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August 5, 2012

McCartney’s future status uncertain at WVU

MORGANTOWN — Because he has been consistently inconsistent in football and the classroom, West Virginia University wide receiver Ivan McCartney’s place on this season’s team is in jeopardy.

A cousin of flamboyant professional Chad Johnson (Ochocinco), McCartney’s football abilities are unquestioned, but his approach to getting the most out of them has made him a perplexing problem for the coaching staff.

In fact, it would seem from what offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson and quarterback Geno Smith said this week, that he is one of the four or so players who are facing academic problems as summer school comes to an end with their eligibility in question at the moment.

“He’s just an inconsistent guy right now. Not just in football, but a lot of aspects of life. Grades, academics, that comes first, and that’s why right now he’s in the situation he’s in,” Dawson said when he was brought up on Saturday.

Smith had hinted at the same thing during Friday’s interviews after coach Dana Holgorsen refused to allow McCartney to be interviewed by the media.

“We have seen flashes from him,” Smith said. “The thing with him is not talent. It’s his consistency. I’ve preached to him in order to be a great player you have to be consistently great. You can’t be good and then bad. If you weigh it out it is average. It’s all based on his work ethic.”

With questions about his eligibility, he hasn’t been getting the reps he needs to reach the level he should be playing at.

“We’re not going to waste reps on a guy when we don’t know know if he’s going to be eligible or not,” Dawson said. “Right now, he’s not doing anything. Basically, he’s done nothing. Does he have the talent? Yes, he does. My challenge to him would just be — he has to be more consistent and all that, but he’s got to be more consistent in a couple aspects of life in general.”

“It’s all down to him. He has it in him,” Smith said. “We wouldn’t have recruited him if he didn’t. He was one of the top guys coming out of high school. He has the ability. He just has to use it on the field and be more consistent.”

Holgorsen indicated there could be other academic problems coming.

“Guys are still in school, and they still have another week of school. There are a couple of guys that need to finish strong from an academic standpoint. That could happen, but if we retained all of our guys and signed all of our guys, we’d be in much better shape than we were last year. I’m not prepared to say that yet, because three or four guys won’t make it, and there are a handful of guys still taking classes,” the coach said.

McCartney, out of the same Miramar (Fla.) High that produced Smith two years earlier, caught 40 passes for 585 yards and 3 touchdowns last season, starting 10 games. He was third on the team in receptions behind Stedman Bailey and Tavon Austin.

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