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I've had the opportunity speak with Washington State athletic director Bill Moos to talk about the Cougars bowl situation, future construction plans and his vision for branding and marketing Cougars athletics going forward. Of course, the vast majority of what he said didn't make it into paper. With that in mind, I've transcribed the rest of those interviews in a Q&A format, which you can read after the jump.
Released in mid-September, “The System: The Glory and Scandal of Big-Time College Football” is the latest vignette-styled, behind-the-action look at college football. The 386-page book offers insight and access into the recruiting, game planning, struggles and successes of the college football season.
WSU fans will be interested in a number of chapters related to coach Mike Leach and athletic director Bill Moos,Oct and even a look at President Elson Floyd's administration. For example:
Every athletic director has to have a trusted confidant, someone on staff capable of handling sensitive situations that arise behind the scenes when running the most visible department on campus. In Bill Moos' case, he turned to Mike Marlow, a gregarious fellow who spent thirteen years toiling away in the athletic department at Oregon. That's how Moos knew him. Marlow used to work for Moos in Eugene. But Marlow was a graduate of WSU, and when Moos offered him a job at his alma mater, he didn't hesitate.
More from the excerpt — and information on book signings — after the jump.
Sometimes, a warm spring day produces some football news. Yesterday was one of those days. Keep reading.
FROM PULLMAN — Plenty of happenings on the WSU front yesterday, though today figures to be much quieter. There's a lot to read for now, though. Get your coffee/orange juice/Tang ready, and read on.
FROM PULLMAN — There were no ultimatums discussed. The coach wasn't made to plead for his job. Nor was he yelled at.
No, Washington State athletic director Bill Moos says his meeting with men's basketball coach Ken Bone on Wednesday was devoid of much drama, Moos deciding a while ago that he was likely to retain Bone for a fifth year as the Cougars' coach.
Moos said his decision about Bone's future was made before the two sat down to recap the season.
“I pretty much decided that I was going to retain him,” Moos said. “I did want to get a sense from him of where we were in regards to the program, the current players, incoming players that we had recruited and also his staff, so we had that discussion and at the end of it I told him I’m going to support him wholeheartedly.”
FROM PULLMAN — What many had already assumed was confirmed Wednesday after WSU basketball coach Ken Bone and athletic director Bill Moos held their end-of-season meeting, as the Spokesman-Review has learned that Bone remains the Cougars' coach and is expected to return for his fifth season.
Bone, who is headed back on the road to recruit, is scheduled to hold his annual wrap-up teleconference on Thursday afternoon to recap the season.
After the Cougars finished 13-19 and 4-14 in Pac-12 play in 2012-13, there was speculation that Bone's job might be in jeopardy. But it was considered unlikely that Moos would make a coaching change with three years remaining on Bone's contract. He would have been owed $2.55 million by the school if his contract was terminated this season.
FROM PULLMAN — We're headed back on the road this morning to help with the paper's Gonzaga coverage this week in Salt Lake City. But that doesn't mean we're ignoring WSU. Read on.
FROM PULLMAN — Washington State athletic director Bill Moos said on his weekly radio show Monday that he plans to meet next week with coach Ken Bone to discuss the future of the program.
Moos did not say specifically whether he's decided Bone will be retained or not. He said the two will recap the season, discuss recruiting and “chart the course” for the future of the team when they meet.
That's standard operating procedure for Moos. He meets with each coach at the end of their respective seasons to discuss the future and check in to see how they feel things are going. Those aren't conversations that happen during the season, Moos said, “unless there's a question about recruiting or scheduling. This will give us a chance to have a long visit and chart our course.”
Moos noted that last year's end-of-season meeting wound up yielding a staff shake-up, with assistant coach Jeff Hironaka being reassigned to an operations role and Ray Lopes being hired as a new assistant.
Bone said after WSU's season-ending 64-62 loss to Washington in the Pac-12 tournament that he's not concerned about his job status.
“I think we’ve done a good job and decisions will be made, whether it’s this year or next year or the following year,” said Bone, who has three years remaining on a 7-year contract. “It’s out of my control, so I’m not going to worry about things that are out of my control. Just going to keep doing the best I can.”
Bone would be owed $2.55 million if terminated this season.
FROM PULLMAN — In his review of the WSU football program, WSU athletic director Bill Moos noted that “the departed player” — a reference to former receiver Marquess Wilson — had redacted his claims of abuse in a text message shortly after the UCLA game on Nov. 10, the same day Wilson announced his departure from the team in a letter to media.
In documents obtained by the Spokesman-Review through a public records request, that message from Wilson to Moos is included in a forwarded email from Moos to president Elson Floyd sent on Nov. 11 at 1:57 a.m.
Moos wrote to Floyd that the message was “Sent to me at 11:33. Unfortunate as our guys gave a valiant effort and deserved to be the lead story.”
The name of the sender is redacted in the document, but Wilson identifies himself in the text, which reads: “Mr. Moos this is marquess … With that letter I wasn't trying to accuse the coaches of hitting players or anything. I was just trying to put it in different terms and now everything is getting misinterpreted and I didn't mean it like that at all … I simply was trying to get my story across and get my name cleared instead of having it say I'm suspended for breaking team violations … That could mean like I did drugs or something … I was never trying to harm the university or the program with it.”
That jives with what Moos told reporters in a conference call late Wednesday afternoon.
“He wanted to primarily tell the fans goodbye, I’ll miss you and that his suspension did not have to do with things that some of our earlier dismissals had to do in regards to behavior,” Moos said.
FROM PULLMAN — WSU released its final findings from its internal review of the football program prompted by former receiver Marquess Wilson's allegations of abuse made in early November.
We have the full review posted below.
Bill Moos also said in a statement: “Last month President Floyd asked me to fully review allegations raised concerning the football program and report those findings and conclusions as soon as possible,” said Moos. “I have fulfilled his charge over the past few weeks, which included interviews with multiple student-athletes and support staff involved with the program. Once I received the findings from members of my staff, I found that the program is moving in the desired direction, that is it on-par with, or exceeds, other BSC-level programs in terms of expectations and commitment. Transition in coaching changes is rarely smooth, however, after reviewing the comments from the players that were interviewed, I am encouraged the program is moving in a positive direction.”
Perhaps of most interest and importance is Moos' statement in the review that “Throughout this review there was no report or detection of abuse or inappropriate behavior.”
Moos also confirmed that Wilson recanted his claims in a text message following the UCLA game.
Moos said he did instruct coaches to stop spraying water on players who were working out in the sand pit. That directive was issued around midseason.
FROM PHOENIX — We'll have a short item in the paper about this — and we wrote about it in today's newspaper, as well — but wanted to pass along the official release from WSU about the approval of construction for the football operations building.
WSU's release is after the jump.
FROM PULLMAN — We have our usual notes and quotes from WSU's practice Wednesday night, but first, we'll address the latest in the Marquess Wilson situation. Read on.
FROM PULLMAN — Later this afternoon, we're joining a media contingent on a tour of the renovated press box/premium seating structure at Martin Stadium you may have heard something about. We'll pass along plenty from that, but first, there are links to read.
FROM PULLMAN — This is why we toil through the winter months out here — it's mid-May, and I'm writing this in the middle of the night with the screen door open and a nice breeze blowing through the apartment. Ahh, summer weather in spring. Read on for some more reading material.
FROM PULLMAN — Sometimes, slow days can be a relief. But we've had a number of those this spring, so yesterday's events were a welcome change. Read on for a summation.
FROM PULLMAN — Had a phone conversation earlier this evening with Bud Nameck, who will move from the sidelines to the booth for Cougar radio broadcasts this football season. Here's a partial transcript of our chat.
FROM PULLMAN — Lots of information coming your way after the jump, but here's the gist — Bill Moos announced on 710 AM in Seattle today that the Cougars' radio broadcasts will now be done by a three-man crew, with Bob Robertson still calling the play-by-play, and Bud Nameck and former WSU receiver Shawn McWashington alongside him helping out. Jessamyn McIntyre, currently a producer at 710 ESPN, will report from the sidelines. And the bigger news for those of you on the west side — WSU football and basketball games will now be broadcast on 710 AM (KIRO), which Moos called the new voice of the Cougars.
FROM PULLMAN — Yes, turmoil. Not for Washington State. But for a couple other teams around the conference — particularly UCLA — Tuesday's news isn't great. Regardless, we pass it along after the jump.
Washington State athletic director Bill Moos, right, and new head football coach Mike Leach hold up a jersey during a news conference today in Pullman, Wash. Looking on at left rear is Leach's wife Sharon Leach. (AP Photo/The Spokesman-Review, Christopher Anderson)
It's remarkable, really. Washington State has not been to a bowl game in eight years, going 9-40 over the past four seasons. Tucked in one of the most remote towns of any BCS conference, the school would seemingly be hard-pressed to attract a high-profile coach. Instead, Wazzu just landed a coach that took a Big 12 program to 10 straight bowl games, went 84-43, earned national coach of the year honors in 2008 and is considered one of the greatest offensive innovators in the sport. The Cougars just scored their biggest win in years. Mike Leach's two-year exile from coaching is over because a moribund Pac-12 program was able to do what Maryland and so many others could not: It got past the baggage. As a result, the Cougars won't be moribund much longer/Stewart Mandel, SI.com. More here. (AP photo of Mike Leach)
Question: Isn't it nice to have a college football team on the Palouse recognized for doing something right?
In this 2009 AP file photo, then Texas Tech coach Mike Leach talks with his team during an NCAA college football game against Texas A&M in Lubbock, Texas. Reportedly, Leach has been offered the head coaching job at Washington State.
Bill Moos has said all along he wants to make Washington State a destination for coaches, not a waystation. “This place deserves big-name people,” he said earlier this week during the press conference announcing Paul Wulff’s firing. Wednesday, Moos roped in one of the bigger names in the college football coaching ranks, former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach. Leach agreed in principle to a five-year contract that will pay him more than $10 million, according to athletic department sources. He’ll be introduced as WSU’s 32nd head football coach at a press conference Tuesday/Vince Grippi, SR. More here.
Question: Did WSU do the right thing by letting Paul Wulff go and hiring Mike Leach?
So if Mike Leach isn’t the next football coach at Washington State, where will the collective emotional crash fall on the Jeff-Tuel’s-shoulder/Connor-Halliday’s-liver scale? We got a taste of it Tuesday, when all the go-to media for preposterous rumor – Twitter, Facebook, iPhone and the backyard fence – had Paul Wulff’s firing augmented by arrival via private jet of Cougar fandom’s most wanted, the charismatic litigant late of Texas Tech. Yes! Bill Moos is going to announce the new coach – Leach – as he dismisses the old one! Raise the flag! Make those 2013 Rose Bowl reservations now! And a private plane from points east did indeed land at Pullman-Moscow Regional shortly after noon. Open swung the cabin door. Out came … well, a couple with more ties to the AARP than the NCAA. Good thing no one made banners and sent out the marching band/John Blanchette, SR. More here. (AP file photo of former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach)
Question: Do you think WSU can attract a big dog to take over football coaching duties?
TWolf22: Is Wulff a great coach? Probably not. But Pullman is not exactly Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Phoenix or even Eugene. What does Pullman have to offer a Blue Chip recruit after visiting the glitz of the big time schools who are also courting him? It is the rare instance when a legitimate big time recruit decides to go to WSU over any other big time D-I school. Hey big guy, just look at all the wheat. Never mind the big city flash and all that go with it, come and hunker down in the winter and make snow angels. Let’s face it, WSU is going to continue to be where they have historically been in the PCC, Pac 8, Pac 10, and now the Pac 12. Unfortunately … at the bottom.
Question: Would Washington State and UIdaho be able to attract more top-level recruits if they were located at Spokane and Coeur d'Alene, respectively?
Paul Wulff speaks at a news conference after he was fired as football coach at Washington State, in Pullman, Wash., this afternoon. (AP Photo/Moscow-Pullman Daily News, Geoff Crimmins)
- Wulff: schools get into the boat of cycling through coaches every 4 years they never get over that hump and I don't want that for my school — KXLY.
- He was fired as a coach. But he was not fired as a #Cougar — Patchin — 700 ESPN.
- Would you take this challenge on again? “Hmmm, not unless I was guaranteed X amount of (years) coaching” — 700 ESPN.
- Wulff: “I don't think there is a lot of things we could have done differently” — KREM.
- It should be noted how professional Paul Wulff is conducting his Q&A right now. Focusing on the players' future — Daily Evergreen.
- Wulff says he would like to be a head coach again. “I don't have to be, but I think I would want to” — SR.
- Wulff: Cougs don't eat our own. Innocence of WSU has been lost here — SR.
Washington State athletic director Bill Moos shows an architect's rendering of the $80 million Martin Stadium remodeling project the WSU Board of Regents in Pullman, Wash., 10 days ago. Today, he's explaining why he fired football coach Paul Wulff this morning. (AP Photo/Dean Hare)
WSU AD Bill Moos said moments ago in presser that lack of excitement and lowest giving among potential donors were key to his decision to fire football coach Paul Wulff this morning. He pointed out that WSU is planning to spend $80 million on football stadium renovations and has another $80 million worth of needs in the football program. Therefore, he said, the football program needed “energy” and a “spark” to get fans excited. Now, he said, he will begin a search for a new coach immediately and hopes to have that person in place in two or three weeks in order to keep some of the high school players who have verbally committed to Washington State. In the question-and-answer period that's still going on, Moos said WSU should be vying for conference championships and not content to settle for mediocrity.
Question: Who would you like to see as WSU's next football coach?
Paul Wulff has been relieved of his duties as head football coach at Washington State, The Spokesman-Review has learned. He was told in a meeting with Bill Moos this morning. Here is the link to my story. More to come.
WSU Head Coach Paul Wulff turns away from the Cougar huddle late in the Apple Cup game against Washington at CenturyLink Field in Seattle. WSu wound up on the losing end of the Apple Cup 38-21 Saturday. Wulff was meeting with WSU AD Bill Moos this morning to see whether he'll be back as Cougar coach to finish the final year of his 5-year contract.
- Update (via SWX tweet): Paul Wulff to hold his own Q&A session at 3 p.m. in Pullman - one hour after #Moos presser
Paul Wulff has been relieved of his duties as head football coach at Washington State, The Spokesman-Review has learned. He was told in a meeting with Bill Moos this morning. Moos and Wulff met this morning, the final discussion in talks that began Sunday evening concerning Wulff’s status as head coach at his alma mater, a position he’s held for four years. During that time the Cougars posted a 9-40 record, including a 4-32 mark in Pac-12 Conference play. They were 4-8 this season/Vince Grippi, SR. More here.
Question: Do you agree with the decision to fire Paul Wulff? I don't.
Washington State coach Paul Wulff, right, walks onto the field with players before an NCAA college football game against Washington in Seattle. Wulff canceled his regular Sunday evening conference call with reporters. Washington State finished 4-8 this season after losing to archrival Washington in the Apple Cup. Wulff could learn as early as today whether he will be allowed to return for his fifth year as head coach of the Cougars. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
The president of the university, Elson Floyd, has long felt Paul Wulff isn't right as football coach. The athletic director, Bill Moos, believes Paul Wulff is the long-term answer, and has said as much many times. In the next 24 to 48 hours we may well discover whether the athletic director is setting the direction for the athletic department or the president is/Vince Grippi, SR. More here.
Question: Should Paul Wulff be retained as head coach of the Washington State Cougars after four losing seasons?
PULLMAN – Faced with a $40 million budget cut in the biennium that ends with the 2013 fiscal year, Washington State University president Elson Floyd is looking for help wherever he can find it. And he will get some from his athletic department.
When the Pac-12’s expanded media deal kicks in next school year, the department will assume academic service costs previously covered by the administration. “It’s in an excess of a half-million dollars,” athletic director Bill Moos said. Vince Grippi, SR More here.
Do you think more university athletic departments should do this?