Stewart clarifies conference remarks

West Virginia coach Bill Stewart issued a clarification over the weekend about comments he made to a Parkersburg TV station on Thursday.

In that TV interview, Stewart talked about how the Big East could disband and West Virginia would end up in either the ACC, SEC or Big Ten after the next round of conference realignment.

Here's what Stewart said over the weekend in an official statement:

"It's important for me to clarify comments about conference reshuffling that I included in an interview [Thursday].

"When game-planning, coaches have to consider all scenarios real and imagined because you never know how your opponent will come at you next. That's what I was doing [Thursday] -- thinking out loud.

"I'm a Big East coach at heart and want to make it clear that I believe the Big East is the best conference for our program. It is unwarranted for our fans or others to consider my comments an indication of anything more than a coach thinking out loud. WVU’s commitment to the Big East is as deep as can be."

West Virginia also included these comments from athletic director Ed Pastilong:

"West Virginia University is 100 percent committed to the Big East Conference. WVU is very proud of its part in the formation of the Big East football conference and our number one goal as we move forward is this conference."

If you watched the original interview, it was pretty clear that Stewart was giving his opinion and not passing along any inside information. He may not have thought that his comments to a local TV station would get passed along to other avenues, but that's the power of the Internet.

Stewart may well turn out to be right, anyway. It's important that this issue get discussed publicly, since the scenario Stewart painted seems like a very real possibility. But he's been as vocal of a supporter for Big East football as anybody, so nobody should question his loyalty to the league.