The recent news out of West Virginia concerning head-coach-in-waiting Dana Holgorsen has got to give the administration and hopeful fans some pause. The last thing anybody associated with the Mountaineers needs is a coach behaving badly.
After all, Holgorsen is supposed to be the responsible one, a role model for his players. How can he discipline players who get into trouble off the field when he has gotten intro trouble himself? Holgorsen has made West Virginia look bad, no matter whether his late-night casino hijinks last week was an isolated incident or a systemic problem.
All eyes are on him. We have seen coaches tripped up far too often for getting themselves into bad situations away from Xs and Os. Larry Eustachy comes to mind. Do a quick Google search of his name and see what comes up first. Mike Price comes to mind. Mike Haywood comes to mind. Each situation is different from the next, but in each case you can bet the coach wishes he had acted the way he preaches his players to act.
Also consider it is much easier today for a coach or a player to get caught behaving badly. Anybody with a smart phone can be a citizen journalist now. What if an unflattering photo of Holgorsen turns up? Or amateur video caught on a cell phone? Then what? Lucky for Holgorsen, the West Virginia Lottery Commission denied a request to release surveillance video from the casino where he caused a disruption and was escorted out.
There is no question the man knows how to coach. His addition has helped national expectations skyrocket at West Virginia. So you have to start asking this question -- how much bad behavior can a program tolerate? Coaches and players are scrutinized so heavily these days, if Holgorsen continues to behave badly, where does West Virginia draw the line? Can the Mountaineers afford to look beyond any and all transgressions because he is such a good coach?
One thing is for certain -- Holgorsen better be on his best behavior.