"Right Thing To Do"

West Virginia Director Oliver Luck said that the resignation of Bill Stewart was "the right thing to do" as he addressed the media in a 14-minute press conference at the Milan Puskar Center on Friday night.

Luck's initial statements to the media were brief, and included a reiteration of his thanks to Bill Stewart for his service to the Mountaineer program. He again said, as he did in a prepared statement released earlier on Friday, that the school did not find any substantiation of the allegations against Stewart, but declined to go further.

"I won't discuss any of the allegations, rumors or innuendo that have been out there in the state for the past couple of weeks," he said firmly. When asked why, in the absence of any such evidence, he still made the decision to secure Stewart's departure, Luck noted that the "totality of the innuendo" played a part.

"The program is more important than any individual, is more important that any coach or any player. It was clearly becoming a distraction for our football program," he said. "I think the one thing you don't want around any program is distractions. The distractions that I didn't think would come to a close prompted me to sit down with Coach Stewart and discuss these issues in a frank and candid manner."

Luck said that Stewart would not accept a position or work for the University "in any capacity". And while he did indicate that West Virginia would "pay the sums that we are obligated to" in that agreement, he would not say whether or not any additional money or compensation would be paid to Stewart as an incentive to resign.

"It's my understanding that the terms of the separation agreement are confidential," he said in response to questions on that topic.

Luck also said that he would give the matter of his head-coach-in-waiting plan "some thought".

"At the time I thought the head coach in waiting plan made sense. I thought it was good management practice. I am sure I take some time to think about it and see if I made any mistakes, and I will be the first one to acknowledge it if I did. But hindsight is always 20-20 as we know."

The press conference also served as the introduction of Dana Holgorsen as head coach. He becomes the the 33rd head coach in WVU history. He will still run the offense, and has been elevated to the head coaching job approximately seven months ahead of schedule.

"He is ready for the challenge, and understands the enormous responsibility that goes along with it. I have 100% confidence in Coach Holgorsen and the offensive and defensive coaches," Luck said.

Stewart finished his career at West Virginia with a 28-12 record. His win total puts him eighth on West Virginia's all time list, one behind Gene Corum's 29.

BlueGoldNews Top Stories