Today was a good day for WVU Football as they welcomed back talented sophomore Wendell Smallwood.
I would like to applaud both Head Coach Dana Holgorsen and Wendell Smallwood for how they both handled this situation with the Delaware judicial system.
Holgorsen didn’t over react. He kept his cool and stated repeatedly that they were closely monitoring the situation. And according to the Delaware PA, Smallwood was very co-operative with them.
To sum up what took place, defendant Zakee Lloyd, an acquaintance of Wendell Smallwood shot someone, and during his initial incarceration he and Smallwood spoke on the phone. During one or more of these phone calls, Lloyd tried to talk Smallwood into making threatening phone calls to a female witness to get her to change her story. These phone calls were recorded by institution where Lloyd was incarcerated.
According to the Delaware court, the female witness never received threatening phone calls, nor was her life ever in any danger.
I think it would safe to say that Holgorsen reacted the way he did based on information that WVU’s legal department was able to obtain from Delaware. In the past, when a WVU player has been arrested for a violent crime, his dismissal from WVU and the sports team has been quick.
Smallwood was arrested and extradited to Delaware, as a witness against Lloyd. Smallwood’s testimony caused Lloyd to confess to the crime. Basically, all they needed Smallwood to do was to listen the recording(s) of the phone conversation with Lloyd, and admit that the voices on the recording were his and Lloyd’s.
It is good that Holgorsen did not automatically release Smallwood for being arrested, and it is even better that Smallwood did not make the calls to the female witness or cause anyone else to make calls.
The result of their actions means that Smallwood will be back in practice this week with the football team. Holgorsen was smart for holding off any comments, and Smallwood did what he needed to do.
In my opinion Holgorsen and Smallwood both handled themselves admirably during this whole mess. I’m glad Smallwood was not inadvertently released from WVU and that his footballcareer was not damaged by all of this. However, it does appear that Smallwood needs to find a better class of friends.
WELCOME BACK Wendell!!! You had many WVU fans pulling for you, and more importantly you had a coaching staff and teammates who were also pulling for you. In my opinion, this is what is meant when you hear players state that WVU treats them like family. This shows the strength and support of a family environment, and one that all Mountaineers and Mountaineer fans can be proud of.
I’m a proud Mountaineer Fan!