Family illness led West Virginia receiver to leave team in 2012

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West Virginia wide receiver Ivan McCartney finally explained his abrupt mid-season exit from the Mountaineers last season, citing an illness in the family.

"My grandfather was very sick, so I went back and helped him and my dad out," McCartney told the Times West Virginian during his first interview since returning to the team in May. "I continued to work out because I knew I would be playing again. Everything just folded and played its part. Everything just happens for a reason. I am glad to be back."

The uncertainty surrounding his exit led to a flurry of gossip, but McCartney shot down that speculation.

"A lot of people heard different things but didn't really know what was going on," McCartney said. "There were a lot of things I was dealing with I didn't want to put out. I never took myself away from the West Virginia team, but I did have doubts that I would be back."

McCartney's return gives West Virginia some much-needed experience in a completely rebuilt passing offense. McCartney played in eight games last season, catching nine passes for 112 yards. In 2011, McCartney had 49 receptions for 585 yards and three touchdowns as the third receiver behind Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey.

Follow Dan Greenspan on Twitter @DanGreenspan.

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