WSU’s Johnson ruled partial qualifier

Basketball: Prized freshman basketball player Demarquise “Que” Johnson has been ruled a partial qualifier by the NCAA, and will not be eligible to play for Washington State this season.

Johnson, a highly-routed recruit from Westwind Prep in Phoenix, will receive athletics financial aid and will take classes at WSU during the 2012-13 academic year but will not be allowed to play or practice with the team.

A WSU spokesperson said Johnson must meet the standard eligibility requirements that apply to all players to be cleared for action in 2013-14. He still counts as a scholarship player on the Cougars’ roster.

Johnson, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard, chose to sign with the Cougars in November over offers from Washington and Gonzaga.

Julian leaves Cougars for Nike

Cross Country: Washington State University’s head coach for cross country and distance coach for the track and field program, Pete Julian, resigned Monday to take a position with the Nike Oregon Project in Portland.

Julian, 41, joined the WSU staff in 2009 after a highly successful career as a collegiate coach and professional athlete and coach. Julian was promoted to the head coach for WSU cross country in the fall of 2010.

“I have learned more from working for Rick Sloan than any coach I have been involved with,” Julian said. “His work ethic has inspired me and made me realize how hard I have to work to be successful.”

The Cougar men’s cross country team had a breakthrough season in 2011, advancing to the NCAA Championships for the first time since 2006 and finishing 21st.

Nike’s Oregon Project is a group created in 2001 to promote American long-distance running.

“This is an exciting opportunity that presents some new challenges for me,” Julian said. “We are at a place with the sport of track and field where the direction of the Nike Oregon Project is making a difference.”

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