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Archive for July 2012

Vandals’ fall camp starts Thursday

Robb Akey was his typical talkative self today in a conference call with reporters. The Idaho coach ran through a string of topics in advance of the Vandals' fall camp opening on Thursday afternoon.

Read on for our story and notes.

A new smile to follow


The best part of the Olympics? Spending four weeks or so learning about athletes in sports you might not pay all that much attention to during the other 47 months between the Games. Which leads to this question: What's not to like about Missy Franklin? Read on.

A made for a TV sport


I just have one question. If the participants are wearing makeup, are they participating in a sport? Read on.

Summer basketball in the big city


My Vegas vacation is over and it was only slightly scarier than Clark Griswold's. Of course, Clark and I have a lot in common. Read on.

When the going gets tough …


You know it's going to be a tough morning when you set the alarm for 5 a.m. You know it's going to be even tougher when your browser crashes at 5:26 a.m. You know it's going to be so tough you'll want to throw your computer against the wall when all your work is lost. Read on.

Back into the swing of things


The summer lull is officially over. Just about every local college has news to talk about today, something that hasn't happened consistently since March. Not all of it is in the good news variety, that's for sure. Read on.

WSU releases 2012-13 hoops schedule


A quick post here to pass along WSU's 2012-13 men's basketball schedule, which was released late this afternoon. Read on.

Confirmed: Laurenzi dismissed from team


UPDATE: A WSU spokesman has confirmed that senior defensive tackle Anthony Laurenzi has been dismissed from the Washington State football team. The news was first reported by Read on.

Vandals picked fourth, fifth in WAC

In preseason polls released today at the WAC football preview in Las Vegas, the Idaho football team was tabbed to finish fifth by the league's coaches and fourth by the media. Louisiana Tech was the overwhelming favorite in both polls to win the league in what is likely to be the final year of WAC football.

Interim WAC commissioner Jeff Hurd said today it's “much more likely” that Idaho and New Mexico will go the independent route than the league being able to reconstitute itself after mass defections.

For more on Idaho's perspective, click below.

Football is just around the corner


It doesn't seem possible, but August is less than a week away. Really. And with that bit of news comes this accompanying tidbit: Football camps are not that far behind. Yep, it's not all that long from now each day will be filled with news and notes about our local football teams. Even if the temperature is hovering around triple digits. Read on.

Programming note


Just a quick blog post to let folks know I'll be joining Ryan Divish of the Tacoma News Tribune and Bob Condotta and Bud Withers of the Seattle Times for a college football roundtable discussion Thursday from 1-3 p.m. with Ian Furness and Jason Puckett on KJR 950 AM in Seattle.

You can listen online here.

Back to the normally weird grind


It's a weird sort of day here on SportsLink. A good weird. And a heck of a lot easier. Read on.

Links, notes, video and a depth chart


We're somewhere over northern Oregon at the moment, cruising toward Seattle as we wind down our media day coverage. Let's try to wrap up some of it here before this airplane begins its descent and they make me put away my laptop.

Live, from Universal Studios, it’s Pac-12 media day


FROM UNIVERSAL CITY — We're seated inside the Gibson Amphitheater, awaiting the beginning of the group interview portion of Pac-12 media day. Since the quotes are going to be plentiful this afternoon, I'll just update this blog post throughout the day with anything that seems interesting enough to print. We'll have plenty of coverage in the paper tomorrow, too. But follow along here — and on Twitter — for live updates. Everything will be after the jump.

Talk about overload


There aren't too many days like Monday in the sports world, that's for sure. And thank goodness for that as well. I'm not sure all of us would survive if hit on a daily basis with the sensory overload yesterday supplied. Read on.

Long, Laurenzi arrested in separate incidents


As first reported by, linebacker Travis Long and defensive tackle Anthony Laurenzi were arrested in separate incidents during the past three days. Here is a short item we filed for tomorrow's newspaper.

M’s trade Ichiro to Yankees


Couldn't let this pass by without posting here. Long-time Mariners' star Ichiro has been traded to the Yankees for a couple minor leaguers and cash. The M's right-fielder will change clubhouses today, as New York is in Seattle for a three-game series. It seems Ichiro requested a trade a while ago and is fine with the development, though he was emotional at the farewell press conference. We'll have more in the morning of course. Until then …

Brooke Olzendam hired as Pac-12 Networks sideline reporter


Just checked into our hotel here in Burbank, Calif. — following a flight on which Snoop Dogg was a first-class passenger — a day ahead of tomorrow's Pac-12 football media day. There will be plenty to pass along from that, but there was also some WSU — and Spokane — related news out of the Pac-12 office earlier today. Brooke Olzendam, a WSU graduate and former Spokane resident, has been added to the Pac-12 Networks' on-air team as a sideline reporter for the upcoming season.

The NCAA has its say on Penn State


After a long day of travel, we finally have arrived in the city that really never sleeps, ready for sleep. So we're putting together a morning post in the very early morning, with the express purpose of missing the Penn State press conference later today. But there are enough stories out there to know what's going to be said. Read on.

• UPDATE: If you are a college sports fan, I'm sure you are aware what the NCAA did this morning to Penn State football. No postseason for four years. A $60 million fine. Eliminating 40 scholarships. Allowing any player to transfer without penalty. In other words, the imprisonment of the current program for the crimes of many of its former authority figures. We have more on the link.

The songs remain the same


Where were we? Oh yes, before we took a day off we were talking golf and Mariners. After staying away for a day, those subjects are still fresh. Read on.

Shock finish season with home victory

Spokane closed the AFL season with a 63-53 win over Tampa Bay on Saturday at the Arena. The victory gave Spokane a 10-8 record and put an end to the playoff hopes of Tampa Bay (8-10).

Here's a link to my game story that will run in Sunday's S-R.

Golf supplies the background music this morning


The television is on ESPN, with the sounds of the British Open (or as the Brits call it, “The Open Championship” with an emphasis on the “the”) floating around behind my head. It's sort of a distraction, but a good one. However, if there are any mistakes in today's post, blame Brandt Snedeker's outstanding round or a Tiger Woods long birdie putt. Read on.

It’s easy to fill waking hours today


The early morning hours on this Thursday were a bit different. A bout of insomnia wouldn't have been such a bad deal because you could have turned on the tellie and watched Adam Scott set a course record. Can't do that every day. Read on.

Tennell, Spencer post record-breaking seasons

Adron Tennell (pictured above) and Kenny Spencer have had standout seasons, despite the Spokane Shock's team struggles.

More on those two record-setting players in my Shock notebook that will run in Thursday's S-R.

The living is easy


What is not to like about this time of year? Want to get out in the yard and relax, you can. Want to stay inside and fix things, you can. Want to play golf, go to the lake, barbecue, you can. Want to read stories about your local colleges … well, at least for today, you can. Read on.

The light show was free


One of the biggest draws for minor league baseball is fireworks night. The pitch: Watch a game, see fireworks after. Well, Mother Nature put on her own fireworks show in the Spokane area last night, with a lightning storm that rivaled the best pyrotechnics one can see at any ballpark. It was so impressive, they even stopped the Indians game so everyone could watch. Read on.

EWU picked second in Big Sky

PARK CITY, Utah - Eastern Washington's football team was picked second behind Montana State in both the media and coaches' Big Sky Conference polls released Tuesday.

The Eagles, 6-5 last year, received 453 points overall in the media poll, 49 points behind MSU and 11 ahead of third-place pick Montana. Of 40 media voters, 30 picked MSU to finish first. EWU received three first-place votes and Montana got five.

Eastern received more support in the coaches' poll. MSU was first with 136 points and seven first-place votes, but the Eagles were right behind at 131 points and four first-place votes.

Boxed in during the summer


You know what is just around the corner? The Olympics, that's what. And the British Open. And, if you peak just a bit farther down the street, you can see the start of college football. But right now, on this block, there is a little less to excite the imagination. A few things but nothing like the Olympics, or a golf major or college football. Read on.

Big Sky Conference unveils new logo

After expanding to 13 schools, the Big Sky Conference is changing its look, remaking its logo in a presentation made Monday morning in Park City, Utah.

Players from each conference school, each wearing uniforms incorporating the new logo,  were presented to a gathering of media, coaches and school officials, including All-American wide receiver Nicholas Edwards of Eastern Washington.

EWU puts four on preseason All-Big Sky team

OGDEN, Utah  - Four  Eastern Washington players were selected to the preseason All-Big Sky Conference football team announced Sunday morning.


Co-reigning conference champion Montana State placed six players on the team. The squad was chosen by select media and sports information directors in the league, and released Sunday at the start of the Big Sky’s Summer Kickoff in Park City, Utah.


Is the sun still shining?


There are a lot of reasons this morning post very nearly became an afternoon post. One is I was up well after my usual bed time last night, pretending for some reason to be 48-years-old or something. But the main reason is the interweb in my hotel is amazingly slow. If the web access at your work is a cheetah and at my home an antelope, the best analogy for here is maybe a guinea pig. On Quaaludes. Read on.

Not so fast my friend


It was only this past December when Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott and his Big Ten counterpart Jim Delany stepped to a podium and made an announcement that rippled through college athletics. Read on.

It wasn’t Bullwinkle or a mascot


On the way across the state last night for a weekend in Bellevue, we made one mistake and it almost cost us more than just an hour of our time. Read on.

WSU men’s hoops headed to Australia


WSU made it official today — the men's basketball team is all set for a tour of Australia that will begin in early August and include games against five different Australian teams. Read on for more details from the school's official release.

Baseball takes a short pause


As the pause button on the major league baseball season is still stuck – Tuesday's All-Star game was the lowest-rated ever – for another day, there is little in the way of in-depth Mariners coverage today. But that's OK. There is a professional team in the Northwest that is winning. Read on.

Shock ownership wants Olson back

Yet another interesting day in Shockland.

Owner Brady Nelson stated unequivocally that he wants Andy Olson to return as head coach for a second season.

Erik Meyer practiced, then decided he won't play again this season. He hasn't decided if he'll give it a shot in 2013. I'm guessing he's played his last down, but that's all it is — a guess.

Finally, Nelson said owners are considering whether to return to the AFL's Ironman roots, beginning next season. The idea seems to have traction with the owners.

More on those topics in my Shock notebook that will run in Thursday's S-R.


GU-West Virginia part of ESPN’s Marathon

For the fourth straight season, Gonzaga will be part of ESPN’s Tip-Off Marathon.

The Bulldogs will entertain West Virginia on Monday, Nov. 12, at 9 p.m. at the McCarthey Athletic Center in the first of 11 straight games televised on ESPN. Gonzaga is coming off a 26-7 season, including a 77-54 blowout of the Mountaineers in a second-round NCAA Tournament game in Pittsburgh. West Virginia finished 19-14.

Gonzaga is 1-2 in previous Tip-Off Marathon appearances with a win over Washington State last season and losses to San Diego State two years ago and Michigan State three years ago.

More here and here

A busy July day


You know how I've written recently about the lack of items to talk about? You might even have labeled it whining in your head and moved on. Well, I take it all back. And I promise I won't be whining anymore. Read on.

What to do tonight?


As we sit down to write today, I'm not sure of my plans for this evening. Should I spend any time at all watching the All-Star Game? Or should I just work on finishing the book I am reading? Read on.

Barking a bit about the season


As the heat begins to build and the humidity rises, the term “dog days of summer” becomes more and more applicable. In more and more ways. Read on.

Shock lose to Philadelphia

Spokane, bounced from playoff contention before it even took the field, dropped a 62-48 decision to Philadelphia on Sunday in Philly. Shock QB Kyle Rowley was intercepted four times — that's nine picks in his last two games.

The Shock dropped to 8-8 with two regular-season games remaining.

Here's a game recap. Another one here.

Shock face Soul

If I'm reading the tiebreakers correctly, Spokane's playoff hopes were extinguished late last night when San Jose defeated New Orleans. With the two division winners likely to be Arizona and San Jose, that leaves two at-large playoff slots.

Spokane can equal San Jose and Utah at 11-7, but lose to both in tiebreakers. Spokane went 0-2 vs. Utah, the first tiebreaker. Spokane split with San Jose, but loses in point differential, the second tiebreaker. I ran that scenario past Andy Olson on the phone Saturday and in a text message with majority owner Brady Nelson and they came to the same conclusion.

Anyway, here's my Shock-Soul game preview (written obviously before San Jose defeated New Orleans).

For some reason, the AFL was putting out playoff scenarios until the last week or so. Here's a link to the AFL's playoff tiebreakers, for what it's worth.

Something historic could happen today


I don't know how the Wimbledon men's final is going to turn out – it is going on as I write this – but you can be sure of one thing: I am rooting – hard – for Andy Murray. Read on.

Work interrupted by tennis


If you are a baseball fan who lives anywhere near, say, Spokane, I want to introduce you to something called a “run.” It's when your team moves a player all the way from home plate to first, second and third base, then somehow, someway, gets him back to home plate again. Yep, it's a pretty cool event. And some baseball teams (cough, the Texas Rangers) do it all the time. But the baseball teams we watch, listen to and read about (the Seattle Mariners and the Spokane Indians) seem to treat “runs” as some sort of a phenomenon, something akin to the Higgs Boson. Read on.

It’s about to warm up


Looking at the Weather Channel forecast for the rest of the week made me gulp. Were there actually 100-degree temperatures in there? Yep. That's pretty darn warm even if you're just sitting in the house watching baseball on the TV. Just think how hot it will be for kids out playing baseball and softball in it. Or the local college football players doing their summer workouts. When the thermometer hits 100 around here, you have to admire any athlete who is willing to step out into the heat and play or work on their game. Read on.

The Fourth a good time for memories


I hope everyone had a safe and sane Fourth. It was relatively quiet in Spokane, until the Indians' game ended. That's when the booming began and the fireworks started in the sky. Pretty cool. And at least they all went off at different times. Read on.

Baseball and the Fourth: A perfect match


It is the Fourth of July. One of my favorite memories of this holiday comes from 1974, the year I graduated from high school. My parents took a long vacation that summer, left me in charge of the family business and our home became party central for a while. But on the Fourth the three main guys in my posse (though we didn't call it that then) decided to take it easy. Instead of singing Beach Boys songs with a couple dozen other idiots inside the house, the four of us pulled out lawn chairs, climbed on to the roof and watched the fireworks explode over Arcadia. From our vantage point that evening, the world looked nearly perfect and the future as wide open as sky above the basin. Read on.

Edwards commits to Gonzaga

Ryan Edwards, a 7-foot center from Glacier High in Kalispell, Mont., has orally committed to Gonzaga. He joins Bellarmine Prep forward Lucas Meikle in GU's 2013 class.

Here's my short article on Edwards' commitment that will run in Tuesday's S-R.

—A couple other things that I've learned after talking to Edwards and a couple others familiar with his game. Edwards is a capable scorer with his right and left hand and he has great hands, always a key for interior players. He played tennis at Glacier as a junior last year, but doesn't plan on playing as a senior.

At 300 pounds, Edwards and others said that he needs to work on his conditioning. Edwards said he's already making progress in that area this summer. He is playing summer basketball with his Glacier High teammates and not on a traveling AAU program. 

Another track and field fiasco


There are a lot of lessons to be learned from athletics, not the least of which is how not to deal with a problem. “Oh,” you think to yourself, “he's talking about the Olympic track and field trials.” Was I that obvious? Read on.

A basketball celebration


Do you like to people watch? Enjoy competition? Need a long walk? Then Hoopfest is for you. If you hate crowds, the smell of sun screen or the pain of over-used feet, then it's better to avoid downtown Spokane today. Read on.

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SportsLink is your portal into sports news around the Inland Northwest and beyond. You'll find updates, notes and opinions, and plenty of reader feedback.


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Jacob Thorpe (@JacobThorpe) Sports reporter Jacob Thorpe covers Washington State University athletics. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Jim Meehan (@srjimm) Jim Meehan's coverage areas include Gonzaga University men's basketball, Spokane Shock football, golf and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Chris Derrick Chris Derrick is a sports reporter. His primary coverage areas are the Spokane Chiefs, Spokane Indians, women's basketball and high school softball and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Sean Kramer Sean Kramer is a freelance correspondent who covers the University of Idaho football team and men's basketball team.

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Vince Grippi is the online producer for SportsLink, a product of The Spokesman-Review.

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