Say what you will-and from all of the activity on the Internet these days, you are-but West Virginia University head coach Dana Holgorsen has become known for his "saying it like it is" approach.
Tuesday's weekly press conference proved to be no different as the Mountaineers' newest leader answered a variety of questions posed to him by the Mountain State's media.
"I tend to say what's on my mind,, if you haven't figured that out by now," said Holgorsen. "That makes some people mad, and others get a kick from it."
Call it honesty or call it stupidity, but Holgorsen came to Morgantown with a gunslinger's attitude that he developed during his tenure at Oklahoma State and Texas Tech. It started on day one when he took over for Bill Stewart and it has continued ever since.
Fans expecting the former-Iowa Wesleyan wide receiver to pull his punches or candy coat the Mountaineers' 38-35 loss to Louisville last Saturday haven't been paying close attention to WVU's 33rd head coach-an attitude which reminds many of the old gold and blue's 31st head coach.
"There are about 72 (players) on scholarship right now, and we can have 85," said the coach. "We're down on that. We're not down in numbers because we've done a nice job of getting guys into our walk-on program."
Words very similar to those echoed by a former coach after his first team in Morgantown posted a 3-8 mark.
That coach explained during a 90-minute interview that he had inherited a program that had 58 scholarship players. Making matters worse was the fact that nearly half of those were walk-ons that had been awarded scholarships based upon their performances while in the program.
Not a bad thing, since you are rewarding a player for hard work and dedication to a program. But, there is a reason why players receive scholarships and there is a reason why players are asked to walk-on. Any fan naive enough to believe that you can compete on a D-I level with a team composed mainly of walk-ons is disillusional.
Yes, Holgorsen has some very talented players at West Virginia. Players like Geno Smith, Tavon Austin, Stedman Bailey, Ivan McCartney-the list goes on and on. But, to say that the Mountaineer roster is composed of 85 players who would be recruited by the elite programs in the country, just isn't believable.
Throughout its history WVU has shown the ability to win games with lesser talent thanks to the ability of its coaches and the heart of its players, but that isn't the case today. But, parity has made that accomplishment more difficult to attain. Programs are no longer able to stockpile talented athletes because of the 85-scholarship limit meaning players are now going to schools based on where they can see immediate action.
That was evident on Saturday when looking at the two-deep depth chart for the Cardinals. Charlie Strong's second squad listed 15 freshmen in its two-deep and it won a very important Big East game on the road.
That says it all.
Contact Jim Butta at firstname.lastname@example.org