The guard will be changing in Pullman and I don't mean guys playing inside in football or outside in basketball. We're talking about athletic director Jim Sterk leaving. And, yes, he is taking the San Diego State job and no, he wasn't forced out. We have more on that, and the basketball game today, on the link. Read on.
• Washington State: Two years ago Bill Doba left Washington State, replaced by Paul Wulff. A year ago Tony Bennett left Washington State, replaced by Ken Bone. This week Jim Sterk will leave Washington State, replaced by ... who knows right now. But one thing is certain. The first two changes won't affect those who work around Bohler Gym nearly as much as this latest one. Folks, no matter who is hired to run the athletic complex and its $30 million budget, things will change in Pullman. How? That will depend on the person. But change is coming, and I'm sure it will be preceded by its kid brother, trepidation. Talking with people around the athletic department last night I can tell you Sterk was offered an extension on his contract after the San Diego State job came open (which is an interesting story in itself), but decided to move on. ... His first big challenge: Finding a house in the Mission Valley area as nice as the one in Pullman, but still within his price range. That will be harder than raising money to remodel Martin Stadium in this economy. ... Let's move on, because we'll cover the Sterk story more next week after we talk with him. ... We had a basketball-related story in the paper today, looking at the process the Cougars are going through to get familiar with how Bone wants them to play. ... Today's opponent, Cal, has the opportunity to build some breathing room in the Pac-10 race with a win. ... The Bears' Jamal Boykin is becoming more of an inside presence. ... We also had a paragraph last night on the blog about the new assistant football coach.
• Around the Pac-10: How does UW play so well at home? Some coaches have a theory, and Pac-10 officials' coordinator Bill McCabe gives it some credence. ... Is Craig Robinson trying to leave OSU? He says no way and points out, with the Beavers' record, who would want him? ... Oregon State heads to Arizona trying to duplicate an earlier win in Corvallis. ... Oregon may shake up the lineup once again. ... ASU did that a while ago, and it lit a fire under point guard Derek Glasser. ... When UCLA and USC meet Sunday, the Bruins will be embarking on a tough finishing stretch.
• That's all for now. We'll be back before the game as usual. Until then ...