It's a springtime Monday, which means there aren't a lot of links to pass along. But there are a couple of things to talk about, so read on.
• Washington State: One thing about living in a town about the size of Pullman, you run into people all over you write about. At the Safeway. McDonald's. WalMart. Jimmy Johns. You get the picture. Being that the people you write about are mainly young men between the ages of 17 and 23 and you are the same age, roughly, of their dads, they often just want to talk. Most times it's mundane stuff. But sometimes it is more than that. It's news. That's when your personal ethics have to kick in. You have to remind them you aren't their uncle or whatever, you're a reporter. And if they say something it may end up in a story. I've done that before and I will do it in the future. It's one of the basic ethics of the position. With that being said up front, if you are told something that is important, it's a great starting point for the reporting. It allows you to ask intelligent questions of the next source, because two sources are better than one and three are better than two. And, though members of the athletic teams are privy to a lot, sometimes that information is colored through a personal prism, as is the case often in the world. It's always best to check it out with other sources. All this is being said because I received calls, texts and emails yesterday concerning this piece on the WSU Football Blog. As the writer, a student, says, “In my first two years at WSU, I have been fortunate enough to make nice with a few prominent members of the football team. Without naming names, they have given me the inside scoop (and permission) to leak new information regarding the program.” The post went on to mention Aire Justin and a possible failed drug test, Blair Bomber's knee injury, C.J. Mizell's playing time and the new uniforms. Yesterday afternoon I received questions from folks wondering if the information was true. All I can pass along is what I know and have been confirmed through multiple sources. … The news about the severity of Bomber's knee injury is accurate. Bomber suffered it Tuesday and, after imagining was done late last week, it was discovered the redshirt freshman had suffered a torn ACL, not a knee sprain as earlier thought. Surgery will be scheduled, probably after finals, and Bomber will miss next season. As for a medical redshirt, we've been over this a million times before. When a player redshirts by choice (as Bomber did last season), then suffers one injury during his remaining time in college, the NCAA rarely grants an extra, or sixth, year. If he misses another, then it usually does. The rule of thumb is, miss two to injury, get one back. … As for Justin and a possible failed drug test, there have been rumblings about this for a week or so, but Justin has continued to practice and play in scrimmages. Why? Because until the appeals process is complete – and everyone who fails an NCAA-mandated test is automatically put into the appeals process – Justin, or anyone, is still good to go. And, using the threat of a possible lawsuit under the Family Education and Privacy Act, no one with the school will talk about the results of drug tests. But let's just say a senior like Justin failed an NCAA test and the appeal fails. Then, under NCAA rules, a one-year suspension, dating from the day of the failed test, is in order. For a senior without a redshirt year left, that would be the end of their college eligibility. … As for Mizell, we've written about the sophomore here many times before. The issues are the same ones as last season, practice harder, play more. It's nothing new, even if the voice delivering the message is different, that being first-year linebacker coach Chris Tormey. But has Mizell disappeared? Being most of his snaps in Saturday's scrimmage were with the one defense – to be fair, he didn't start the scrimmage with the ones, but was the middle linebacker most of the groups' time on the field – I wouldn't say that. Like last year, Mizell's effort in practice will dictate his time on the field. Mizell had a good week last week – I heard Tormey or another coach praise him at least a handful of times – and that was probably why he got more chances Saturday. … The uniforms? They'll be unveiled tonight. If that's not early enough for you, sorry. … One other thing. Veteran announcer Bob Robertson's wife Joanne died recently. Cougfan put together this nice tribute from Nick Daschel. … Cougfan also has this ranking of the greatest WSU football players from Spokane.
• Around the Pac-12: Not a lot today because it's Monday. We have this story from Utah – Saturday's scrimmage was postponed until today – and this blog post from Jon Wilner on Stanford's spring game. That's it.
• That's all for this morning. We'll be back tonight after the uniform unveiling. I will be tweeting from the event – at every media time out – so follow along at vinceg55. Until then …