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A full weekend looms

A GRIP ON SPORTS

There is a lot on our plates this weekend, and by "our," I mean everyone who is reading this missive along with myself. Read on.

A good night to see a prep game

A GRIP ON SPORTS

If you are going to see only one high school football game this year, today is probably the best day. After all, it's not often around here you get to watch a prep game and get a sun tan at the same time. Read on.

WSU student injured after drunken fall down frat house stairs, amid concern over excessive student drinking

The AP reports today that a Washington State University student is in stable condition at a Pullman hospital after falling down a flight of stairs inside the Delta Chi fraternity. Pullman police say 21-year-old Anthony Pentecost is the second intoxicated student to fall at one of the university's fraternities since mid-August; on Aug. 14, a 19-year-old woman fell through a fire escape at Phi Kappa Tau. Police say Pentecost reportedly had been drinking wine early Tuesday morning when fellow fraternity members told him to go to bed. Students heard a thud and found him unconscious at the bottom of the stairs.

Last year, five WSU or U of I students were injured in falls from buildings between September and November; three of the five were at frat houses, and four of the five involved alcohol. And in earlier incidents at the U of I: In October of 2011, a 19-year-old male student fell up to 25 feet from a fire escape at the Kappa Sigma fraternity house; alcohol was believed to be a factor in the fall. In September of 2009, a 19-year-old woman fell from the third story of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity house after a drinking party and suffered permanent injuries; a court just dismissed her family's million-dollar lawsuit. In August of 2009, a 20-year-old male student fell three stories from a window at the Delta Tau Delta house and suffered serious injuries. In 1993, an 18-year-old woman fell three stories from her UI sorority house and was seriously injured, after drinking at two fraternity house parties earlier in the evening.

In August, U of I President Don Burnett announced a crackdown on student drinking, calling excessive drinking and substance abuse among college students a “public health crisis.” 

Nothing better than a great rivalry

A GRIP ON SPORTS

If there is one thing Kim loves, it is a good rivalry. Dodgers/Giants. Nicklaus/Palmer. Chevy/Ford. Yep, anytime two entities were pitted together as she was growing up, she got a lot more interested. It hasn't changed. There is a rivalry this weekend she's really interested in. Read on.

And now a word from our sponsor …

A GRIP ON SPORTS

Memory can be a funny thing. There are times when you can't remember where you put the car keys when you walked through the door five minutes previously. And then there are faces from 40 years ago that you can't forget. Read on.

It was a defensive-themed weekend

A GRIP ON SPORTS

If you like violent, aggressive defensive football, than the past couple days has been nearly perfect for you, especially around here. It started with the Cougars and USC going toe-to-toe in the Coliseum, with WSU winning in the end. It finished yesterday with the Seahawks butting heads with Carolina and emerging with a 12-7, NFL-season-opening victory. Read on.

The schedule doesn’t look all that bad anymore

A GRIP ON SPORTS

When the 2013 Washington State football schedule was released, Cougar fans across the nation – OK, across the Northwest – looked at the first two games and their heads fell. Auburn at Auburn? Well, that's on us. That was our choice. But followed by USC at USC? Really? Thanks Pac-12 for such a nice, soft opener to conference play. Well, it turned out OK. Read on.

Saturday starts with looking back

A GRIP ON SPORTS

If you want, this would be a good time to do a little dance. It's Saturday. A college football Saturday. Cue the music. Read on.

WSU May Pull Frosh From Frats

A proposal to prohibit freshmen from living in fraternities would effectively "gut" the Greek system, a Washington State University regent said Thursday. Ted Baselar commended university officials for their efforts to reduce binge drinking and underage drinking by students, but said keeping freshmen from living in fraternities wasn't the solution. Students who belong to fraternities and sororities aren't admitted to the hospital for alcohol abuse in greater proportion to other university students, Baselar said. Moreover, Greek alumni are some of the university's strongest supporters, giving money and taking on leadership roles at a higher rate than other graduates/William L. Spence, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Did you ever live in a fraternity/sorority?

Hallelujah, the NFL is back

A GRIP ON SPORTS

You would have thought the second coming was imminent. Or at least a cure for cancer. Nope. Just the opening of the NFL season. Oh that. You mean something really important. Read on.

This is the year

A GRIP ON SPORTS

We have a bit of a sports-related inferiority complex here in the Northwest. Year after year of losing will do that to you. But, in the professional ranks at least, we may be able to kick that this season. Read on.

A sad departure from Pullman

A GRIP ON SPORTS

Change is inevitable, really. Nothing stays the same. Heck, even the Mariners will probably avoid the cellar this season. But sometimes change can evoke feelings of sadness. Today, the change we are going to address does just that. Read on.

There once was a time …

A GRIP ON SPORTS

As the calendar turns to September, the power of football, be it the Seahawks or the local colleges and high schools, begins to assert itself. There is little room for anything else. It wasn't always that way around here. Baseball used to be relevant after Labor Day. Not anymore. And we are beginning to wonder if it every will bounce back. Read on.

Happy Labor Day to all

A GRIP ON SPORTS

It's Labor Day. So it's appropriate we were laboring to get through this morning's links. But we've done it. Read on.

A fun-filled Sunday morning post

A GRIP ON SPORTS

You know that wonderful pro football saying "next man up?" Well, it applies to other professions as well. Including this one. Read on.

It’s time to fly your flag

A GRIP ON SPORTS

An eight-month wait is over. The area's college football teams are in action today. Win or lose – and the three closest to us are underdogs – at least, as Garth used to say, it's game on. Read on.

You can always learn no matter how interested you are

A GRIP ON SPORTS

My name is Vince Grippi and I am not a college football junkie. Sure, I enjoy the sport. And I will watch it as often as possible. But do I need to watch it? Nah. At 10 last evening I had no trouble turning off the TV during halftime of USC's win over Hawaii and closing my eyes. Oh, sure, later I checked the score on the iPhone a couple times, but it's not as if I needed to. It was because I couldn't sleep. Nor did I need to watch South Carolina storm past North Carolina or Utah kick its little brother, Utah State. I did those things because I am required to by my jobs. If I didn't watch, how could I intelligently write or talk about the games? Heck, I watched parts of the Seahawks preseason game against the Raiders and the Mariners win over Houston. No one would do that if they didn't have to because of work, right? I will say this. In between the lightning bolts – on and above the fields – I learned some things about this just-out-of-the-shell college football season. Three things in fact. Read on.

An almost overwhelming day

A GRIP ON SPORTS

It's not often we get overwhelmed. But today was one of those days. Want to find out why? Read on.

It’s almost here

A GRIP ON SPORTS

College football season is almost upon us, which gives me mixed feelings. Of course, I love the games. Week after week of down-to-the wire action, emotion, great plays, grating missed calls, the fans, the players, pageantry, pathos. College football has everything. But as each week passes, and the season winds down, we get closer and closer to winter. Cold days, even colder nights. Not my favorite. Oh, well, at least that means it's basketball season. Read on.

Just get it over with

A GRIP ON SPORTS

If we had our way, there is something occurring today that would never, ever happen again. But we never have our way. Read on.

Little margin for error

A GRIP ON SPORTS

It hit me late in the Sounders 1-0 win over Portland last night. I realized what it is about soccer I've come to enjoy. It's pretty simple really. Read on.

College football inches closer

A GRIP ON SPORTS

In just a week our Sunday morning post will be filled with college football game news. Today it is filled with college football "the-games-are-just-a-week-away" news. Read on.

A good day for good causes

A GRIP ON SPORTS

Next week is when college football begins, so it would stand to reason all the off-the-field events should finish up this weekend, right? And they do. Read on.

A simple change would do it

A GRIP ON SPORTS

What is that old saying? A man works from sun to sun, but a online sports columnist's work is never done? Or something like that. Read on.

Snake River dunes patrolled for college parties

PUBLIC LANDS — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is warning college students that officers will be patrolling popular sand-dune party spots along the Snake River.

Some public land areas are notorious for big parties, especially after the Aug. 25-26, 2012, blowout at Illia Dunes that attracted about 3,000 partiers and left behind thousands of pounds of trash, broken glass, foam coolers and other liter along the beach as well as about three miles of road ditch. The area had to be closed to the public for cleanup.

Illia Dunes, on the Snake River about three miles downstream of Lower Granite Lock and Dam, is a popular end-of-summer gathering place for students — but it will be patrolled. 

Read on for the rules from the Corps:

A focus on a distraction

A GRIP ON SPORTS

Coaches constantly tell players to focus on only those things they can control. Don't let the peripheral distract you from the essential. It's good advice. Read on.

An odd way to begin GU’s conference season

A GRIP ON SPORTS

It's weird. You would think the West Coast Conference would do everything possible to keep Gonzaga's basketball program happy and content. After all, it is the Bulldogs that bring the most attention to a conference that, otherwise, would be the America East, at least in the national media's eyes. But, as the release yesterday of the WCC's basketball schedule shows, the conference seems to like to show it doesn't play favorites. Read on.

For once the right thing happened

A GRIP ON SPORTS

It's not often we get to put together a follow-up. And it is even less often it is a happy one. Read on.

There is always the NCAA as a fallback

A GRIP ON SPORTS

We chatted about the Seahawks yesterday, the Cougars the day before that. A lot of you don't want to discuss the Mariners anymore – it's hard to blame you – so they seem to be off the table. So what do we talk about today? I guess there is always the NCAA. Read on.

Is the Hawks’ bandwagon filling up?

A GRIP ON SPORTS

I'm not a big fan of bandwagons. They're too big, too crowded and have bad shocks, hence a lot of people are thrown off when they hit a bump in the road. But the Seahawks' bandwagon is starting to look real inviting these days. Read on.