Oliver Luck, Dana Holgorsen release statements on coach-in-waiting ‘incident’

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Early this morning — very early, to be exact — word broke that West Virginia offensive coordinator/head coach-in-waiting Dana Holgorsen was reportedly escorted out of a casino in Charleston, WV, in the wee hours on May 18 for what essentially amounted to a behavioral issue. Reports from the The Dominion Post indicate that Holgorsen was asked to leave the establishment after Holgorsen reportedly had too much to drink.

“If the bartender feels like you have had too much to drink, they will refuse to sell you any more alcohol, and I believe that was the case in this incident,” Nitro Police spokesman H.R. Blake told the Post.

As one would imagine, WVU’s fine assistant AD for communications, Mike Fragale, has been working to smooth the incident over by releasing the following quotes from WVU AD Oliver Luck and Holgorsen himself:

“After looking into the details and throughly investigating what took place last week, I believe inappropriate behavior did occur,” Luck said. “Coach Stewart and I have made it clear, and will reiterate, that our coaches and staff are representing the University and the state at all times. We expect them to always display appropriate behavior.

“I take this matter very seriously, but I do not plan on commenting on it further.”

“I learned a valuable lesson from this incident. As a football coach, I am always in the public eye and I have to hold myself to a higher standard, which is what I ask our players to do,” Holgorsen said in his own statement. “I’m sorry that this incident has put the University and the football program in a difficult position. I will not put myself in that situation again.”

While no arrests were made during the incident, it’s important to note that Holgorsen is Luck’s hire to replace current head coach Bill Stewart and, already, he’s been involved in an off-the-field incident without having coached a down in Morgantown. Luck is currently facing some heat from fans for allowing “considering” the sale of alcohol during football games and this little tidbit certainly doesn’t help his cause.

Because, in the end, say what you will about Stewart, but he wouldn’t be caught getting escorted out of a casino at three in the morning.

WVU RB Donaldson in concussion protocol, out for Baylor game

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) West Virginia running back CJ Donaldson is in concussion protocol and will miss next week’s home game with Baylor after he was injured in a loss to Texas, coach Neal Brown said Tuesday.

Donaldson remained on the ground after he was tackled on a short gain in the third quarter of Saturday’s 38-20 loss to the Longhorns. His helmet and shoulder pads were removed and he was carted off the field on a stretcher. After the game he was cleared to travel home with the team.

“He’s recovering,” Brown said. “There is a strict return-to-play (policy) that we have to follow here and I’m zero involved in it. All I do is ask the question. They don’t even start the return-to-play until they’re symptom free.”

Donaldson, a 240-pound freshman, leads the Mountaineers with 389 rushing yards and six touchdowns, with an average of 6.9 yards per carry.

West Virginia (2-3, 0-2 Big 12 Conference) is idle this week and hosts Baylor (3-2, 1-1) next Thursday, Oct. 13.

Taulia Tagovailoa says he visited brother, Tua, over weekend

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COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Maryland quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa was able to visit his brother, Tua, last weekend after the Terrapins’ game against Michigan State, he said Tuesday in his first comments to reporters since Tua left the Miami Dolphins’ game against Cincinnati last Thursday with a frightening head injury.

Taulia played in Maryland’s win over Michigan State on Saturday but was not made available to the media afterward. He said Tuesday he was able to go to Florida and spend some time with his brother, who suffered a concussion four days after taking a hit in another game but was cleared to return.

“He’s doing good, everything’s fine,” he said. “My biggest thing was just seeing him and spending as much time as I can with him. I came back Sunday night.”

Tagovailoa said he appreciates the support for his brother.

“My brother’s my heart. He’s someone I look up to, someone I talk to every day,” he said. “It was just a hard scene for me to see that.”

Tagovailoa said he was in constant contact with his mother about his brother’s situation, and he was finally able to talk to Tua on Friday night.

“I really just wanted to go there and just spend time with my family, hug them and stuff like that,” Taulia Tagovailoa said. “But he told me he’s a big fan of us, and he’d rather watch me play on Saturday. … After that phone call, I was happy and getting back to my normal routine.”

Tagovailoa indicated that his brother’s injury didn’t make him too nervous about his own health when he took the field again.

“I guess when that happens to someone like my brother, or when anything happens to one of my family members, I don’t really think of how it will be able to affect me,” he said. “I just think of: `Is he OK? How’s he doing?”‘

Although it was a short visit to Florida, he said he and Tua made the most of their chance to be together.

“I just wanted to make sure he’s healthy and stuff, which he is,” Taulia Tagovailoa said.