MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - Andrew Buie began the week with this message on Twitter: "Once a mountaineer always a mountaineer #WVUNation." He ended it perhaps a Mountaineer in spirit, but not in the student-athlete sense - at least not for now.
Buie, West Virginia's leading rusher last season but the fifth of five running backs on the depth chart heading into this year, has withdrawn from school. West Virginia officials confirmed that Thursday, but then Dana Holgorsen later added a different twist.
On his first radio call-in show of the season Thursday night, Holgorsen said Buie is withdrawing from school only for the fall semester and would return to school - and presumably the team - in January.
Those plans, of course, should perhaps be considered fluid. It was only a week earlier that Buie was competing for playing time in the backfield and two days earlier when it was announced he would redshirt.
It was at his Tuesday press conference that Holgorsen had announced that Buie, who ran for 851 yards and seven touchdowns as a sophomore, would redshirt this season. That seemed odd, but he was also a part of a very deep running back group that included newcomers Charles Sims, Dreamius Smith and Wendell Smallwood. Because he was redshirting, Buie would have practiced on the scout team this season, but he reportedly missed several practices before withdrawing.
If Buie, who ran for 207 yards in a game at Texas last season, were to change his mind and leave WVU permanently, he would have to sit out this season if he transfers to another FBS school. He could transfer to a lower division and play right away.
If he had any hopes of playing for another FBS school in a year, however, Buie would have to move quickly. He must sit out both the fall and spring semesters at a new school, which means he must register for fall classes before it is too late to do so. At some schools, including WVU, that deadline has already passed.