A GRIP ON SPORTS
It's been a long time since we've had a day as jammed with news as this morning is. Maybe since the end of last football season. Read on.
• Want a story or two about Washington State? We have that. How about Gonzaga? Yep, the Zags too. Eastern, Idaho and even UW? OK, we'll take care of you today. I really don't remember the last time I could have written affirmative answers to all those questions, but today I can. And that doesn't even cover the Seahawks, Mariners and Sounders, who all are included in today's report. And there is even a dollop of prep news. What the heck, let's get right to it.
• No, let's not. Before we delve into the links, we have to mention a couple thoughts on the renewal of the basketball series between Gonzaga and the University of Washington. One of the more interesting items we have in the paper today is a list of the final 10 games in that series, before the Huskies pulled the plug. (And before anyone gets ticked off, saying it was a mutual thing, let's be clear. Washington didn't want the series to continue or it wouldn't have put some many conditions on its renewal. A series between these two schools could only be home-and-home and asking for anything else, as UW did, would – and should – kill it. The same could be said of the series between Gonzaga and WSU. Why the Cougars agreed to the conditions imposed by GU to continue that series, I don't know. But it should be home-and-home as well. The way it will be the next few years isn't right.) In the final nine times the Huskies and Bulldogs got together before the hiatus, Gonzaga won eight times. That's pretty impressive, considering UW had some of its better teams in that period. No wonder there was a break. But, after 10 years, and with Washington needing to improve its basketball standing, the series is back on. And it will be a home-and-home series. Good.
• WSU: At the end of every year, Washington State athletic director Bill Moos reviews the contract the school has with each coach. This year, he decided Mike Leach deserved a raise. Leach, who was making a bargain-basement – for big-time college football anyway – $2.25 million, will now be making $2.75 million each season. The extra half-million will be included in his compensation for his media responsibilities. However, I'm guessing, despite the designation, Leach will still be able to say "next question" anytime he doesn't want to answer something asked in a press conference. Jacob Thorpe has all the particulars in today's story and blog post from last night. ... Jacob also has a blog post on yesterday's practice and another from this morning with links and stuff. ... Former Cougar Rahmel Dockery talks about his time in Pullman. ... One man's Associated Press preseason Top 25.
• EWU: Up until yesterday, every preseason FCS poll had the Eagles No. 1. But the coaches' poll went a different way, picking three-time defending FCS champion North Dakota State, despite losing its head coach, as No. 1. ... Jim Allen was out in Cheney yesterday for the first two-a-day practice and he put together a feature on a young kicker as well as a blog post with links.
• Idaho: The Vandals began preseason practice yesterday and it got a bit physical despite the absence of pads. Josh Wright was in Moscow and has a story on the first day as well as a blog post with more notes.
• Indians: Spokane isn't playing for a couple days as the Northwest League takes its All-State break. The Indians have a large contingent making the trip to Eugene for the game and Chris Derrick has a story about the group.
• Preps: It's Tuesday, so Greg Lee has his summer staple, the youth sports notebook.
• Seahawks: With a preseason game on tap for this week, the Hawks' schedule began to take more of a normal look yesterday, with more players getting on the field. That number included Kam Chancellor (pictured), who has been slowly recovering from off-season surgery. ... Pete Carroll and Richard Sherman met with the media yesterday, so the notebooks must have been full. ... As per usual, the Hawks made some personnel moves yesterday. ... Kevin Williams is quietly trying to make his mark in Seattle. ... How much will the Hawks have to pay Russell Wilson?
• Mariners: The M's were off yesterday but, for some reason, the team feels it has the pieces in place to make a run toward a wild-card spot. ... The rotation has been tweaked a bit around the day off, thus getting the M's three best starters stacked up against Toronto. ... Austin Jackson and Lloyd McClendon have a deep history.
• Sounders: With all the Sounders involved in the MLS all-star activities, Portland is a bit like Seattle South this week. ... DeAndre Yedlin is once again in the spotlight. ... Don't expect any player to play very long in the match vs. Bayern Munich.
• I hope you had a lot of time today, as you would need it to get through all the links. It seemed more like a Sunday morning instead of a Tuesday. Until later ...