Dana Holgorsen comes out of the Hal Mumme/Mike Leach school of prolific, up-tempo spread offenses, which is exactly what West Virginia was bargaining for when it poached Holgorsen from Oklahoma State last December to remake the stale-looking Mountaineer offense in the image of his top-ranked attacks at OSU and Houston as offensive coordinator and head coach-in-waiting. With the prolific passing game, though, comes an heir apparent with more than a little bit of the Captain in him: Holgorsen is a bachelor as he nears age 40, spent his entire year in Stillwater living out of a hotel and openly pounds Red Bull on the sideline.
And as of last week, according to the Charleston Daily Mail, he's under investigation by West Virginia for reportedly being forcibly removed from a local casino in the wee hours of a weekday morning:
Multiple sources told the Charleston Daily Mail Holgorsen was removed from Mardi Gras Casino & Resort after 3 a.m. May 18. Holgorsen had been at a Mountaineer Athletic Club function earlier in the day in Logan before spending the evening at the casino with other university representatives. […]
Holgorsen's behavior allegedly reached a point that necessitated involvement from on-site security, sources said. Holgorsen was escorted out of the casino with the episode caught on surveillance. University representatives who were with Holgorsen were said to have then intervened. No arrest was made.
Police records indicate Metro 911 received a call from the casino at 3:13 a.m. that night. A "white male" was said to be "refusing to cooperate with the casino's management." Casino supervisors had the male detained at the time.
The Nitro Police Department was dispatched to the scene. The official records do not say what happened next, but it's believed Holgorsen was released under the supervision of those he was with.
There is no record of an arrest nor, apparently, any official record that mentions Holgorsen by name. No one seems to have gotten their hands on the security tapes — yet — though their emergence may be inevitable now that the story is out.
But sans criminal charges, the first question isn't "What can West Virginia prove?" but "How much does West Virginia care?" Considering that the incident is now a week old and reportedly involved other university personnel, the silence from the university may be some indication that Holgo's bosses aren't out for knee-jerk blood. Then again, it can hardly brush aside a credible story placing the new face of the program in a situation that was unimaginable under the old face — one that seems more likely to denounce a casino as a den of iniquity than be caught inside of one, much less at 3 a.m. on a Thursday morning — with a "no comment." At best, WVU will be able to claim insufficient evidence; at worst, it will feel compelled to crack down with a suspension or (if alcohol was involved) some kind of treatment program.
As always, that devil is in the details. Either way, though, the transition to the pass-happy reign of Holgo the Barbarian just got a little rockier.
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Matt Hinton is on Twitter: Follow him @DrSaturday.