Latest from The Spokesman-Review
FROM SALT LAKE CITY — Sounds like it was quite the weather experience on the Palouse yesterday. Wasn't there, but Josh Wright was kind enough to fill in and file a story from WSU's first football practice of the spring. That and more after the jump.
FROM SALT LAKE CITY — Maybe it doesn't quite feel like it outside. Or maybe it does. I'm not in Pullman. In any event, it's spring, especially because Washington State begins spring football practices today at Martin Stadium (and, too, on what's left of Rogers Field). Read on.
FROM SALT LAKE CITY — As promised, here's a brief look at WSU's defense and special teams as the Cougars open spring practices this afternoon.
(Video courtesy of WSU Athletics)
I'm admittedly jumping back and forth between a few things this week, so I haven't had a chance to fully peruse WSU's spring roster. But at first glance, there doesn't appear to be any major personnel defections or additions, with the obvious exception of a number of new walk-ons. But that's standard procedure.
Have a look.
FROM SALT LAKE CITY — We've got basketball on the brain this week, but are also trying our hand at double-duty as well. So that means a couple of football links for you from the road as WSU gears up for spring practices. Read on.
FROM PULLMAN — WSU announced its spring football practice schedule today. It's pretty much the same as last season's, though you'll see that the Saturday times are to be determined.
Thursday, March 21 3 p.m.
Saturday, March 23 TBD
Tuesday, March 26 3 p.m.
Thursday, March 28 3 p.m.
Saturday, March 30 TBD
Tuesday, April 2 3 p.m.
Thursday, April 4 3 p.m.
Saturday, April 6 TBD
Tuesday, April 9 3 p.m.
Thursday, April 11 3 p.m.
Saturday, April 13 TBD
Tuesday, April 16 3 p.m.
Thursday, April 18 3 p.m.
Saturday, April 20 2 p.m. (Crimson and Gray Game at Joe Albi Stadium, Spokane)
Tuesday, April 23 3 p.m.
FROM PULLMAN — We'll be doing the same thing the headline details here in about 24 hours. But first, we have some news and links to share with you from the Palouse. Read on.
FROM PULLMAN — Washington State receiver Gabe Marks was cited for minor exhibiting effects of having consumed alcohol early Sunday, WSU Police Officer Joe Kirshner confirmed.
Kirshner said he was not permitted to release further details.
According to the department’s activity log, Marks, 18, was cited at the Lower Soccer Fields on Northeast Colorado Street at about 1:47 a.m. Sunday. The log lists Marks’ alleged offense as “MIP-Exhibiting.”
As a freshman last season, Marks caught 49 passes for 560 yards and two touchdowns. He is a native of Los Angeles.
A WSU spokesman said coaches are aware of the citation and will handle it internally.
Marks is the third known WSU player to run afoul of the law since the season ended. Walk-on receiver Drew Loftus was arrested for alleged theft and dismissed from the team earlier this month. Previously, running back Leon Brooks was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence.
FROM PULLMAN — Washington State officially announced Wednesday that Ken Wilson has been hired as the team's linebackers coach.
Wilson, who spent the last 23 seasons at Nevada — 19 as part of the coaching staff — replaces Jeff Choate, who left after the season to become the defensive coordinator at UTEP.
Wilson was Nevada's linebackers coach for the last five seasons and has also been a defensive coordinator. He and Jim Mastro, WSU's running backs coach, worked together at Nevada for seven seasons. Longtime Nevada coach Chris Ault retired in December.
Here's the school's official release on Wilson:
Washington State football has named Ken Wilson as the Cougars linebackers coach, head coach Mike Leach announced Wednesday.
“Ken brings tremendous experience to our coaching staff along with an attitude and expectation for success derived from his time at Nevada,” said Leach. “He is a great recruiter and teacher on the field and will step in immediately and make a positive impact on our program.“
Wilson joins Washington State after spending the past 23 years at the University of Nevada, 19 on the Wolf Pack coaching staff, including the last five seasons as the associate head coach/linebackers coach. Wilson has worked six seasons with linebackers, one with safeties, one with defensive ends and a total of three seasons as the defensive coordinator.
Wilson, who worked with current Cougars running backs coach Jim Mastro for seven seasons at Nevada, helped the Wolf Pack appear in 11 bowl games and claim nine conference championships during his 13 seasons on the sidelines.
Wilson has seen 16 of his former players sign professional contracts including six linebackers who were under NFL contract in 2012. Wilson mentored first team All-WAC selection Dontay Moch, who was taken by the Cincinnati Bengals with the 66th overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. He put another defensive end into the NFL after the 2011 season as Kaelin Burnett signed with the Oakland Raiders.
In 2009, Wilson headed up the linebacking corps and oversaw the development of a youthful group that included second-team All-WAC selection James-Michael Johnson in 2009. He also coached current NFL linebacker Joshua Mauga (New York Jets) and former New York Giant and St. Louis Ram, Jerome Johnson. During the 2007 season, Wilson served as the defensive coordinator and was also the safeties coach. Nevada’s starting safeties, Uche Anyanwu and Justin Jackson, combined for 144 tackles. Overall, the defense was fourth in pass defense and fifth in total defense.
Prior to that, Wilson headed up the Pack’s inside linebacking corps while also serving as the team’s assistant head coach. In 2006, two of Wilson’s pupils - Jason DeMars and Joshua Mauga – finished second and third on the team in tackles, tallying over 110 tackles combined.
The North Central (Ill.) graduate (1986) has coached six players who signed professional contracts, three of them in the NFL, including Nevada's all-time tackles leader, DeShone Myles, as well as Mike Crawford and Steve Bryant. Two of his pupils - Mylwa and Matt Clafton - were named to Nevada's All-Century team at linebacker.
Wilson has coached defensive line, linebackers and secondary during his career, which also included stints at his alma mater (1986) and at New Mexico (1987-88).
Wilson and his wife, Heather, have a son, Tyler, and a daughter, Baylie.
FROM SPOKANE — By the time this posts, we'll already be at the airport, headed to Los Angeles for Washington State's trip to USC and UCLA. But it just wouldn't be Feb. 7, 2013 if we didn't recap yesterday's signing festivities. Read on.
FROM PULLMAN — Here's more of what Washington State coach Mike Leach had to say after WSU signed 24 players to letters of intent. Read on.
FROM PULLMAN — Here's a list of Washington State's 2013 signing class, with a brief comment — very brief, in some cases — from coach Mike Leach about each player.
FROM PULLMAN — Here's where you can track each letter of intent the Cougars receive today as they come in. Read on.
FROM PULLMAN — In another 24 hours or so, national letters of intent will begin to roll in around the country. By the end of tomorrow, Mike Leach's second recruiting class — and the first that is truly his own — is likely to be complete. Until then, the speculation continues. Read on for links.
FROM PULLMAN — Washington State running back Leon Brooks was arrested early Sunday morning by a Whitman County Sheriff's Deputy on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol.
The sheriff office’s arrest log shows Brooks was arrested at 3:01 a.m. on Sunday. According to an arrest report obtained by the Spokesman-Review, Brooks was pulled over after making a wide turn from Monroe Street onto Stadium Way.
Whitman County Sheriff’s Deputy Bryce Nebe reported that after he noticed an odor of intoxicants, he asked Brooks to step out of the car and perform a field sobriety test. The deputy concluded from that test that Brooks was impaired, transported him to the Pullman Police Department and administered two breathalyzer tests.
Brooks, age 21, allegedly blew a .088 and a .092 four minutes apart. The legal maximum in Washington is .08. Brooks was transported to the Whitman County Jail and was later released.
Brooks, who will be a fifth-year senior next season, was the Cougars’ primary punt returner the last two seasons.
WSU coaches are aware of the situation.
FROM PULLMAN — Washington State returns to the court later tonight. Way later tonight. The Cougars play Arizona State at 8 p.m., which, of course, is the start time that every sports writer dreams about. In our nightmares. Read on.
FROM PULLMAN — Well, for Washington State, anyway. The Cougars are back on the normal Thursday-Saturday schedule this week, waiting another day to host Arizona State. Until then, we have quotes, video and links to tide you over, so read on.
FROM PULLMAN — Today's morning post brings some unfortunate personnel news for the Washington State football team. Read on.
FROM PULLMAN — Should be on an airplane in Spokane by the time this posts. Call it the early-bird special, except I'm not a bird (or all that special). Anyway, we'll be in Portland and then Eugene before too long, but we have some links to pass along first. Read on.
FROM PULLMAN — The WSU basketball team departs in a few hours, and will make the relatively brief trek from here to the Willamatte Valley for Wednesday's game against Oregon. Before that, coach Ken Bone will meet with the media, as usual. Right now, we don't have much. But there is a bit of recruiting news to pass along. Read on.
FROM PULLMAN — Here's the brief we just filed for tomorrow's newspaper on WSU's official hire of David Yost as inside receivers coach.
FROM OAKLAND — It's another busy travel day as we make our way back to the Palouse. First, we have some football news and some links recapping yesterday's basketball action, so read on.
FROM OAKLAND — With an extra day between games this week, we're still in the Bay Area while Washington State won't come back here until later tonight. That's OK. We found something to do. Read on.
FROM OAKLAND — The Pac-12 released its 2013 football schedule on Thursday, and it probably won't have Washington State fans jumping for joy. Read on.
FROM STANFORD — There's a report out of Missouri tonight that David Yost, formerly the offensive coordinator at Missouri under coach Gary Pinkel, has interviewed with Mike Leach to fill the opening on Washington State's offensive staff.
It's not entirely clear from the Columbia Daily Tribune story what Yost's official title would be, though the story notes that he would have some input in the offense. That seems to imply that he wouldn't simply be a replacement of Eric Morris at inside receivers coach.
Yost's background is in the spread offense, which he helped implement at Missouri to decent success. He resigned from his job at that school on Dec. 3 due to “personal reasons,” according to the report.
Leach is also searching for a replacement for Jeff Choate, the linebackers coach who recently accepted the defensive coordinator job at UTEP.
FROM PULLMAN — It's about time to get on an airplane and transport ourselves down to Oakland. But if memory serves, there are a few things we still need to wrap up from yesterday. Read on.
FROM PULLMAN — Here's a short story we just filed for web on the findings of the Pac-12's review of the Washington State football program. You can read the full report here.
The Pac-12 announced the findings of its nearly 2-month review of the Washington State football program on Tuesday, concluding that no evidence was found to suggest that coach Mike Leach or his assistants had engaged in player abuse.
The investigation was prompted after former receiver Marquess Wilson quit the team following a Nov. 4 workout, then alleged in a Nov. 10 letter to news media that the staff had abused the players physically, emotionally and verbally.
WSU’s internal review of the program exonerated Leach and his staff, buoyed by a text message Wilson sent to athletic director Bill Moos in which he softened his claims against the coaching staff.
The Pac-12’s review was contracted to Bond, Schoenek and King, a law firm located in Kansas City. The review included interviews with 20 players, coaches, parents and other athletic department staff.
In its review, the Pac-12 did recommend that the school establish a workout/conditioning policy to be approved by Moos for future use, and that the school should pay closer attention to an NCAA bylaw limiting the number of hours the team can practice each week.
In honor of the final day of 2012, we participate in the widely-practiced tradition of recapping the previous 365 days in WSU sports (OK, just football and men's basketball, because those are the sports we cover). Read on for musings.