MORGANTOWN - Oliver Luck has been asked the question a handful of times over the course of the past week and each time he hedged on his answer.
He won't flat out admit that his coach-in-waiting plan for West Virginia's football program was a bad idea, but he isn't exactly standing solidly behind the decision to do it.
"At the time, I thought it made a lot of sense and was a good management practice,'' the WVU athletic director said Friday night as he was officially announcing the changing of the guard at the top off the program. "With hindsight, folks could certainly disagree. I will take some time to think about it myself and decide if I made mistakes and, if I did, I will be the first one to acknowledge that I did.
"At the time, I thought it made some sense. I had an agreement from both coaches that they liked the idea and were willing to work with us on the concept, but hindsight is always 20-20, as we know.''
The hindsight now, of course, is that in this particular instance it was a bad idea, or at least one that did not work.
Dana Holgorsen, whom Luck brought in back in December to replace Bill Stewart after a year of working with him, is now the school's head coach. That's after seven months of an extremely awkward situation in which Stewart, who was being forced out of his job, and Holgorsen co-existed only because they were forced to do so.
The arrangement disintegrated last week amid charges that Stewart was trying to undermine Holgorsen. Although Luck said that there was little hard evidence that was happening, the situation had become so untenable that a change had to be made.
So Stewart, already fired once with a rather distant expiration date, was asked to leave even sooner and was forced to tender his resignation immediately. Holgorsen, the offensive coordinator, was elevated to the head coaching position a season early.
"Stay the course. Nothing is really changing,'' Holgorsen said when asked what his message will be to a team that a week ago appeared to have two head coaches and now has a more traditional one. "We will still have the same strength workouts here for the next few weeks, led by [strength and conditioning coordinator] Mike Joseph. We're still going to have [trainer] Dave Kerns healing the hurt guys, we're still going to go to school and pass and, once camp rolls around, we are still going to run the same offense, defense and special teams.
"We're going to keep pressing forward. The one thing that will be preached every day is unity. Everyone is in this together, and that's from a player's standpoint, from a coach's standpoint, from an administration standpoint and from a fan standpoint. Everyone needs to be in this together.''
How tuned in to the solidarity message everyone was over the course of the last seven months, though, is debatable. A handful of West Virginia players this weekend admitted that having what amounted to two head coaches during that time was a bit confusing. And while no one was expressing relief over Stewart's sudden absence, they did acknowledge some relief that the confusion was gone.