As I suggested in an earlier post, Gonzaga wasn't too impressed with Washington's proposal to renew the series.
The sticking point is that UW proposed three games from 2011-2013 at KeyArena, a few miles from Washington's campus and nearly 300 miles from GU's. Gonzaga already plays an annual game at KeyArena and has commitments through the 2012 season.
Likewise, an arrangement that would involve KeyArena and Spokane Arena doesn't appear to make sense for GU either. The Bulldogs play one game every season at the Spokane Arena (the Ronald McDonald House Charities Classic).
Since UW declined to extend the series after the Dec. 2006 game, Gonzaga has maintained that it wants to continue the rivalry, but for the games to be staged at campus arenas. UW apparently wants no part of that. GU's position hasn't changed.
Below you can find my unedited article that will run in Thursday's S-R.
By Jim Meehan
The Huskies proposed a three-game series, beginning next season, with all three games to be played at KeyArena in
Gonzaga has no objection to playing the Huskies, but prefers a home-and-home series. GU already plays one game annually at KeyArena – vs. Davidson this December, and tentatively against
“In light of the recent reports out of
“At the same time, it is a series that should be equitable for both schools. I have always believed it is a game best played on the two campuses because of the great college basketball atmosphere in both campus venues.”
The Bulldogs probably wouldn’t be in favor of an arrangement where games would alternate between KeyArena and the Spokane Arena. Gonzaga already plays one game each season, the Ronald McDonald House Charities Classic, at the Spokane Arena.
“The renewal of this series is something that will be decided by the two athletic directors and the two head basketball coaches in private discussions,” Roth said.
The Huskies declined to continue the series after the schools met 10 consecutive seasons, with Gonzaga winning eight, from 1998-2007. Those games alternated between GU’s and UW’s campus arenas.
“Gonzaga is a great program,” Husky coach Lorenzo Romar said in a statement released by UW. “When we discontinued the series initially, we knew there would come a time when we would probably renew the series. We think it is something that is going to work well for both programs. We’re ready to go.”
Roth declined further comment. Attempts to reach head coach Mark Few were unsuccessful.
There is some bitter history between the schools, stemming from the recruitment of ex-Zag Josh Heytvelt. Former