The Times West Virginian

Sports

November 26, 2013

FURFARI COLUMN- Polls unfavorable to Luck, Holgorsen

MORGANTOWN — A friend brought to my attention recently a couple of questions asked online of listeners and viewers.

One dealt with West Virginia University’s athletic director Oliver Luck, and the other Dana Holgorsen, the man Luck hired three years ago as head football coach.

I found answers to both questions asked by The Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register most interesting.

Noting that Luck did not get chosen for the athletic director position at Texas, where he received his law degree, the newspapers asked:

“Are you glad Oliver Luck is staying as WVU’s athletic director?”

The response reportedly was: 74 percent “no.”

A second question raised by the Wheeling newspapers was posted online for readers and viewers following West Virginia’s shocking 31-19 loss at underdog Kansas a week ago last Saturday. It read, “Do you think Dana Holgorsen should be fired at the end of this season as head football coach?”

Exactly 79 percent of the people who responded wrote “yes.”

I can’t remember whether any such polls were taken during Ed Pastilong’s 21 years of service as the university’s director of athletics or when the deceased Bill Stewart was head football coach and turned out three teams that posted consecutive 9-4 records and as many bowl appearances.

You may recall that Holgorsen was hired by Luck as Stewart’s successor, and made his head-coaching debut by guiding the Mountaineers to a 10-3 record with Stewart’s recruits — not his.

Those talented players completed the 2011 campaign by crushing Clemson in the Orange Bowl, 70-33.

Going into Saturday’s football finale against Iowa State (2-9, 1-7), West Virginia (4-7, 2-6 Big 12) has lost 13 of its last 19 games.

However, Holgorsen was quoted last week as saying he and Luck have talked frequently about the football program and that they think it is headed in the right direction.

Yet I’m told that Luck, a former Mountaineer quarterback, declined to discuss the program’s sad state with reporters after the loss at Kansas.

Isn’t that part of an athletic director’s job, whose salary is nearly $600,000 annually?

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