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The Cougars talk sturgeon riding, law school and more at Pac-12 Media Days

Notes and quotes from the Cougars at media day.

Mike Leach's preseason media tour concluded on Friday in Burbank, California with a 35-minute podium session, TV interviews and more intimate interviews with reporters over lunch. But no ice cream for Leach, who declined the offered treat saying, "my body is a temple."

The Washington State coach, known for his unique demeanor and endless bag of stories, was a featured attraction during the second day of Pac-12 Media Days and he didn't disappoint, even if some questions (dating advice, shudder) have been asked so many times many of the reporters in attendance could have interrupted to provide the answer.

In addition to the classics, Leach talked about riding sturgeons (you have to let go once they start to submerge) and how he once raised the underwater treadmill in WSU's football operations building to the top of the pool so he could appear to walk on water.

But while Leach does bring some showmanship to these events and the media has long treasured his appearances, offensive lineman Joe Dahl says his on-air mannerisms aren't an act.

"It's honestly just like having a normal conversation with the guy," Dahl said. "When he's in team meetings, when he's in position meetings, I know he's the exact same way. He doesn't act any different in front of the media than behind closed doors, I know that."

While the Pac-12's media day events have become more and more about prop-based photo ops and wry responses – Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez answered a question about his returning starting quarterback by talking about cold beers and Coke with Bacardi – there were moments of insight.

Here is what we learned about the Cougars today:

-- Leach confirmed that offensive lineman Sean Krepsz has left the team. "He just wanted playing time," Leach said. "He was down on the depth chart and wanted to play more and we're getting better and better on the offensive line."

-- Leach expounded more than he had before about what he believes caused WSU's troubles defensively and why he fired defensive coordinator Mike Breske.

"I thought defensively they were tugging against themselves," Leach said. "I think there were too many varieties of philosophy, so we had to end that. I don't think that we had one message to the players because we steadily improved on offense and then we kind of stagnated on defense. It was tough because they're good people and all that stuff but there's a chemistry and cohesion that's important."

-- He also spoke about what the culture of losing that he says is infused in the program and how the Cougars can stop holding themselves back.

"Just getting out of that rut," he said. "I think at times we had a culture of being too comfortable. All of a sudden a little extra is asked and it's viewed as unreasonable. That's just part of it, what it takes to be successful."

-- Leach said that he believes Gabe Marks can match the receiving numbers posted by Vince Mayle last year, when the Biletnikoff Award semifinalist caught 106 passes for 1,483 yards.

-- Dahl said that Leach's decision to have the quarterbacks line up under center in certain formations does not change his duties as an offensive tackle, so the line will still have wide splits.

"I can't remember the last time (Leach) made a change to our offense. … But any time he makes a change to the offense you know it's probably for the greater good," said Dahl.

-- Jeremiah Allison plans to attend law school after college and is preparing to take the LSAT. He's getting some help from a former teammate in Kristoff Williams, a receiver on last year's WSU team who is currently attending the prestigious Bolt Hall School of Law at UC-Berkeley.

"He sent me his whole breakdown, his study guide," Allison said. "I'm going about it the way he went about it."

Allison is currently considering attending Berkeley, UCLA, the University of Minnesota and the University of Washington.

The last time he was on the UW campus, Allison caught some flak for wearing WSU gear. That doesn't mean he'll stop if he goes to law school in Seattle.

"I'll wear it proudly," Allison. "And because I know law they can't do anything about it. I'm going to be a bad man."

As many readers know, Leach himself is a graduate of Pepperdine Law School. In fact, Leach says that even after embarking on a coaching career he planned to eventually practice law until he had been coaching for about five years.

Here is the full transcript of Mike Leach's podium session:

Here is a collection of tweets from the Pac-12 that WSU fans might enjoy:



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