The feeling started last season, Jake Rodgers said, and only got worse as the offseason progressed.
The former Washington State offensive lineman just wasn’t having fun anymore.
“It wasn’t working out for me,” Rodgers said in a telephone interview Thursday. “I wasn’t enjoying myself anymore. I guess my heart wasn’t in it, so it didn’t make sense for me to stay here.”
That’s why Rodgers, a Shadle Park High School alumnus, chose to leave the Cougars, and why he’s now “strongly considering” a transfer to Eastern Washington. But WSU hasn’t yet granted his formal release, so he’s yet to have any contact with EWU coaches.
Rodgers started all 12 games last season for WSU as a third-year sophomore, and played every offensive line position except for center.
A nagging shoulder injury plagued him “pretty much the whole season,” and his recovery from that ailment kept him out for the duration of WSU’s spring practices this year.
“I’m sure that didn’t help at all,” Rodgers said of having to sit out the spring. “That was rough for me.”
WSU coaches were disappointed when Rodgers informed them of his decision to transfer, he said, and tried to convince him to stay. As a fourth-year player with legitimate starting experience, he would have either competed for a starting spot or provided needed depth on the offensive line.
But his decision was final.
“They didn’t want me to go, basically,” he said.
With two years of eligibility remaining, Rodgers would be able to play right away at Eastern, an ideal landing spot near his hometown of Spokane, though nothing will be official until after he is released from his scholarship at WSU.
“Getting to see more of my family and being able to play in front of them and everything … having their support means a lot to me,” Rodgers said. “I think (EWU) is a good program.”
A GRIP ON SPORTS
Social media is an interesting beast. Sometimes it can bear sharp teeth, ripping into, say, Sergio Garcia, after his ill-advised comments about Tiger Woods and a dinner entrée. And other times it can be a beauty, as it was yesterday when the Chicago Bears' Brian Urlacher announced his retirement from football. Read on.
Pullman Police announced in a press release Wednesday that charges will be recommended against Idaho receiver Roman Runner and former Washington State receiver Mansel Simmons for their involvement in an altercation in the early hours of March 24.
PPD recommends a second-degree felony assault charge for Runner, 21, and a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge for Simmons, 20. The Whitman County Prosecuting Attorney will decide whether charges will be filed.
Simmons announced in April that he is retiring from football due to head injuries sustained in the fight. He suffered a severe concussion and multiple facial fractures.
Here's the full release from Pullman Police:
PULLMAN – Pullman Police Detectives have concluded their investigation of an assault that occurred on March 24, 2013 at about 12:50 am at NE Ash St. and NE Maple St. in Pullman. Pullman officers had been dispatched to that location and found Mansel Simmons unconscious, the apparent victim of an assault. Simmons was initially transported to Pullman Regional Hospital and later to Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane where he was treated for facial fractures and a concussion.
After speaking with more than a dozen witnesses, investigators concluded that a verbal argument between two groups of men attending a party in the 300 block of NE Ash St. escalated into a brief physical confrontation between Simmons and Roman Runner. Runner was with three other men visiting from Moscow and the group was told to leave the party. As the group complied and attempted to get back to their vehicle parked nearby, they were chased off by a group of about ten to twenty men attending the party. The visiting group later made their way back to their vehicle and was confronted by the local group. At that point Runner displayed a knife in what he described as an effort to protect him from the larger group, and then he put the knife away. Witnesses say both Runner and Simmons were being held back by friends until Simmons broke free and charged Runner. As Simmons charged him, Runner hit Simmons in the face, knocking him to the ground unconscious. Runner fell on top of Simmons and at some point was punched in the face by an unknown person. Runner and part of his group ran away from the scene while one of them remained and called 911. Runner suffered an abrasion on his forehead. Both Runner and Simmons admitted to drinking alcohol that evening prior to the assault.
Investigators will be forwarding the investigation and the following recommended charges to the Whitman County Prosecuting Attorney who will ultimately determine what criminal charges, if any, will be filed:
• Mansel A. Simmons (10/22/92, Pullman resident): Disorderly Conduct (misdemeanor)
• Roman J. Runner (07/08/91, Moscow resident): Assault 2nd Degree (felony)
Two potentially related incidents were also investigated by Pullman Detectives. A pistol was found near the scene, but investigators could not confirm if it was involved in the altercation or who may have been carrying it. Also, the vehicle that the Moscow group arrived in was damaged at some point after the assault, but no evidence has been uncovered to positively identify any specific suspect.
A GRIP ON SPORTS
Want to know when it is going to rain? Just check with me. If I've scheduled a golf outing, it will rain. Been perfect 100 percent of the time this spring. I'm beginning to think the big guy upstairs doesn't like me. Read on.
An offensive lineman has left Washington State’s football team.
The school confirmed that Jake Rodgers, a fourth-year junior who attended Shadle Park High School in Spokane, has chosen not to play for the Cougars next season.
His transfer destination has yet to be confirmed.
Rodgers started all 12 of WSU’s games as a redshirt sophomore in 2012 and played every position on the offensive line except center. He missed all of spring practice this year while recovering from an undisclosed injury, but figured to compete for playing time if he returned healthy in the fall.
WSU coach Mike Leach touted the team’s bolstered offensive line depth throughout the spring, noting that the Cougars were able to field two full five-man units, something they couldn’t do last year when injuries and defections hurt their numbers.
Rodgers’ departure leaves WSU’s roster with five Spokane natives: offensive linemen Elliott Bosch and Joe Dahl, quarterback Connor Halliday, receiver Conner Johnson, and safety Mitchell Peterson.
A GRIP ON SPORTS
Three-run home runs are cool, sure, and oftentimes can be crucial to winning a baseball game. But catching a short flip from the first baseman very well may be more important. Read on.
Washington State linebacker/defensive end Logan Mayes was cited Thursday for hit and run, though Pullman Police Cmdr. Chris Tennant described the alleged traffic accident as “relatively minor.”
Tennant said an eyewitness called the police after seeing Mayes back his vehicle into another car in a parking lot. Mayes allegedly drove away without stopping to examine the damage or leave his information.
After police ran the car's plate number and contacted Mayes, Tennant said, the player admitted that he had bumped into another car and drove away. He was given a misdemeanor citation for hit and run and was released, meaning he wasn't handcuffed or taken to the station.
Tennant said the other car had a cracked taillight lens, but that the damage cost estimate was below the $750 minimum that would require police to file a traffic collision report.
Mayes has a scheduled court appearance the morning of June 4, according to Whitman County District Court records.
A GRIP ON SPORTS
Things you would expect to see in Cleveland: The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the house where they filmed “A Christmas Story,” LeBron James haters. Things you wouldn't expect to see in Cleveland: a first-place baseball team, Kevin Costner, Felix Hernandez being knocked around like Eric Bedard. Yet all those unexpected things were available for viewing yesterday. Read on.
A GRIP ON SPORTS
When you sit down every day – and by every day, I mean every day – to write a sports-related blog post, you never know what occurrence will tickle your fancy and set you down the road to the finished product. You'll never believe what got me going this morning. Read on.
News of another oral commitment broke yesterday — though this one is from a player who plans to arrive this season — but some more bad news also broke for the WSU football team. Keep reading for accounts of both.
S-R photojournalist Jesse Tinsley covered the 3A/4A track regionals today. Check out a big picture gallery of his photos.
A GRIP ON SPORTS
There was a considerable amount of optimism in the Mariners clubhouse Thursday night. Then came Friday in Cleveland. Read on.
The Shock battle the New Orleans VooDoo in the Arena. Check out S-R photojournalist Colin Mulvany's photos from the game in a big picture gallery.
Spokane has made some lineup changes in preparation for tonight's game against New Orleans in the Arena. The Shock (5-3) have dropped three straight and slipped from first to third in the four-team West Division. They're 1-2 at home.
More about Spokane's roster moves and a game preview here.
A GRIP ON SPORTS
It is the middle of May, right? Not September or October? Good. After reading about the atmosphere in the Mariners' clubhouse yesterday, I was afraid I had fallen asleep and awoken three or four months in the future. Read on.
There are a few news items to pass along this morning from WSU, so click the jump to read the links.
WSU announced Thursday that it will cancel all afternoon classes on the Pullman campus on Oct. 31, which is when the Cougars host Arizona State. It's also a Thursday night. It's also Halloween. Here's the release from the office of president Elson Floyd:
In an effort to increase the number of conference football games given national television exposure each season, the PAC-12 has significantly increased the number of regular-season conference football games scheduled to be played on Thursday and Friday nights.
As a result, at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 31, Washington State University will host Arizona State University in a conference football game at Martin Stadium, affording us the opportunity to share the beauty of our unique Pullman campus before a national television audience in a broadcast carried by one of the ESPN family of networks. This is a rare opportunity for our university. It is also the first time since 2005 that WSU has played a Thursday home football game, so it presents some special challenges.
In an effort to address those challenges, I solicited input from our athletic director as to best industry practices from around the country. I also have reached out to the Faculty Senate Executive Committee as well as the Deans Council for their input on this important issue. After taking all recommendations into account, I have authorized that attendance to all classes the morning of Oct. 31 be made optional at the discretion of faculty and that all afternoon classes that day be canceled as part of our efforts to ensure the safety and ease of travel throughout campus for faculty, staff, students and fans. This closure solely affects the Pullman campus.
Thank you in advance for your cooperation and support.
Washington State running back Teondray Caldwell was arrested on May 7 on suspicion of assault and burglary stemming from an April 28 incident at a Pullman residence.
KQQQ 1150 AM in Pullman reported that Caldwell and a group of WSU football players were denied entry to a party, and that Caldwell allegedly struck a man sitting on the porch.
A Pullman Police spokesperson said police responded to a citizen dispute on April 28, but the suspect had left the area when officers arrived and the alleged victims did not want to press charges or assist in the investigation.
But after a series of conversations and interviews, police arrested Caldwell, a sophomore from Los Angeles, on May 7 on suspicion of first-degree burglary and second-degree assault.
Charges have not been filed. KQQQ reported that Caldwell is due in Whitman County Superior Court on Friday morning, but it’s unclear whether Caldwell will have to appear. A Whitman County clerk told the Spokesman-Review that an order was issued on May 13th exonerating the conditions of Caldwell’s release, meaning he may not have to appear in court tomorrow.
But the clerk also said it’s still possible charges could be filed.
Caldwell rushed for 229 yards as a freshman last season and served as the team’s primary kick returner. A WSU spokesman said coaches will handle the matter internally, as is customary under coach Mike Leach.
Caldwell wrote on his Twitter page (WSU players were apparently allowed back on the site recently): “All these allegations but none of it is true! Don't believe the media. I'm in good hands.”
A GRIP ON SPORTS
You are walking down the street. You come across David Stern's limo, which has a flat tire. He is standing outside the car, holding a dead phone in his hand. No one else is around. Do you: A) pull out your phone and call for help; B) ignore him and walk away; or C) tell him exactly how you feel concerning his treatment of Seattle over the years? Read on.
Gonzaga was hoping to land UNLV transfer Mike Moser, but he ended picking Oregon. Now comes the news that Tulane transfer Josh Davis has chosen San Diego State.
The Zags have been trying to beef up their front court, which returns Sam Dower and Przemek Karnowski, but they weren't able to land Moser or Davis.
More on Davis' decision here. He spent a couple days visiting SDSU, committed and then called off recruiting visits to Gonzaga and Ohio State.