February 12, 2016

WVU Football Holgorsen and the not-so-secret ‘truth’ of recruiting

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Posted: Tuesday, August 12, 2014 11:34 pm

MORGANTOWN — The paint started peeling away from the masterpiece that has been college football when Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby implied that cheating pays in the game while addressing the media on Big 12 Media Day last month.

“Enforcement is broken,” he said. “The infractions committee hasn’t had (an FBS) hearing in almost a year, and I think it’s not an understatement to say cheating pays presently. If you seek to conspire to certainly bend the rules, you can do it successfully and probably not get caught in most occasions.”

Alabama coach Nick Saban disputed Bowlsby’s charge, at least in the SEC, in a transcript of something he said on the subject that was carried on Al.com:

“I don’t see that. I don’t know where people get those opinions. Like I think the compliance in our league is actually better than it’s ever been. I think Mike Slive, that was one of his babies when he came in, he was going to make sure that we had a clean league and people did it the right things. When you don’t walk the walk in our league, you’re going to get called down by our conference offices as much as the NCAA.”

Now a little more paint has been stripped away from the picture as West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen at the end of Monday morning’s press conference was asked about the new NCAA reform rules, including the addition of food now allowed for all athletes including walk-ons and available all day.

His answer inferred that the situation there would be studied and that he expected steps to be taken so that everyone is doing the same thing but in his answer he indicated that coaches lie to recruits as a routine matter.

“It’s more about what reality it is,” Holgosen said. “You lie in recruiting a bunch. That’s just kind of part of it. You become a salesman. But what are we actually doing? How much are we actually feeding our guys? What are we actually giving our guys?

“Our job is to actually get our kids on campus and once they are on campus our players do a lot of the recruiting. They spend a lot of time with the players and I encourage the recruits to ask a lot of questions about how we really are, about how it really is here. We encourage that. So the players aren’t going to lie to them.”

In Holgorsen’s defense here, it is likely Holgorsen would like to take the term “lie” back and replace it with something like “embellish” or “exaggerate.” As a salesman, you try to put your organization in a positive light, even if it is in a negative situation, but to tell untruths and wind up with a group of recruits who felt they had been lied to would create far more problems than it would solve … especially as future recruits come along and here such tales.

• • •

Love is not only for tennis.

As Joe Mazzulla and Scott Gyorko, a pair of former WVU athletes, proved this weekend.

Mazzulla, who was a major cog in WVU’s Final Four team of the 2009-10 season, was married over the weekend to Camai Roberson, while Gyorko, a former Mountaineer linebacker, went to the diamond at PNC Park in Pittsburgh to give one to his new finance, Katie Vig.

The day was a perfect one for the Gyorkos as Scott’s younger brother, Jedd, had a couple of hits with the Padres defeating the Pittsburgh Pirates.

• • •

As silly as it sounds, do not eliminate freshman quarterback William Crest as a potential punt returner this year for the Mountaineers.

Holgorsen has no plans to redshirt him and probably wouldn’t hesitate to use him at quarterback by midseason if there is a problem at the position.

But, what may have seemed like a lark, has taken wings and Holgorsen is intrigued by Crest’s ball-handling skills, his ability to catch punts and run with them.

Jordan Thompson would be the prime candidate to do this, as he proved himself solid at handling the punts last season but could not ever get untracked running them back, leaving WVU last in the Big 12 in punt returns.

However, Thompson has had a “phenomenal” camp, according to Holgorsen and everyone else who has seen him, and will probably get a chance to show off in games the skills he has shown in practice.

• • •

Spur K.J. Dillon, who has been out with an ankle problem that occurred when he was at home, is back going full speed in workouts and says he’ll have no problem being ready for Alabama when the Mountaineers open the season on Aug. 30.

Linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski, who has been in non-contact green jerseys recently, said he expected to be back practicing full speed and saw nothing to keep him from the opener, either.

Follow Bob Hertzel on Twitter @bhertzel