Stewart Out At West Virginia

Around 2:30 p.m., the skies in Morgantown, W. Va., grew ominously dark. While they signaled the arrival of the latest in a series of spring storms that have pounded the Mountain State, they also heralded the end of the Bill Stewart era at West Virginia University.

The day began with the revelation that Stewart had retained a new attorney, J. Michael Benninger, to represent him in negotiations with WVU. Up until that point, no contact had taken place between another Stewart attorney, David Hendrickson, and the school, but Hendrickson stepped aside when it became apparent that litigation might take place as a result of the negotiations. Hendrickson is a longtime WVU supporter, a past president of the WVU Alumni Association, and the chairman of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission.

As negotiations progressed through the day, two camps emerged from those keeping tabs on their progress. One group indicated that Stewart planned to fight any attempts to dismiss him before the 2011 season, while another maintained that the talks were proceeding, and that a resolution was expected by the afternoon. The latter proved to be the case, as an agreement was reached in mid-afternoon that resulted in the departure of Stewart.

Two sources have indicated to that Stewart's tenure at West Virginia will come to an end with an official announcement coming soon. Details on the announcement, including possible additional payments to Stewart, are not yet available.

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