurism and being sentenced to two years of probation in Superior Court in South Kingstown, R.I.

He had played his freshman year at Rhode Island, averaging 10.2 points and grabbing 8.1 rebounds a game. The 6-8 forward was an all-rookie selection in the Atlantic 10.

Following his arrest he was dismissed from school and enrolled at Palm Beach (Fla.) State, where he went about rehabilitating his image.

He averaged 17.5 points and 14.1 rebounds, drawing praise for behavior and attitude from his coach and attracting a number of schools to recruit him.

Huggins said he could not say what the problem was getting him cleared to play due to privacy laws.

“I don’t know what I can tell you. I don’t want to screw him up or us up. I’d just as soon stay out of the legal stuff downtown,” he said.

Huggins did say if Holton did not get his eligibility for the first semester he would be out all year as a redshirt.

• West Virginia University women’s soccer moved up one spot to No. 9 in Soccer America’s Top 25 Poll.

The Mountaineers (9-2-2, 3-0 Big 12) sit atop the Big 12 Conference after knocking off Texas (9-4-1, 3-1 Big 12), 2-1, at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium on Oct. 4.

WVU is the highest-ranked Big 12 school in this week’s poll. Texas Tech (12-1-1, 2-0-1 Big 12) came in at No. 14 and Baylor (8-2-2, 1-1 Big 12) dropped six spots to No. 22.

• West Virginia University senior forward Frances Silva has been named the Disney Soccer/NSCAA Player of the Week, announced the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA).

The Overland Park, Kansas, native also has been named the Big 12 Conference Offensive Player of the Week, while freshman midfielder Ashley Lawrence has been named the Big 12 Conference Newcomer of the Week.

This national award is the second career honor for Silva, as she first won the award on Sept. 26, 2012, following her six-point performance against a pair of Big 12 Conference opponents.

• After finishing eighth out of 47 teams at the Paul Short Run, the West Virginia University cross country team moved up to No. 4 in the Mid-Atlantic Region and received votes in this week’s USTFCCCA national poll, released Tuesday.

“This past weekend was a crazy race,” says coach Sean Cleary. “The rankings are reflective of who could handle a heat index of 90 degrees. The rankings will be more reflective over the coming weeks.”

The Mountaineers moved up from fifth to fourth in the region, jumping Penn State. WVU finished one spot ahead of then-No.13 Penn State this past Saturday.

Seniors Sarah Martinelli and Allison Lasnicki led the Mountaineers at the Paul Short Run in Bethlehem, Pa., finishing in 19th (20:55) and 25th (21:04) place, respectively.

• West Virginia University cross country senior runner Sarah Martinelli was named the Big 12 Conference’s Runner of the Week.

Martinelli, at the Paul Short Run on Oct 5, in Bethlehem, Pa., her first race of the season, was the first Mountaineer to cross the finish line, coming in 19th place overall with a personal-best 6K time of 20:55.

The Morgantown native cut nearly two minutes off of her 6K time in her first event last season (22:28), while helping West Virginia finish higher than then-No. 13 Penn State.

• The West Virginia University volleyball team faces Baylor in a Big 12 Conference match at the WVU Coliseum at 6:30 p.m. today.

The match has been deemed Dig Pink Night, with all fans encouraged to wear pink to support breast cancer awareness.

The Mountaineers (15-2, 2-1) have matched their highest win total in a single season since 2010, following a 1-1 road trip this past week.

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