Updated: WVU reportedly on the cusp of canning Stewart

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It’s already been a turbulent week for the West Virginia program with the rumors that current coach Bill Stewart asked former Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reporter Colin Dunlap to “dig up dirt” on new offensive coordinator and head-coach-in-waiting Dana Holgorsen.

Now, it appears, provided the following story is true, that the well-documented awkward situation has reached a head.

According to a Sporting News report citing a source close to the situation, WVU is negotiating a buyout for Stewart’s contract and immediately bumping Holgorsen into the head coaching position.

Multiple sources have given CFT conflicting reports, although a very reliable source said Stewart’s attorney would not confirm internal restructuring.

When reached by text message, WVU athletic director Oliver Luck said he could not comment.

Dave Hickman of the Charleston Gazette appeared on College Football Live today and says he’s spoken to Luck every day this week. Hickman said Luck has been mum on the situation after appearing on a Pittsburgh radio show confirming there was “a little bit of drama” internally.

Also, for what it’s worth, Luck will be going on vacation after this week. You can put two and two together on that one.

Holgorsen, booted from a casino late last month for indecent behavior, has been accused of having several run-ins at multiple establishments while intoxicated. WVU later debunked those accusations, but rumors began circulating that it was Stewart and/or his wife, Karen, who were involved in the process of making Holgorsen’s personal life public.

UPDATED 10:20 p.m. ET: Stewart’s attorney, David Hendrickson, has gone on the record to say he does not know of any contract negotiations with his client.

There have been no negotiations,”  Hendrickson told the Charleston Gazette Thursday evening. “I haven’t heard from the athletic department today.”

However, another source reportedly close to the situation went on the record to say “I think you all know where this is headed.”

Four-star DT Tyler Shelvin will redshirt at LSU after NCAA partially denies eligibility

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The state of Louisiana’s top recruit will not be playing for the state’s top football team this fall.

Four-star defensive tackle Tyler Shelvin will enroll at LSU next week, according to the Baton Rouge Advocate, but will not be eligible to play in 2017 following a ruling from the NCAA on his status. The news is a big blow not only to Shelvin, but to the Tigers who are thin on the interior defensive line and were hoping to rotate in the 380-pounder this year.

Shelvin’s high school coach told the paper that the NCAA “partially denied” the defender’s eligibility, forcing him to redshirt in his first year on campus. He reportedly took several classes over the summer in order to meet requirements but apparently fell short of hitting the association’s standard to be cleared.

The loss of Shelvin’s services is a tough one after he turned into one of the center pieces of head coach Ed Orgeron’s top 10 recruiting class from February. The Tigers have had a history of talented defensive tackles running into eligibility issues in the past but the rather thin depth chart in the middle of the defensive line made bringing in Shelvin a priority.

That is not to be the case however, as LSU will move forward sans the big defender just two weeks out from the start of the season.

 

Nebraska players were pumped to go to Kendrick Lamar concert thanks to tickets from Mike Riley

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Nebraska coach Mike Riley has the well-earned reputation of being the nicest guy in college football and his players can probably give him a wholehearted endorsement after this week.

That’s because the Cornhuskers were able to attend rapper Kendrick Lamar’s concert in Lincoln on Friday night after their coach surprised the whole team with tickets to the show. Naturally, said players were quite pumped to be going.

As cool as taking the team to a Kendrick Lamar concert is, I personally can’t wait to see what one-upmanship this inspires across college football. One can already imagine Jim Harbaugh taking the team to see Migos in London next summer…

Indiana freshman DB Bryant Fitzgerald ruled a non-qualifier after compliance error

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A key member of Indiana’s recruiting class won’t be able to play for the Hoosiers this season as a result of a serious compliance gaff at the school.

Freshman defensive back Bryant Fitzgerald was ruled by the NCAA to be a non-qualifier according to a statement released by the program and, as a result, will now be unable to play or practice for the team. A waiver was requested but both it and the appeal were denied.

At the heart of the matter seems to be the IU compliance office incorrectly advising Fitzgerald what classes to take in order to be eligible right away at the school in the eyes of the NCAA. As the above statement and a later one from athletic director Fred Glass make clear, this was a mistake on the school’s part that will cost the defensive back a full season and not about anything he did or didn’t do.

Fitzgerald was a three-star recruit coming out of high school in nearby Avon, Ind. but was expected to make a serious run at playing time given past comments by head coach Tom Allen. It certainly seems like a bummer all around for player, school and coach but the situation is what it is at this point.

Lane Kiffin lands yet another talented transfer in WVU wideout Jovon Durante

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We can joke about Lane Kiffin turning FAU into the real ‘Last Chance U’ in 2017 but… it’s kind of happening for real.

In addition to adding several alums from the Netflix show, the Owls have been stocking the roster left and right with FBS transfers this offseason and added yet another just before the season starts in West Virginia wide receiver Jovan Durante.

Durante has started 17 games in his first two seasons in Morgantown, racking up 331 yards and two touchdowns as a sophomore in 2016. He was expected to assume a starting role once again this year but didn’t report to the Mountaineers preseason camp for what WVU coach Dana Holgorsen described as personal issues.

The South Florida native will have to sit out the 2017 season but will have two seasons of eligibility for the Owls after he redshirts this year.