DALLAS - Dana Holgorsen spent much of Tuesday answering basically the same questions he's been asked for the last nine months, or since West Virginia was accepted into the Big 12 Conference.
No surprise there.
The questioners were just different as a general rule, what with the core of the league's media reps having their first en masse, face-to-face look at the Mountaineers and their head coach at the Big 12's football media event at the Westin Galleria.
While all of the answers were basically the same as they've been for months, Holgorsen did manage to put a bit of new and logical twist on one of the most frequent queries, namely how participating in a football conference so far away from home might affect the school's strong base of traveling fans.
The bottom line? Face it, folks, it wouldn't matter much if Norman, Okla., or Austin, Texas, were two-hour drives from Morgantown instead of two-day treks. West Virginia fans aren't likely to be able to go as freely as they did in the Big East anyway.
"Our fan base is worried about the travel. Well, I've got news for you. You're not going to those road games anyway,'' Holgorsen said, not in a mean-spirited way but in as a practical matter. "There's no tickets. The days of us sending 15,000 people to Pitt or Cincinnati or Syracuse or UConn or Rutgers, it doesn't exist in the Big 12. There's no tickets.''
It's the same reason why opposing teams' fans seldom are able to flock to games in Morgantown. True, part of that might be a general lack of interest on the part of those fans (How many regularly follow Rutgers on the road, for example?), but even if they did, where would they sit?
"How many fans come to Morgantown, West Virginia, from the opposing team? It's usually about 4,000 people [at most] because that's all the tickets that are available,'' Holgorsen said. "So the days of being able to take 15, 20,000 people to different venues, those days don't exist in the Big 12 because everybody's the same way at home. Everybody packs their stadium and everybody gives the opponent about 4,000 tickets.
"So my suggestion to the people of West Virginia is to make sure you come to every home game and then pick a road game and go travel once a year.''
Holgorsen addressed a couple of personnel issues Tuesday, eight days before players report on Aug. 1 and begin practicing the next day.
First, there could be as many as four players from the signed recruiting class who don't make it academically and will have to stay home or enroll elsewhere (a junior college or prep school perhaps).
Although Holgorsen can't talk about it in great detail, linebacker Sam Lebbie from Washington is a certain casualty. The three others are running back Roshard Burney from Florida and wide receivers Dee Joyner from Miami and Deontay McManus from Baltimore.
"It's something we're talking about [today],'' Holgorsen said, referring to a meeting on the status of the roster scheduled for when he arrives back from Dallas. "We're still evaluating it and waiting on a few factors to try to figure it out.''
As for current players, at least three projected starters ran afoul of the law during the winter with bone-headed moves. In January, star receiver Stedman Bailey was cited but not arrested for taking a bottle of cold medicine from a Kroger store ("What's he thinking?'' asked one WVU official. "He gets free medical as part of his scholarship.'').
Then in May, defensive backs Terrence Garvin and Darwin Cook were arrested for shoplifting snacks from a Sheetz convenience store.