Oliver Luck, West Virginia’s newbie of an Athletic Director, was handed a golden opportunity by the NCAA today.
As fans dissect WVU’s misdeeds alleged by the NCAA, Luck could send a swift and important message to everyone—fire Bill Stewart now.
It was easy for Mountaineers everywhere to point the finger at RichRod, and the former coach must share in the blame, but he has enough to deal with as he begins his third season at Michigan.
What was a surprising about today’s announcement was the fact Stewart’s name was smack dab in the middle of the NCAA accusations.
The NCAA claims both Rodriguez and Stewart “failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance within the football program and failed to adequately monitor the duties and activities” of the non-coaching staff members.
That’s right, squeaky clean Stewart has the same dirt on his hands.
According to reports today, WVU is accused of five major rules violations, including exceeding the permissible limit of the number of coaches by using non-coaching staff members to engage in “on- and off-field activities.” Those activities included skill-development and seven-on-seven drills.
Luck had this to say: “NCAA compliance is essential to our athletic success. Our commitment to rules compliance is clear: Nothing short of perfection is acceptable. If we fall short of that standard, in any way, we will acknowledge it and remedy it.”
Solutions are great. Actions are even better.
Fire Stewart now. Let DC Jeff Casteel or OC Jeff Mullen run the team this year. Sure, this is a disruption for a WVU team that could win the Big East in 2010. But the unit could rally around the disruption and go on a serious run. No matter what happens during the season, Luck should look for a new leader and fix the mistake Ed Pastilong made in the early morning hours after WVU’s Fiesta Bowl upset of Oklahoma.
Pastilong’s hiring of Stewart was an emotional decision. Luck can make an intelligent one.
Who he can get to coach in Morgantown isn’t a concern today. The timing isn’t the best. When the time comes, though, that list should include Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen, Middle Tennessee State’s Rick Stockstill and possibly even Wake Forest’s Jim Grobe, a West Virginia native.
First things first, though. Luck has a decision to make.