Sometimes being a member of the modern-day media can be downright frustrating.
Sunday was one of those times.
After attending the Super Six playoff meeting at the West Virginia Secondary School Activities Comission office, I proceeded back to the News and Sentinel. I turn on my computer, go to cbssports.com's college football report to check on the polls and am hit with the headline "Report: Bill Stewart to retire.''
My mind immediately began racing 100 miles an hour. We've got to jump on this. We've got to nail this down. We've got to tell our readers in Monday's edition everything we know.
Then, I got past the headline. Seems that CBS Sports was quoting a Web site - EerSports.com - that charges fans for information on West Virginia University football.
EerSports not only had the scoop that Stewart was leaving as the Moutaineer coach, but it also mentioned as his replacement former WVU and now Florida State line coach Rick Trickett, and the Bowden brothers, Tommy and Terry.
Fortunately, it didn't take long for me to figure out how to best proceed with this major breaking news -ignore it. That's because Bill Stewart soon issued a statement he was not retiring.
Stewart opened his weekly Sunday teleconference with the following statement: "First and foremost, let me begin by saying the reports of my retirement are greatly exaggerated. In fact, you're hearing it directly from me, Bill Stewart - I have no intention of walking away. I'm not focusing on retirement. Lastly, and most importantly, I'm focusing on Rutgers."
As far as I'm concerned, that's that.
Sure, Stewart's superiors at WVU always can replace him for he serves at their will and pleasure. But to fire the winningest coach in Mountaineer history (his percentage tops all his predecessors) would have a hard time passing the smell test. If winning nine games in a state that annually produces less than a handful of Division 1 prospects isn't good enough, then the standard may be unrealistic.
Sure, there are those -present company included -who believe the program has slipped since Stewart took over for Rich Rodriguez, but even saying that it's difficult to make a case that he be replaced.
WVU is 8-3, nationally ranked and going to the final week of the regular with a chance to represent the Big East in a BCS bowl. Yes, it lost two games in which it was favored -one in overtime, the other by five points. Instead of discussing polls and bowls, we seem to be focused on coaching contracts. If we were Michigan, I would understand. But a week before a must-win game, it just seems like a distraction, not to mention a conversation that can wait.
I was going to write about the Super Six meeting and high school sports. Instead, a false report dominated the day.
Contact Dave Poe at firstname.lastname@example.org