WVU's Caperton Indoor Facility opened in 1998 and had new turf installed in 2006 to more closely match the playing surface at Mountaineer Field.
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WVU's Caperton Indoor Facility opened in 1998 and had new turf installed in 2006 to more closely match the playing surface at Mountaineer Field.

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — With no bowl game on the holiday horizon, the agenda for West Virginia football has turned toward how to repair the program, and in particular the intertwined facets of recruiting and facilities.

The slumping Mountaineers are 4-7 and facing a two-week hiatus before the season finale against Iowa State, a game with all the allure of an intramural practice. With an eye toward 2014, Dana Holgorsen was asked Tuesday about the current recruiting class taking shape—one that features 15 commitments and might yet grow to the 25-signee maximum even though that number would put West Virginia over its 85-man scholarship limit.

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Dana Holgorsen’s team fell to 4-7 with a 31-19 loss at Kansas, guaranteeing it will miss a bowl game this season.

Attrition could be the means of accommodating a full recruiting class.

“The depth is building. The numbers are getting right,” Holgorsen said. “You don’t want to lose guys, but the fact of the matter is that if guys don’t go to class, or if they fail out, or if they don’t do the right things socially and get kicked out, that happens when you’re dealing with 100 kids. More than likely we’re going to lose a couple for a variety of reasons.

“I’m comfortable with us being able to go out and get to 25, because we’re three-quarters of the way there right now.”

And what recruiting conversation would be complete without a mention of facilities, or in West Virginia’s case, a perceived lack thereof.

Given that WVU was coming off a loss to Kansas, the timing wasn’t great Tuesday for Holgorsen to complain about amenities. But in his defense, the question was asked, and his answer reiterated things the coach has said publicly for several months.

“There’s a list, and I don’t think I’m being unreasonable with the requests I’m asking for,” Holgorsen said. After waxing grateful for the recently remodeled weight room, he said the team meeting area (from which Holgosen’s news conferences originate) is insufficient, much like the indoor practice facility and outdoor practice field.

“You’ve got to be able to meet appropriately, which we can’t, and you’ve got to be able to practice appropriately, which we can’t,” he said. “So those (improvements) are where we’re headed.

“We’re working hard to get out there and raise the money we need to be able to make some of this stuff a reality.”

West Virginia’s football facilities, while by no means bleak, lag in comparison to its Big 12 opponents. Kansas, for instance, plays at not-so-impressive Memorial Stadium yet has two artificial turf practice fields adjacent to it.

Holgorsen said installing artificial turf on WVU’s grass practice field “would be awesome,” considering the Mountaineers currently utilize that practice field only “six times a year.”

“It’s about having a proper surface. If it’s real grass, that’s fine—as long as it holds up. Right now that grass can’t hold up. If you’re on it and it’s wet and you’re tearing it up, you can’t use it.”

Then there’s the issue of the Caperton Indoor Facility, constructed in 1998 for $9 million with new FieldTurf installed in 2006 for another $600,000. It features a 90-yard field, whereas six other Big 12 schools have full-length indoor surfaces. (The others that don’t: Baylor, Texas Tech and TCU.)

Asked if renovations would cure WVU’s indoor facility, Holgorsen said, “No, you’ve got to blow it up.” So why does he want to bring in the dynamite?

“You need runoff, you need proper length and if you want to do the kicking game in there you need (the roof) to be a little higher,” Holgorsen said. “It’s dysfunctional. We use it for some offseason stuff, but it needs to be more functional.”

Most practices currently take place at Mountaineer Field, which doesn’t sit well with Holgorsen in light of the new practice complex completed at his former school, Oklahoma State, or the larger complexes constructed by K-State in 1995 and Oklahoma in 2002.

“You shouldn’t have to practice on your game field,” he said. “Nobody else does.”

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Comments

  • chetb

    This guy is all talk. He couldn't get done. Why are we suddenly so dependant on JC Transfers? Because this guy doesn't know what he wants nor has any idea what he needs. He may have made a name for himself as an assistant but he doesn't have any idea how to run the whole show.

  • Wvu all the way

    Be nice to have rich rod back that's what we need we only have a bunch of yellow belly's for coaches and players half these guys couldn't play for marshal when are we going to wake up it starts with coaching witch we don't have

  • bmeeks

    when the facilities are upgraded we will see an equal or better upgrade in recruiting. we need to give the staff what they need to compete with. remember Morgantown just does not recruit for itself

  • Rodger Lundell

    West Virginia has the best football coach they have ever had, and it is time for all to back him as he tries to put together a team that can compete in the Big 12 and hopefully win this state a national championship. Now is the time to get behind the Mountaineers and push; Holgorsen is doing his part, support and back him if we want to win.

  • Robin

    Okay I get keeping up with the Jones' and their facilities. However, I want to remind DH that Don Nehlen did not have half what DH has and he produced two undefeated national contenders. Rich Rod did not have a problem winning and for that matter neither did Bill Stewart.

    You want those things DH? Then go out there and earn it by producing winning teams and winning recruiting classes. Then you can reap the rewards. Until then shut up and coach.

  • J.R. Skene

    There's bowl prep going on...in Huntington.

  • WV Guru

    With all the problems it has now and what the future portends, maybe WVU should give up on football and shutter the stadium. It certainly would solve a lot of problems for the new President.

  • clair thompson

    Geez. When I was in school in the ice age of 1959 we were pround as punch of are falling down Gym and red clay rain rutted baseball diamond. Now you have to have multi practice field plus a state of the art playing field. One guess which was the happiest time.

  • Troll is back

    A reminder to some dwelling in the past and wanting to go down to a lesser conference in the future, well past is history to be looked at in the archives, move on, in the college football modern world of big money a move to a lesser conference is out of the question. Reality, we are in the Big 12, the Coach is Dana Holgorsen, the AD is Oliver Luck, and we had a bad season. The only variable of those going into next season is the bad season the other will remain the same, and how we do next season can only be determined after the games are played not by what we think, that my dear friends is a fact.

  • jfk

    To be fair Holgorsen has been asking for improvement to facility's from the beginning and he has gotten allot and whats the problem with practicing on the game field?! I would think that would give them an edge. For weeks he has blamed these bad losses on him self and lets face it to loose to KU is unacceptable. Then he comes out in Tuesdays press conference and basically attributes this years 4-7 record with no bowl trip to bad or a lack of facility's. BS

  • David Warnick

    So now he has "Practice Envy".

  • Robert

    Look at the predictions made at the beginning of football It is time West Virginia started looking for some new employees. West Virginia will never be as good as they should be with the coach they have now. What a mistake it was to hire the AD and coach. I say fire both.

  • anthony

    Stadium needs new turf, cover the concrete with blue and gold, new sound system that pumps. Also needs video board on other side. Need to fire video board operator that played scenes from friday night lights and varaity blues. He did a good job pumping up texas and their fans in the 4th quarter. Idiot

  • Keith

    I agree with improving the facilities. I will get the best. We have a very young team that has improved all through the year. We just need to be more consistent at the QB position. That piece is no closer to being solid than when the year started. The O line didnt get it done. If all gave the effort that Charles Sims has given all year we sure wouldn't be 4-7. We have a good base to grow on next year. Go Holgs Go EERS

  • Benthere

    Facilities have been an issue since Bobby Bowdin was coach. WVU has never invested enough money to compete against peer institutions. How could you possibly have a baseball field at high school standards, a swimming center that is half the size needed. I remember Don Nehlen being asked about a grass field in the stadium..his response was the university would expect me to mow it and buy the tractor. Rich complained about the upgrades needed to compete and was viewed as having a tail and a pitchfork. His phrase about WVU not being special was too forceful but spot on in truth. John Belien comes in and graceful states the coliseum needs upgrades. Now we are in league where you are expected to have something other than a double wide. Got in the neighborhood we always wanted but can't put furniture in the house. This all goes back to Eddie and the gang. You remember Eddie he always had a Bud in hand at every fundraiser and more than a few under his belt if you know what mean. Eddie whose vision was impaired more by the lack of common sense than the king of beers. This is the same guy that botched Touchdown Terrace and the IPF. But what the hell, he is in the Hall of Fame and they tell you he did a great job.....and that's why we're the hillbillies that showed up at the Texas
    BBQ with a bag chips and a six pack.