MORGANTOWN - I've never considered myself much of a conspiracy theorist.
Perhaps it's because the role models for such an avocation these days range from the sublime to the ridiculous. I mean, really, do you want to be compared to Oliver Stone on one end (sublime) or Glenn Beck on the other (ridiculous)?
Didn't think so.
Still, I've been sitting on one little theory for more than a month now and I figure what better time to get it off my chest? It's been scoffed at on some level by virtually everyone I've confided in, including those who would have some knowledge.
But, of course, as is the case in any good conspiracy theory, the more it is ridiculed, the more one has to wonder if it really does have some legs to it.
This one has to do with the NCAA's investigation into West Virginia's football program and how it relates to the job status of one Bill Stewart, the school's football coach. And no, we're not talking about the school using the leverage of NCAA rules violations to force Stewart into giving up the final two years of his contract and leaving more than $2 million on the table by signing a modified contract.
That's a no-brainer. It happened. Period.
"We had all the leverage,'' one school administrator told me.
No, what I've been toying with for a month now is the manner in which West Virginia elected to respond to the five major and one secondary rules violations alleged by the NCAA. On Nov. 18, the day before the deadline to submit its written and detailed response to the NCAA, the school announced that it was taking another route, that of summary disposition.
There would be no report filed. WVU would essentially fall on its sword and take what the NCAA dished out. And given that the NCAA had just completed its case against Michigan and Rich Rodriguez - the charges against the two schools being eerily similar - the logic was that there was no reason to go through the whole process again.
(By the way, that the NCAA agreed to such a tactic seems a bit strange, given that in its original letter to school president James Clements, the organization said that the summary dispo
It's not the summary disposition process itself that raised any alarms with me, though. No, it was the effect of that decision, which was to abdicate WVU from any responsibility of, at that point, submitting its written response to the charges.
It took me all of about 10 minutes after finding out about the summary disposition process to develop my theory, which was that West Virginia, at all costs, wanted to avoid submitting that report.