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Pac-12 review of WSU football program finds no abuse


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. 

WSU year in review


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.

This and that on a Thursday


FROM SEATTLE — The football team added a few new players yesterday, while the basketball team will practice today on the same court the Sonics used to practice on. Too soon? Read on.

WSU football team adds five


As expected, the Washington State football team signed three junior-college transfers to letters of intent on Wednesday, and also signed two players to financial aid packages.

JUCO transfers Lyman Faoliu (defensive end, College of San Mateo), Ivan McLennan (linebacker, El Camino Junior College) and Jacob Seydel (offensive lineman, Riverside Community College) each signed letters of intent, and B.J. Salmonson (offensive lineman) and Robert Lewis (receiver) signed financial aid agreements.

Salmonson and Lewis each signed letters of intent with WSU last February but delayed their enrollment. All five players who signed with the Cougars today will begin classes on Jan. 7 and will be eligible to participate in winter conditioning drills and spring practices.

“We are excited about the start to this class,” said WSU coach Mike Leach in a statement. “Our coaching staff has worked extremely hard over the past year and this class is going to be key for us in the future. Lyman and Jacob give us added size on both lines which is always a priority and Ivan gives us another athletic playmaker on defense. Robert will certainly add speed to our receiving unit and B.J. is a person who is physical and embraces contact.”

The national letter-of-intent signing period for high-school athletes begins Feb. 6.

Here's some biographical information for each player included in WSU's official release:

Change of pace on a Saturday


FROM PULLMAN — The men's basketball team doesn't play again until the 21st. But there's another basketball team at this school, and they're going to have their hands full this afternoon against a nationally-ranked opponent. We'll be there. Read on.

Ending the week with hoops links


FROM PULLMAN — It was back to basketball on Thursday night, though the small crowd that showed up at Beasley Coliseum wasn't exactly treated to a strong showing. Regardless, we recap the night's happenings after the jump, so read on.

Live chat, and a December day full of football news


FROM PULLMAN — We knew it was coming eventually. And on Wednesday, Washington state released the findings of its internal review of the football program. That dominates today's headlines, so read on for plenty more on the subject.

WSU review concludes “no report or detection of abuse”


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.


Christian Caple can be reached at christianc@spokesman.com. Twitter: @ChristianCaple

The day before Gonzaga


FROM PULLMAN — There's a big basketball game here tomorrow night, and we have some information on that front. But there are also a few football notes and links to pass along. Read on.

Marquess Wilson, D.J. Shelton and links


FROM PULLMAN — Already wrote this clever little lead-in once. Then my computer ate it. So just keep reading if you want to keep reading.

Quotes: Leach says Wilson has recanted


FROM PULLMAN — We have the transcription of Mike Leach's season-ending press conference in its entirety, but first wanted to pull out a few of the more significant notes.

— Leach was again adamant that the Marquess Wilson review has been a "total waste of time," and said that Wilson has since "basically recanted everything he’s said."

"Just wait and you’ll read the review. Stay tuned and when you all get bored talking about football, you can talk about that again."

— There's no update on Jeff Tuel's request for a fifth year of eligibility. Leach said Tuel is lifting weights with the team. Offseason workouts started on Monday, with players lifting four days per week. Next week, they'll run and lift four days per week, then do the same thing the week after, Leach said.

— Leach said Travis Long's knee injury will keep him out of pre-draft workouts, but he still expects Long to get a shot with an NFL team.

— Leach expects all of his assistants to return next season, "as far as I know."

— On his name coming up in other coaching searches, Leach said: "I’m not looking for another position and I’m happy here. It’s about as simple as that. There’s always dialogue that takes place but I’m happy here. I’m staying here. When I got here I planned to from the beginning, I planned to get to a place where you build it up and you turn it around. Not looking for just stop and start stuff."

Here's the transcription:

Live chat, plus hoops


FROM PULLMAN — So it's not the Apple Cup. But the Battle of the Palouse — tonight's basketball game between Washington State and Idaho — is an interesting enough rivalry in its own right, I suppose. Read on.

Tuesday links


FROM PULLMAN — Monday was a relatively quiet day on the Palouse, in that there were no football coaching rumors to tend to. But we did spend some time on the basketball side of things, so read on for a bit more on that.

Fire up the rumor mill


FROM PULLMAN — Sunday marked the first official day of the offseason for a whole bunch of college football teams. It also marked the beginning of a period that is likely to cause some consternation in Pullman for the foreseeable future. Let's explain. Read on.

Shifting focus on a Sunday


FROM PULLMAN — With WSU's football season officially in the rearview, our focus shifts — however long it takes — to basketball for the next 3-plus months. But there's some football news to pass along, too, and not the kind that we want to be writing about. Read on.

Happy (for WSU) Apple Cup links


FROM PULLMAN — Each Sunday morning, we recap the coverage of the previous day's game. Well, it's Saturday morning. But in case you hadn't heard, there was a football game here yesterday. It went well for the home team. Read on.

Tale of the tape: WSU 31, UW 28


FROM PULLMAN — It's a happier tale of the tape this time for WSU, as we break down the Cougars' 31-28 overtime win over Washington in the Apple Cup. Read on.

Mike Leach quotes after Apple Cup


FROM PULLMAN — Here's a partial transcript of Mike Leach's postgame comments after WSU's 31-28 overtime win over Washington in the Apple Cup. Read on.

Apple Cup links


FROM PULLMAN — This is it: our final batch of gameday links. It's Washington State. It's Washington. It's the Apple Cup. And we have some things for you to read before you watch the game. So read on.

Scouting the Huskies with Bob Condotta


FROM PULLMAN — To preview Friday's Apple Cup game, Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times was kind enough to answer five questions for us. You can find Bob's blog here (as if there's anyone reading this who wouldn't already know), and follow him on Twitter: @bcondotta. Read on.

Day of turkey, links


FROM PULLMAN — Happy Thanksgiving to all, and to all a happy Thanksgiving. We'll keep the links short today. It is a holiday, after all. Read on.

One final practice for WSU


FROM PULLMAN — The final practice of the season was a brief, light one for the Washington State football team, as they practiced for under two hours and bypassed their usual Thursday Night Football portion. Quarterback Connor Halliday and defensive end/linebacker Travis Long did not participate, as was the case the past two days. Afterward, we spoke with a couple of WSU coaches about the Apple Cup rivalry. Read on.

Live chat, Sankey and links


FROM KANSAS CITY — Actually, by the time this posts, I should be landing in Denver en route to Spokane. We'll still hold our live chat at 1 p.m., though, and will be at practice later this afternoon. First, we have a bunch of links to get to, so read on.

Football, basketball news on a Tuesday


FROM KANSAS CITY — Yesterday turned out to be a busy one. And not just on the basketball front. Read on for our usual assortment of WSU news and links.

Picking up the pieces after ASU


FROM PHOENIX — It's on to Kansas City later this evening to meet up with the basketball team for its games in the CBE Classic on Monday and Tuesday, but before we do that, we have our usual recap of Saturday's happenings. Read on.

Tale of the tape: ASU 46, WSU 7


FROM TEMPE — Another Saturday, another tough loss for Washington State, this one 46-7 to Arizona State. As usual, we look at the game in capsule form. Read on.

Gameday links from Phoenix


FROM PHOENIX -- It's another gameday, which means another live chat later this morning — 11 a.m., as is customary for a 12 p.m. start — before the Cougars take on Arizona State. But first, we have some links to get to, including our stringer's game story from WSU's shocking 58-56 overtime loss to Pepperdine last night in men's basketball. Read on.