A Coach Tells the Truth

Leader of West Virginia U. football team admits in news conference that lying is part of recruiting. When the university posted transcript and video, that line was initially deleted.

August 13, 2014
West Virginia University
Dana Holgorsen

In his news conference Monday, the head football coach at West Virginia University made a statement that many experts on college football would agree with, but few coaches would say out loud.

"I know you lie in recruiting a bunch, and that's just part of it. What are we actually doing? What are we actually feeding these guys? Our job is to get guys on campus," said the coach, Dana Holgorsen, in a press conference. Sports Illustrated found it so unusual for a coach to admit that recruiting is less than truthful that it highlighted the quote.

But in the original transcript (and video) of the coach's press conference, posted by the university, that statement was missing. Here's the portion of the transcript as it appeared for most of Tuesday:

The lying reference isn't there.

The blog Deadspin noticed that the transcript and video didn't match the Sports Illustrated account, and wrote of the coach's comment about lying: "That's not too terrible; it's basically what we expect from recruiting. Hell, anyone who has ever taken a college campus tour has been lied to about the school they're thinking of attending. Instead of defending Holgorsen's quote, though, or just letting it be, West Virginia apparently tried to erase it completely."

Inside Higher Ed called WVU late in the afternoon and John A. Bolt, a spokesman, offered to contact the relevant people in the sports department. Bolt reported back that a "well-intentioned" graduate student had cut the comment from the video. Then, Bolt said, another graduate student cut the comment from the written transcript so that it would match the video. Bolt said that the graduate students understand that these cuts were "a mistake," and said that the cuts would soon be restored, as they have been:

Now that WVU has published a truthful transcript, the fallout could be interesting. Some on social media have praised the coach for telling the truth. But one Twitter comment notes a potential downside: "I'm sure WVU's recruiting efforts should improve after Holgerson says he lies to recruits."


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