Audio: Stewart Asked Writer To Smear Holgorsen

The simmering controversy over the source of allegedly inaccurate, recent media reports detailing sordid behavior by West Virginia coach-in-waiting Dana Holgorsen boiled over early Tuesday morning on Chris Mueller’s overnight radio show on KDKA-FM in Pittsburgh.

(Dunlap (r) guested on Chris Mueller’s 93.7 The Fan show in Pittsburgh)

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE reporter Colin Dunlap, who served as West Virginia football beat reporter for the Post-Gazette last season, told Mueller that Stewart called him on December 18, 2010, three days after Holgorsen was hired as Stewart’s future replacement, to request that Dunlap “dig up dirt” on Holgorsen.

The following are excerpts from Dunlap’s remarks early Tuesday morning (June 7, 2011) on KDKA-FM about the phone call between the two:

“It was actually my birthday, December 18, it was the day he (Stewart) was going to the bowl game because I distinctly remember there was a coaches convention in Pittsburgh with high school coaches. He was (then) flying from Pittsburgh down to Orlando to the bowl game for pre-prep work … “

” … He (Stewart) tried to flame-throw the guy (Holgorsen) in December by calling me and at least one other reporter because the reporter and I discussed it. He said, ‘can you get the word ’scumbag’ tattooed on the front of the sports page?’

“‘(Stewart said) you need to dig up this dirt. You need to get it out on this guy.’ And I said, ‘hey man, I’m not a part of some witch hunt.’”

“… If you want to go look at my cell phone records you can, I don’t need to hide from it. The conversation happened the day he (Stewart) was driving to the airport from the high school coaches convention in Pittsburgh. He was on his way to Orlando. (WVU assistant coach) Dave McMichael was in the car with him. The conversation happened.”

In recent days, speculation that Stewart’s wife or the coach himself was the source of a damaging, and allegedly inaccurate portrayal of Holgorsen written by HUNTINGTON HERALD-DISPATCH reporter Chuck Landon on May 28 has continued to grow.

In the piece, Landon reported:

Holgorsen has reportedly been involved in at least three and, perhaps, as many as six alcohol-related incidents in the last six months, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the situation.

That’s right, six.

The first five were hushed up, but the sixth incident at Mardi Gras Casino in Cross Lanes on May 18 has blown the cover off Holgorsen’s embarrassing antics. Nitro police were called to the casino at about 3:20 a.m. on May 18 to remove an apparently intoxicated customer who didn’t want to leave. Holgorsen was asked to step outside, sit on a bench and await a taxi. No charges were filed.

Four days after Landon’s report, and a previous hit piece in the WHEELING (WV) NEWS-REGISTER titled, “Holgorsen embarrasses Entire State“, the CHARLESTON (WV) DAILY MAIL reported that WVU officials claimed both hit pieces were rife with “blatant inaccuracies.”

Monday Mike Casazza of the Charleston Daily Mail reported:

West Virginia University is searching for anonymous contributors to newspaper stories it says contain “blatant inaccuracies” about the football team’s head coach-in-waiting and offensive coordinator, Dana Holgorsen.

The timing of WVU’s internal inquiry, which is a normal procedure in response to such incidents, coincides with a pause in the concluding phase of Coach Bill Stewart’s separation agreement with the university.

Two sources said the contract has been awaiting signatures for weeks but has been tabled as the athletic department determines who has and has not participated in fabricating stories about Holgorsen and compromising the coaching transition.

Might Dunlap’s remarkable revelation of Stewart’s personal request that he “get the word ’scumbag’ tattooed on the front of the sports page” in a seeming desperate bid to smear Holgorsen soon transform that “pause” into “cause“?

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Mike Leach Releases Official Statement To Public

Here’s the statement released by Mike Leach to the public regarding his ouster today:

“I want everyone to know what a privilege and pleasure it has been to teach and coach more than 400 student-athletes at Texas Tech University over the past 10 years.

Mike Leach Fired

When I arrived at Texas Tech, the football program was on NCAA probation and the graduation rate was far below the national average. However, in the past 10 years, Tech has been to 10 straight bowl games, has the third best record in the Big 12 Conference, and has the highest graduation rate for football players of any public institution in the country.

Over the past several months, there have been individuals in the Texas Tech administration, Board of Regents and booster groups who have dealt in lies, and continue to do so. These lies have led to my firing this morning. I steadfastly refuse to deal in any lies, and am disappointed that I have not been afforded the opportunity for the truth to be known.

Texas Tech’s decision to deal in lies and fabricate a story which led to my firing, includes, but is not limited by, the animosity remaining from last year’s contract negotiations. I will not tolerate such retaliatory action; additionally, we will pursue all available legal remedies.

These actions taken by Texas Tech have severely damaged my reputation and public image. In addition, Texas Tech has caused harm to not only my family, but to the entire Red Raider nation and the sport of college football.

As you know, I prefer to engage in question and answer sessions; however, in this instance my counsel has advised me to simply make a statement. There will be time to answer questions about this issue in the future, but the serious legal nature of this situation prevents me from going into further detail at this time.”

Is it reasonable to think that the “lies” Leach is referring to have nothing to do with the specific incident with Adam James? That said, I don’t think this is the last we’ll hear about James and his father, ESPN announcer Craig James.

Read more…

Adam James Coach: ‘Lazy, selfish, not a D1 player’

Highly-touted University of Houston offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen, who was the position coach for Adam James at Texas Tech the year James joined the team, had harsh words in an email to Tech university officials about the son of ESPN broadcaster Craig James.

Dana Holgerson slams Adam James

Holgorsen’s email also indicates an acute betrayal by Adam James of Texas Tech coach Mike Leach, who Holgorsen alleged was the only Division I coach offering Adam a scholarship. A fact I have independently corroborated with a Texas high school football recruiting expert.

From Lubbock’s Fox 26:

Holgorsen worked for (Mike) Leach at Texas Tech for eight years, the last three as offensive coordinator. FOX 26 Sports has obtained a copy of the e-mail written by Holgorsen.

“I am writing this letter on behalf of Mike Leach in regards to the Adam James situation,” Holgorsen writes in his e-mail. “I was the inside receiver coach at Texas Tech when we made the decision (to) sign Adam James in January of 2007. Adam had no offers to play NCAA D1 football during and after his senior year. After a conversation between Coach Leach and Adam’s father Craig, Coach Leach acquired a brief highlight tape of Adam and made the decision to take him as a scholarship student athlete.

“I was opposed to doing so in (the) belief he was not a D1 football player,” Holgorsen writes in his e-mail. “Coach Leach overrode my opinion and Adam became a Red Raider. During the rest of my time at Texas Tech I was Adam’s position coach where I always remained critical of Adam’s ability to play at this level due to being lazy in not only the classroom but also in the offseason and during practice.

Read more…