The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

May 19, 2013

McCartney says he’s returning to Mountaineers

By Cam Huffman
Sports Editor

— The Twitter world was full of West Virginia University sports news Saturday, beginning with the revelation that Ivan McCartney will likely be returning to the Mountaineer football team.

The former Miramar High School (Fla.) standout, who played with both Geno Smith and Stedman Bailey in high school in college, actually began dropping hints Friday night when he Tweeted, “Once a Mountaineer.... Always a Mountaineer!!” Later that night, he Tweeted, “Can’t wait to get back to work!” and on Saturday morning his Twitter account read, “Next stop Morgantown.”

A four-star recruit when he first made his commitment to WVU, McCartney caught 49 balls for 595 yards as a sophomore. He  caught just nine passes for 112 yards last season before leaving the team in November after eight games.

When McCartney left the team, head coach Dana Holgorsen cited “personal reasons” for his release, but refused to comment further on the situation.

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Another big Twitter story Saturday afternoon was the reaction to the news that came out Friday that former Mountaineer and current Seattle Seahawk Bruce Irvin had received a four-game suspension for violating the league’s performance enhancing drug policy.

Everybody, it seemed, had an opinion on Irvin, who had a strong rookie season last fall. But nobody was any harder on Irvin than himself, and he posted a heartfelt message to his fans.

“It’s crazy to see your name run across the ticker for negative things,” his message read. “I messed up and I feel so bad and have been depressed for weeks now. I’ve had sleepless nights because I knew when this came out, I would let so many people down, including myself. I have worked so hard to rebuild my image and it takes another blow. I see the negative comments and I see the positive and both drives me to come back and have a incredible season.

“To my real fans, I see the comments and I really appreciate it during this tough time. Just shows people only love you when you’re on top, but when adversity hits they show their true colors.

“Once again, I’m sorry and take full responsibility for my actions. I will take this on the chin and move forward to become the best person on and off the field. Twelfth man, I’m sorry I let you down but I promise you when I come back all hell will break loose. West Virginia, I love you always and know you have my back and always will.”

Irvin will be allowed to participate in offseason workouts, training camp and the preseason, but he won’t be eligible to play until after the Seahawks’ Sept. 29 game against the Texans.

Irvin surprised many when he was selected by the Seahawks with their first-round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. He recorded eight sacks his first season.

Irvin will lose a quarter of his salary for the 2013 season because of the suspension.

— E-mail: chuffman@ and follow

on Twitter @CamHuffmanRH.