UPDATE: HOPE LIVES!!
Ivan confirmed it himself via Twitter. He's back!
Once a Mountaineer..... Always a Mountaineer!!— Ivan McCartney (@IMcCartney5) May 17, 2013
A report surfaced on Twitter Friday afternoon that erstwhile West Virginia Mountaineer wide receiver Ivan McCartney could be returning to Morgantown for his final year of eligibility.
The report took the form of a collection of tweets from @MirimarSports, which describes itself thusly in it's Twitter profile: "Your #1 source for Miramar Sports news, features and live game commentary. This is a personal account and NOT representative of Miramar HS or BCPS."
Here was the initial tweet:
Also of note, Miramar Alum WR Ivan McCartney has found a home for next year. He will be heading back to #WVU for his senior season.— Miramar Sports (@MiramarSports) May 17, 2013
Whoever runs the account then took it a step further, responding to the incredulity of @effing_Matt with a claim to have spoken personally with McCartney about the return:
Thank you @effing_Matt. Like you, we are inquiring minds who want to know!
For his part, McCartney hasn't addressed the matter specifically but did give us this cryptic tweet. Please join me embracing this tenuous connection as proof positive that the WVU WR corps just grew by one!!
There will always be negative talk when people don't know you nor your story. As long as you stay positive F, what they have to say!— Ivan McCartney (@IMcCartney5) May 17, 2013
In all seriousness, the return of IMac would be a welcome surprise for a corps looking to replace two of the most prolific receivers in WVU history in Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey, but any jubilation at the news should be quickly tempered by a glance at Ivan's numbers last year. Before leaving the team in the midst of WVU's 5 game slide last season, he had logged a paltry 9 catches for 112 yards and no scores - never catching more than 3 balls in a game and having a three game stretch where he didn't touch the ball at all.
It was a disappointment after his 2011 campaign that saw him snag 49 balls for 585 yards and 3 TDs in the first year under Dana Holgorsen.
As a result of that solid sophomore season, many felt McCartney was poised for a breakout 2012 but those expectations quickly gave way to scattered reports of mixed effort in practice, a shrinking role in the game plan and Ivan's ultimate leaving of the team for "personal reasons" following his not making the trip to Stillwater, Oklahoma to play Oklahoma State.
WVU coach Dana Holgorsen has not commented on the matter.
If McCartney did return, he would be poised for his third consecutive "possible breakout" season, joining "one of the greatest spring players of all time" Jordan Thompson to form quite the large hat among very little cattle. But as our good friend Red taught us in The Shawshank Redemption, "hope is a good thing; maybe the best of things....and no good thing ever dies."
We'll certainly have hope.