That the chance came again at West Virginia was a bit surprising. Most figured McCartney would finish out his career elsewhere. But in May he asked for permission to return to Morgantown and got it from coach Dana Holgorsen.
So what is it Holgorsen is looking for from McCartney now?
"Improvement,'' he said, without elaborating.
Of course, the receiving corps that McCartney returns to now is far different than the one he left last November. In truth, this one might be harder to crack than last year's, which was dominated by Austin and Bailey and then included bit players like McCartney and J.D. Woods.
Now that receiving corps is populated by younger players with potential. Guys like junior college transfers Kevin White, Ronald Carswell and Mario Alford will get long looks, as will freshmen Daikiel Shorts and Shelton Gibson. There are holdovers like Jordan Thompson, Dante Campbell and K.J. Myers, along with redshirt freshmen Devonte Mathis and Vernon Davis.
And then there is McCartney, who is more experienced in the system than any of the others, but also might have less room for growth because he has just one year of eligibility remaining.
"I don't really know how those guys look at me, but I try to be that leader with the experience that I have,'' McCartney said. "I try to let those guys know this is how it's going to be, this and that. For the most part we bond well.''
BRIEFLY: To the surprise of almost no one, it appears as if IMG and Tony Caridi have all but put the finishing touches on his return to the WVU broadcast booth. Caridi said over the weekend that something official will likely be announced this week.
There never really seemed any doubt that IMG - which now handles West Virginia's radio broadcasts, among other things - would want Caridi back in the booth. To dismiss the now-iconic play-by-play voice as its first order of business would not have gotten the company off to a good start from a public relations standpoint. But Caridi also works for West Virginia Radio Corporation and the main sticking point always seemed to be how that company - which still is in the process of suing WVU over its contract with IMG - would react to Caridi also working for IMG.
Apparently that has been worked out so that Caridi will still host the nightly Sportsline show on WVRC's MetroNews.
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com or follow him at twitter.com/dphickman1.