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WSU's last week of spring has warm start

COUGARS

The final week of spring football kicked off this afternoon in the best weather since last October. Figures. Football starts to wind down and it gets nice. Well, maybe it will rain Thursday, I'll be miserable and have something to complain about. One can only hope. For more, and the answer to a question I said I would ask, read on.

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• Before we get into the practice report – and the answer to the question about Saturday's scrimmage format – I have a mea culpa. Yes, a mistake. In a report recently about Aire Justin's possible failed NCAA-mandated drug test, I said that all failures are automatically appealed. That's not the case. Actually, as I have come to find out, very few players do appeal. Part of that is hardly any appeals are upheld. A mistake of omission, as in saying you took something on the banned list in a supplement you didn't know contained it, is rarely a defense that works with the NCAA. Sorry for the misinformation. ... Now back to Tuesday's practice. Nothing really extraordinary to report, other than Isiah Barton showed up in a boot, a victim of a sprained ankle in the scrimmage Saturday (that seems to be the injury of the spring with the wideouts). So his availability this weekend is questionable. Then defensive end Skylar Stormo was poked in the left eye during a drill and missed the rest of practice. ... As coach Paul Wulff said after practice, the number of players nicked up has grown to the point where it is fairly long. The good news is a majority of those players should be healed and ready to get back to full-time training work by June 1, the key date as that's eight weeks before practice. Those eight weeks, Wulff said, are crucial in getting ready for the fall. ... Wulff also said Saturday's scrimmage in Spokane will be four 15-minute quarters, with more than likely a running clock that stops only on touchdowns and things of that nature. He hopes to have 50 to 60 plays run hard and fast. The ones and a couple backups will be on the Crimson team, while the twos and others will be on the Gray team. The scrimmage will match the Crimson vs. the Gray, so I would have to say the Crimson team should be favored by at least a touchdown or two. ... One thing you won't see Saturday is the new uniform. Those aren't ready for game use yet. The Cougars will wear last season's unis. ... One thing Wulff is happy about is the idea his team is playing a road game. What he means by that is the group can practice traveling for away games, going through all the steps you need to take to play on the road. That isn't all that usual in the spring and should be a help down the road. The Cougars first road game will be Sept. 17 at San Diego State, a game that will start at 3 p.m. and be televised on the Mountain, the Mountain West Conference's station. ... The coaching staff will be in Spokane on Friday night and Saturday morning holding a coaching clinic for high school coaches at the Red Lion Hotel at the Park. The Cougar staff will speak Friday while former Texas Tech head coach Mike Leach will headline Saturday's activities. Coaches can find more information and register on-line here. ... We have a story for tomorrow on the kicking game and how it stands this spring. When it appears on-line, we'll link it.

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• That's it for tonight. We'll be back in the morning. Until then ...




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Vince Grippi





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