West Virginia notebook: AD disappointed, but supports Holgorsen

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Even after the West Virginia football team’s first sub-.500 season since 2001, athletic director Oliver Luck is backing Dana Holgorsen and the Mountaineers coaching staff.

Luck admitted there were “far too many disappointments” in West Virginia’s 4-8 season (2-7 the Big 12 Conference), but after meeting with Holgorsen and discussing “all the components that make up a successful program” — the coaching staff, recruiting, player development, strength and conditioning, academic support and facilities — Luck determined that a changing of the guard would only be a step backward for the program.

“In my opinion, continuity is the key ingredient that will bring our football program back to the high level that Mountaineer fans expect,” Luck wrote in a statement released Tuesday. “We had plenty of challenges this season; nonetheless, we should not and will not use those as excuses for our performance. We simply must get better.”

Luck said the administration has “high expectations” for the 2014 season, which kicks off Aug. 30 against national power Alabama in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game in Atlanta.

Bell in more trouble

Redshirt junior cornerback Travis Bell is facing DUI charges after being arrested early Sunday morning, his second arrest in 10 months. His status with the team is uncertain.

The incident, first reported by the Dominion Post, occurred at approximately 3 a.m. Sunday. After an argument with his girlfriend outside a parked vehicle at Creekside Condos in Morgantown, W.Va., Bell, 22, failed all field sobriety tests, was booked for DUI and driving with a suspended or revoked license.

Bell, a native of Belle Glade, Fla., had lost his license suspended for failure to pay traffic fines.

He previously was arrested for misdemeanor domestic battery in February.

Bell started nine games this fall and played in all 12, recording 45 tackles and an interception. He has one year of eligibility remaining.

Stephen J. Nesbitt: snesbitt@post-gazette.com, 412-290-2183 and Twitter @stephenjnesbitt.

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