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From Pullman — The Washington State football team extolls the virtue of limiting its focus to one game, series and even snap at a time. As such they've been reticent to discuss the possibility of playing in a bowl now that they're one game away from bowl eligibility. We, however, aren't taking the field on Saturday and as such don't have to limit ourselves. Because WSU (5-5, 3-4 Pac-12) is favored against Utah at home this weekend it seems appropriate to take a look at the Cougars' bowl situation. After all, a postseason bid could have big benefits for the Cougars. Here's what coach Mike Leach had to say about the extra practices granted bowl teams.
No question. I think you get more than 15 … I think it's 22 but anyways you get quite a few. But yeah that's huge, I think it's incredibly helpful. We went to 10 straight bowls and I thought in the middle of 10 straight bowls that everybody should have the practice opportunities because it's a definite advantage. And then your young guys, you know, you can work them and the young guys will have improved a lot since camp.
More on bowl possibilites after the jump.
OLYMPIA– A legislator who accepts an invitation to a Husky or Cougar football game to sit in the university president's box with all the complimentary food and drinks isn’t breaking any ethics rules.
A legislator who takes a couple of free tickets to take a friend or family member to a game and sit in the stands with the rest of the fans is breaking those rules, even if buying his or her own hot dogs, soda and kettle corn.
With college football season just starting up, the attorney for the Legislative Ethics Committee reiterated these long-standing rules Thursday at the panel’s monthly meeting after staff received several inquiries from new legislators about what's OK and not OK. . .
To read the rest of this item, or to comment, continue inside the blog.
Gonzaga's Elias Harris and Washington State's Brock Motum are on the Wooden Award Preseason Top 50. More here.
More below on Harris.
John Blanchette's funny column re: WSU football coach Mike Leach's ban on Twitter:
John Blanchette @JPBlanchette
Coach Mike Leach has banned Washington State’s football players from Twitter. #ProblemsBabeHollingbery Didn’tHave
Generation Z @GenZCoug Who’s Babe Hollingbery?
Double Down @DoubleDownCoug
Does that change the point spread this weekend?
Cyber Stalker @CyberStalkingFan
My buds think the personal flotsam I find following players on Twitter means I hang with them. There goes my cachet. #40YearOldsWithNoLife
Cougar Crazy @CougarCrazy
Where will I go now to read crude, misogynistic hip-hop lyrics?
Two Washington State football players were arrested in separate incidents over the weekend, marking the third and fourth projected defensive starters to be arrested this offseason. Defensive end/ outside linebacker Travis Long was arrested Friday for suspicion of minor in possession of alcohol by the Pullman Police Department. According to Pullman Police logs, Long's date of birth is listed as July 24, 1991, meaning he turned 21 on Tuesday. Defensive tackle Anthony Laurenzi was arrested two days later on suspicion of third-degree theft at 1690 S.E. Harvest Dr., the address of the Walmart shopping center in Pullman. Long and Laurenzi mark the third and fourth starters on the front seven to be arrested since head coach Mike Leach was hired in December/Andrew Nemec, Moscow-Pullman Daily News. More here. (Dean Hare Daily News photo of Travis Long)
Question: Ah, is there a problem here?
FROM PULLMAN — Stop me if you've heard this before: there's not much news out there for you. But read on anyway, because we do have a few links after the jump.
What a week for area Division I women's basketball teams. Read below for a roundup of the week's action.
Washington State guard Faisal Aden (11) drives the baseline for a layup against Stanford forward Josh Huestis (24) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday in Pullman. (AP Photo/Dean Hare)
Few spectators braved the elements to watch Washington State host Stanford at Beasley Coliseum on Thursday – just 3,119 of them, to be exact. Faisal Aden showed up, though. The senior guard scored a career-high 33 points – 23 of them during a second-half onslaught that allowed the Cougars to overcome a 13-point deficit – to lead WSU to its first Pac-12 win since Dec. 29, an 81-69 upset over the conference-leading Cardinal. “That’s what we saw when we recruited him,” coach Ken Bone said/SR. More here. And: boxscore here.
June Daugherty summed it up quite simply.
“We have to be able to rebound,” the Washington State women’s basketball coach said in a press conference Tuesday afternoon.
Daughtery was speaking literally, of course, about rebounding in order to get more looks at second and third shots in an effort to jumpstart the Cougars’offense – which has been out of sync and is still adjusting after losing guard Ireti Amojo, a key component to WSU’s offense.
It’s not just the Cougars that need to rebound, however. After last week, all area Division I women’s basketball teams are looking to bounce back from losses – some more surprising than others. Read on for the rest of my unedited area college women's basketball notebook, which will run in tomorrow's paper.
It’s not a surprise that the Oregon Ducks have ended up on a new list of the best and worst football uniforms. With multiple styles and colors of helmets, jerseys and pants, the Ducks’ fashion sense has been the talk of college football for a few years now, whether you like them or not. What may be surprising to some is the Washington State Cougars uniforms were named one of the nation’s worst by an expert panel put together by the Wall Street Journal. The main reason the Cougs' uniforms made the list was because of the font used for their numbers. “It's strange because the uniform has a classic design, but the font is trying to be modern,” said graphic artist Josh Vanover “It clashes”/AP via KREM. More here. (SR file photo: Marquess Wilson tries to outleap UW's Desmond Trufant in the 2011 Apple Cup but is unable to stop an interception.)
Question: Which athletic team (any sport) has the worst uniforms?
Washington State guard Reggie Moore (1) hits this game winning shot with 0.9 seconds left over Idaho guard Deremy Geiger (35) as Stephen Madison (34) watches during an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday in Moscow. Moore lead Washington State 15 points at they won 66-64. (AP Photo/Moscow-Pullman Daily News, Dean Hare)
Question: Do you follow other Idaho Vandals sports as closely as you do football?
So just what is Washington State getting in new football coach Mike Leach? Who better to ask than the first hire for his football staff, David Emerick, whom Leach said will be chief of staff, basically making sure everything runs smoothly in the football office. Emerick first crossed paths with Leach as a football operations intern when Leach was offensive coordinator at Kentucky, then joined Leach’s staff at Texas Tech, moving his way up to the chief of staff position. The past two years he’s worked in football operations for the recently fired Mike Stoops at Arizona. That change opened the door for Emerick to move north. “There is no better guy in the country to work for than Mike Leach,” Emerick said Tuesday following Leach’s introduction to the Washington State faithful/Vince Grippi, SR. More here. (Christopher Anderson SR photo: New WSU football Coach Mike Leach is introduced to the fans at Pullman Tuesday)
Question: Do you consider yourself to be a WSU Cougar football fan? Or are you a fan only when the Cougars are playing well, every 5-6 years?
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)
Before a packed ballroom in the Compton Union Building Tuesday afternoon, Mike Leach was welcomed aboard as the new head coach of the WSU football program.Leach flew into Pullman early Tuesday and was introduced to the crowd by Provost Warwick Bayly and Athletic Director Bill Moos; President Elson Floyd was reportedly sick and could not attend the press conference.In his introduction to the man taking over the football program from Paul Wulff, Moos said of Leach that, “I talked to one man and I only wanted one man.”“I came back to Washington State to go to the Rose Bowl and we're going to go there,” Moos said/KXLY. More here.
Question: How long do you think Mike Leach will stay at WSU?
In this Oct. 24, 2009, file photo, Texas Tech coach Mike Leach talks with his team during an NCAA college football game against Texas A&M in Lubbock, Texas. Today, Leach will be introduced at noon in Pullman as the new Washington State football coach. Story here. (AP Photo/Mike Fuentes)
- Idaho Records/Sherry Adkins, SR
- Monday Scanner Traffic/DFO, HucksOnline
- Clear skies, cold air, moderate pollution/Mike Prager, SR
- Doug Clark: Voters just aren't Tuckered out yet/SR
- Idaho Vandals land 6 on all-WAC second team/SR
- Diamond ring, silver coin donated to Red Kettle/KREM2
- Foster parents plead innocent in Karina Moore death/David Cole, Press
- DEQ calls for open-burn ban in North Idaho/Bill Buley, Press
- Hate crime alleged in attack on gay boy/Meghann Cuniff, SR
- Idaho Falls soldier dies of injuries from Afghanistan bomb/KHQ
- Video captures Spokane pitbull attacking, killing smaller dog/KREM
- Some stolen goods from Kootenai County burglaries found/Anusha Roy, KXLY
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?
On Tuesday, Washington State – in the view of one of its old guard – lost its innocence. On Wednesday, the Cougars lost their minds. In the very best way, of course – providing you’re not wedded to a 1980s way of how Wazzu fits into the football jigsaw puzzle or bearish on how universities do their sweaty show business nowadays. For really the first time since college athletics became a runaway train, the Cougars have scrambled on board. Barely 24 hours after he’d officially lopped Paul Wulff and his $600,000 annual salary off the payroll as head football coach, athletic director Bill Moos leveraged $11.25 million of the school’s share of the upcoming Pac-12 television bonanza to hire a replacement/John Blanchette, SR. More here.
- Also: Cougars QBs excited about future/Vince Grippi, SR
Question: Do you expect improving WSU to go to a bowl game in 2012?
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?
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?
Washington State sophomore Shawn Swartz practices the high jump at Mooberry Track Tuesday afternoon in Pullman. Swartz recently returned to the track after being diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. John Blanchette SR story here. (Special to the SR: Kevin Quinn)
- Gregoire vetoes most of marijuana bills/Jim Camden, SR
- Post Falls man gets 25 years for lewd conduct w/minor/KHQ
- Edgar Steele: Experts dispute Fairfax claim re: bomb/Meghann Cuniff, S&G
- Oregon Guardsman in Idaho-based 116th dies in Iraq/Statesman
- Idaho astronaut discusses shuttle legacy, Giffords/Doug Petcash, KTVB
- Rammell faces new investigation for possible jury influencing/AP
- Feds arrest purported Aryan Brotherhood gun dealer/Levi Pulkkinen, P-I
- Orbusmax Special: Hackers changed grades at Seattle schools here
Klay Thompson filed the paperwork today for the NBA draft, though he won't be signing with an agent. That gives him until May 8 to decide to return to Washington State if he wants. But after listening to him talk for about 15 minutes, it was pretty clear the junior will only be back at WSU next season if something extraordinary happens. We'll have a story up soon/Vince Grippi, SR. (Moscow-Pullman Daily News/AP file photo, Dean Hare: Washington State student Emily King holds a sign asking junior guard Klay Thompson to stay for his senior season March 23, before Washington State's game against Northwestern in the quarterfinals of the NIT in Pullman)
Question: Which NBA bound WSU Coug has a better chance of sticking — DeAngelo Casto or Klay Thompson?
Washington State University Director of Athletics Bill Moos introduced a department-wide brand and identity program Monday at the Davenport Hotel in Spokane, Wash. New crimson and gray colors, along with standardized lettering and numerals, will give the Cougar athletic team uniforms a consistent appearance. The brand identity program was a year-long collaboration between the WSU Athletics Department and Nike. Story here. (SR photo: Colin Mulvany)
- Cartoon: Tough guy Boehner knows how to take hostages/David Horsey, Seattle P-I
- Congress expected to lift wolf protections/Matthew Brown, AP
- Spokane umpire continues long journey to recovery/KXLY
- National Guard aims to steer dropouts in right direction/Kathleen Kreller, Statesman
- Guest Opinion: Crying wolf in the Bitterroots/Tom Woodbury, Missoulian
- Montana gov seeks counsel on possible state shutdown/Charles Johnson HIR
- Simpson engineers $2.8B in cuts to EPA, Interior/Kevin Richert, Statesman
- Montanan who hit wife with shovel sentenced to probation/Jodi Hausen, Chronicle
- 1st Imperial megaload begins Idaho leg of journey/Associated Press
- Orbusmax Special: 'Bad Hair Babe' robber strikes again here.
Question: What do you think of the new Washington State Cougar uniforms?
Welcome to another session of Prominent Athlete Drug Bust. Join with sports fans here at the busy intersection of Thin Moralizing and Convenient Rationalization for reasoned debate, police bashing and stale jokes. Today’s perp: Washington State basketball star Klay Thompson. I know, I’m as surprised as you are. I figured him for college basketball’s biggest Stiffly Stifferson. You’d think if he was a regular partaker – partoker? – of the herb that he might have lightened the hell up and cracked a smile by now. Lightened, lightened. Not lighted. Sheesh. The Cougars took a stab at playing their way back into the NCAA tournament picture with a solid win over USC on Thursday night in Pullman, the mood leavened somewhat by an ankle injury of indeterminate severity to point guard Reggie Moore. Two hours later, the mood was leadened/John Blanchette, SR. More here. (AP file photo)
Question: How do you react when a key athlete on your favorite team is caught in a criminal act? You want to see him punished appropriately, even if it hurts the team? You secretly want him to skate?
Washington's Matthew Bryan-Amaning (11) looks on as Washington State's Abe Lodwick (31) grabs a rebound in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game on Sunday in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
DFO: If a flagrant foul wasn't called on this play, it shoulda been. Ouch!