Conduct of West Virginia's Holgorsen triggers apology

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West Virginia offensive coordinator and head coach-in-waiting Dana Holgorsen apologized publicly after a newspaper reported he recently was removed from a casino due to unruly behavior.

The Charleston (W.Va.) Daily Mail reported Wednesday that shortly after 3 a.m. May 18, Holgorsen was asked to leave the Mardi Gras Casino & Resort in Cross Lanes, W.Va., after his behavior became an issue.

"I learned a valuable lesson from this incident," Holgorsen said in a statement released Wednesday night. "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. 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."

Holgorsen initially did not comply with casino security, prompting a 911 call, according to the Daily Mail, but Nitro, W.Va., police spokesman Raymond Blake said Holgorsen did not appear to break any laws and complied with officers.

"We got up there and spoke to the male and said, 'Hey, they want you to leave,' " Blake told the newspaper. "He complied, walked out, sat out on a bench, waited for the taxi, and, when the taxi arrived, he got in and left."

West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck issued a statement Wednesday but said he would not discuss the issue further.

"After looking into the details and thoroughly investigating what took place last week, I believe inappropriate behavior did occur," Luck said in that statement. "Coach [Bill] 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."

Holgorsen, 39, was hired in December from Oklahoma State. He will succeed Stewart at the end of the 2011 season.


Michael Sanserino: msanserino@post-gazette.com .


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