Chuck Landon: WVU turns itself in to NCAA for violations
The informed rumors are flying.
So, don't be surprised if West Virginia University announces it has self-reported to the NCAA and also self-imposed sanctions on its football program for violations.
Call it the Rich Rodriguez trickledown.
When the NCAA began investigating allegations at Michigan that Rodriguez had too many coaches on the practice field and was exceeding the time limit for preparation per week, WVU was included in the investigation.
Obviously, that's because Rodriguez was the Mountaineers' head coach before leaving for Michigan. So, the NCAA wanted to determine if Rich Rod committed the same transgressions at WVU.
What the NCAA discovered, according to sources with knowledge of the situation, is those practices have continued at WVU.
That's why WVU apparently has self-reported to the NCAA. It seems that two members of the football program that aren't on the coaching staff have indeed been coaching during practices.
According to sources, WVU's self-report allegedly listed the pair as Pat Kirkland, director of High School Relations, and Dale Wolfley, director of Player Development.
At this point, there is no information about what the self-imposed sanctions could entail.
Doc Holliday has struck again.
First, Marshall's first-year head football coach stole assistant coach JaJuan Seider from WVU.
Then, Holliday swiped wide receiver recruit Fred Pickett from the Mountaineers.
Holliday has hired three graduate assistant football coaches away from WVU.
The trio includes George Shehl, who was a defensive GA at WVU last season; Paul Johnson, who was the offensive quality control GA for the Mountaineers in 2009; and Brandon Tate.
There's also another familiar name among Marshall's new graduate assistants.
"My son, Cade, is going to be a GA in the weight and strength room," said Holliday.
As for the other new graduate assistants, the hiring of Johnson carries some interesting implications. For starters, Johnson is the older brother of WVU starting offensive guard Josh Jenkins.
But, more important, Johnson is also the older brother of Parkersburg High School standout Justin Johnson, who will be a senior for the Big Reds next season. The younger Johnson is a 6-foot-3, 300-pound offensive lineman, who has been offered scholarships by Marshall, WVU and Ohio University.
Ah, the plot thickens.
Everybody knows about Holliday's recruiting ties to Florida.
But Florida isn't the only state on his recruiting radar.
Doc also keeps a keen eye on home-grown talent from right here in West Virginia. The proof is in Marshall's interest in Huntington High athlete Tyler Hutchison and Poca quarterback Jason Cuffee.
Both athletes posted eye-opening performances at Marshall's elite camp last weekend. Hutchison, 5-11, 165 pounds, ran a pair of sub-4.5 second 40s, reportedly posting a 4.43 clocking. Hutchison, considered a cornerback prospect, said he has been offered a scholarship.
Then, there's Cuffee. It turns out that both Holliday and Marshall assistant basketball coach Mark Cline like the 6-3, 188-pounder.
It's easy to see why.
Football-wise, Cuffee passed for more than 1,000 yards and scored seven touchdowns as a junior. Then, on the basketball court, Cuffee averaged 20.3 points last season.
Besides those athletic attributes, Cuffee also carries a 3.8 grade-point average.
So, no, Holliday hasn't forgotten about the Mountain State.
Chuck Landon is a sports columnist for The Herald-Dispatch. Call him at 304-526-2827. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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