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A sampling from the past week of entries in The Spokesman-Review Sports department blog, SportsLink. Check daily at


Christian Caple

Washington State released its 2013-14 men’s basketball schedule on Wednesday with the news that the Cougars will not play a game at KeyArena, as they have every year since 2005.

A scheduling conflict at the arena will prevent the Cougar Hardwood Classic from continuing for a ninth season, though the game is expected to return in the future.

The Cougars will still host a game at the Toyota Center in Kennewick (San Francisco State on Dec. 18), and will play either Utah or Colorado at Spokane Arena the week of Jan. 8-12.

As previously announced, the Cougars will participate in the Old Spice Classic in Orlando, Fla., over Thanksgiving weekend. Their first opponent will be Butler on Thanksgiving Day.

Nonconference home games include Cal-State Bakersfield (Nov. 8, the season-opener), Lamar, TCU, Pepperdine, UTEP and Mississippi Valley State. WSU plays at Gonzaga (Nov. 21) and at Idaho (Dec. 7)

The Pac-12 portion of WSU’s schedule is tentative.


Jim Allen

The first day of football practice at Eastern Washington had that “just right” feel about it. Even before it started.

The players were confident but not overly so, the weather was warm but not stifling, and Eagles head coach Beau Baldwin felt his team was in just the right frame of mind Wednesday afternoon on the grass fields behind Reese Court.

Even the burden of expectations is where it needs to be, coming off an 11-3 season that exceeded everyone’s expectations but that of the players and coaches. There’s always room for improvement, even after the Eagles were picked third in the FCS preseason coaches’ poll.


Jim Meehan

AFL commissioner Jerry Kurz said Tuesday that a late-season flap over National Conference seeding and a questionable tiebreaker was much ado about nothing.

Kurz took issue with Shock owner Brady Nelson’s contention that he was never informed Arizona had clinched the division title. The commissioner said he was misquoted in an Arizona Republic article when he reportedly said,  “Ask me that question after Saturday’s game” in response to whether Arizona had locked up the top seed prior to the regular-season finale.

Nelson didn’t back down Tuesday, but he said it’s possible he missed an AFL email regarding a ruling on a tiebreaker. Richard Obert of the Arizona Republic said Kurz was quoted accurately. Kurz acknowledged that the tiebreaker in question – record versus common opponents – probably isn’t clear enough.