MORGANTOWN - For the most part, Dana Holgorsen remains largely unaffected by the moronic behavior that has come to define a generation of West Virginia University students as couch-burning simpletons whose higher education has obviously not yet taken root.
Take Saturday night's Sunnyside fiasco, for example.
Once again, while the vast majority of the school's 30,000 students merely basked in the glow and perhaps tipped a few in celebration of a pretty significant win by their football team over a like band from the University of Texas down in Austin, a few hundred more set what they seem to feel are the obligatory fires in the street.
A few more surrounded cars trying to innocently navigate the neighborhood. And some decided the best reaction when - surprise! - police actually showed up to protect the citizenry was to throw rocks and bottles.
Ah, yes, just another football Saturday night in Morgantown, where the motto is "If you can beat 'em, burn it.'' Oh, and if you can't beat 'em, burn it then, too.
"I'll be honest with you. I don't know what hap-
pened,'' Holgorsen, the second-year West Virginia football coach, said of the reported 40 fires and all the other lunacy that accompanied his team's 48-45 win over Texas some 1,400 miles away. "I heard there were riots and mace. I don't know why.
"I'm being honest with you. I'm pretty focused on what we're supposed to be doing. And even if I knew, what am I going to do about it? It's not my responsibility. I worry about what I can control. And what I could control was what was happening in Austin.''
OK, so the "It's not my responsibility'' part of that is perhaps not what West Virginia administrators would like to hear from their football coach. I'm sure their take is that it is the responsibility of everyone associated with the university to do all that is possible to raise the level of decorum and responsibility of the student body.
But we'll give Holgorsen a pass on that. After all, he's not the first football coach at WVU who has watched asinine behavior and felt powerless to deal with it. Those as far back as Bobby Bowden have preached restraint to no earthly good. And if arrests and expulsions and preaching from school presidents don't curb the mayhem, what good is a tongue-lashing from a football coach going to do?
All Holgorsen can do is try to reason with the unreasonable and perhaps elevate their consciousness. It was one win in the middle of a football season.