THE COUGAR BLOG ARCHIVE

A RUNNING LIST of news, notes, quips and quotes from in and around the Cougar Nation. Updated regularly.

Sept 29 1:35 PM
  • HALLIDAY ON TORRID PACE TO SET ALL-TIME COLLEGE FOOTBALL MARK
Connor Halliday has passed for 2,318 yards and 20 TDs in just his first five games in 2014. If WSU makes a bowl game, Halliday's current pace would see him finish with 6,027 passing yards.

No college football quarterback has ever thrown for 6,000 yards in a single season.

The all-time record is 5,833 hashes by BJ Symons (2003). The second spot is held by Graham Harrell (5,705, 2007). Both are former Texas Tech quarterbacks under Mike Leach.

By the way, if Halliday were to maintain his current pace he would post 13,462 career passing yards, eclipsing Matt Barkley for the all-time Pac-12 mark (12,327 yards, 2009-12.) However, OSU senior Sean Mannion is on pace in 2014 to finish his career with 13,771 yards at his current pace (and with a 13-game season.)

Halliday is also averaging four TD passes a game, which projects to 52 in a 13-game season including a bowl game. That would tie for third all-time with Symons. Colt Brennan (Hawaii, 58, 2006) and David Klingler (Houston, 54, 1990) occupy the top two spots. Harrell had 48 TD tosses in '07.
- Barry Bolton

Sept 28 2:44 PM
  • COUGAR LOCKER ROOM WENT CRAZY AFTER COMEBACK WIN
Wouldn't any Cougar fan have loved to be in the middle of THIS after Washington State's stirring 28-27 win after being down 21-0? A peek inside the WSU locker room after the victory, courtesy of Cougar safety Beau Glover on Instagram:


Sept 28 2:00 PM
  • SO WHERE DOES THIS ONE RANK?
On the list of great comeback wins in the modern history of Washington State football, the Cougars' furious sprint to the finish against Utah on Saturday doesn't rank with the defeat of No. 1 UCLA in 1988. Or the 2012 Apple Cup. Or the 28-point fourth-quarter return from oblivion at Stanford in 1984. And in terms of plain old upsets by the numbers, beating the Utes, who were 13-point favorites, may not even squeeze into the top 10 over the last 30 years.

But for pure, unadulterated timing -- the this-program-could-really-really-use-a-notable-win-right-now kind of timing -- the Cougars' Miracle at Rice Eccles is a tough one to top. Until Saturday, the Cougs hadn't defeated an FCS team since dropping the Utes 49-37 in Pullman last Nov. 16. That's six straight games between victories the likes of which Coug fans were told to expect as commonplace by Year 3 of the Leach Era.

After falling behind 21-0 Saturday, the hand-wringing throughout Cougar Nation could be heard loudly on the message boards and on Twitter. The season was close to being tossed into the dumpster by the crimson faithful. Yet this team never stopped chipping away. In the process, they may have finally found the confidence that leads programs to sustained success. Radio analyst Jason Gesser said during the post-game recap that achieving a come-from-behind win like this, on the road no less, could truly spark something special with the program. We won't know the answer until the year is done. But if this game has the impact it seems like it might, there is no doubt it will rank among the most important at WSU in a generation. -- John C. Witter

VINCE MAYLE OFF TO THE RACES ON WINNING, 81-YARD TD RECEPTION SATURDAY


Sept 26 3:01 PM
  • COUGAR BASEBALL NEARING HALFWAY MARK
WSU baseball coach Donnie Marbut made a unique selection for guest speaker at his annual baseball alumni dinner in Pullman last week. It wasn't a former coach or ballplayer. Or a celebrity of some kind. Nope, Marbut opted for an executive with the Spokane-based advertising firm KellyBrady. But this was no flannel suited Don Draper at the podium. It was Justin Felker, a former Cougar Athletic Fund director who did a remarkable job in his time at WSU of reconnecting the baseball program with former players.

Marbut asked Felker to speak to the gathering of 150 last Friday about his multi-year, multi-city effort to sit down with every living member of the group of 59 old Cougs who were immortalized in a 1994 lithograph as the best of the best in Bobo Brayton's 33 years as Cougar head coach. Felker hauled along 96-pounds worth of those vintage lithographs at each visit because he wanted every autograph on every last litho. His quest covered thousands of miles and yielded an evening's worth of great stories. CF.C captured some of the color of Felker's journey in this story from 2012.

WILL SELL FOR $1,000 EACH STARTING NEXT WEEK.

The aim was two-fold: to reconnect these Cougs with WSU and to come away with some special collectors' items that Marbut then could use in his fundraising efforts to build a clubhouse at Bailey-Brayton Field.

The fundraising part of that equation is nearly here. Within a week, Marbut will begin selling 200 autographed lithos via wsucougars.com. The cost will be $1,000 each. Marbut envisions a sellout, thus raising $200,000 for WSU's proposed baseball clubhouse. The sale of all 200 copies would boost Marbut to the halfway mark of the $7 million needed to construct a clubhouse at Bailey-Brayton Field. The need for such a facility would seem acute -- in the Northwest alone, Washington, Oregon, Oregon State, Gonzaga and Portland already have invested heavily in new baseball facilities.

Sept 25 9:44 AM
  • CF.C SPIRIT TEAM PHOTO OF THE WEEK
Football isn’t the only program in the Cougar athletic department that periodically gets a transfer student coming in. This year’s WSU cheerleading squad includes Carli Pilcher, a sophomore human development major from Vancouver, Wash., who transferred from Hawaii. Vancouver is well-represented on the Cougars’ cheerleading squad this season. Two of Carli’s teammates, Hannah Dollar and Marcrina Malisch, also are from The Couve.


CARLI PILCHER

Sept 24 2:38 PM
  • HALLIDAY FOR HEISMAN
At least one pundit thinks Connor Halliday should be in the Heisman conversation. Lisa Horne who cast a vote for the Heisman Trophy in 2011, added Halliday to her Week Four entry on pigskingrind.com. "We're not sure why he isn't garnering more Heisman hype—especially after his amazing performance against Oregon—but we'll be the first to give Halliday his just due," writes Horne HERE.
- Barry Bolton

Sept 24 11:22 AM
  • PAC-12 RESPONSE ON OFFICIATING FROM WSU-OREGON
Cougfan.com sought comment and clarification from the league office regarding three plays from Saturday night's 38-31 loss to the Ducks: 1) the non-call of pass interference in the fourth quarter involving Isiah Myers, 2) the facemask call to see if it occurred away from the play. Replays showed no facemask on the tackle but rather appeared to show helmet-to-helmet contact that was not called and 3) if intentional grounding is a reviewable play to determine if the ball crossed the line of scrimmage if no flag is thrown.

Pac-12 spokesperson Dave Hirsch emailed CF.C the following:
1) Regarding the non-call on pass interference: "The Conference does not comment on judgement calls."
2) Regarding the facemask call: “The face mask occurred away from the play as the flag was thrown before the tackle.”
3) Regarding intentional grounding: “Intentional grounding (called or not called) is not reviewable.“
- Barry Bolton

Sept 24 11:05 AM
  • MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL PAYS TRIBUTE TO LEGENDARY BROADCASTER KEITH JACKSON
The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication put up this youtube clip from this week's Monday Night Football broadcast in which old Cougar Keith Jackson -- and the new building named after him at WSU -- get a shout out. Jackson was the first-ever play-by-play announcer for MNF, which kicked off 45 years ago this week. The Murrow College has named its broadcast building Keith M. Jackson Hall in honor of the 1954 alum and generous donor. Jackson and wife Turi Ann were in Pullman recently for the dedication of Jackson Hall and raised the WSU flag at the Cougs' home opener against Portland State while in town.




Sept 24 11:00 AM
  • TICKET AVAILABILITY FOR REMAINING WSU HOME GAMES
The Washington State Cougars, coming off their first sellout of the year, said football tickets remain available for the Apple Cup as well as all three other remaining home games. Updated figures released by the Cougars show 4,200 tickets left for the Oct. 4 game with California (homecoming); 4,300 for the Oct. 25 game with Arizona (Dad’s Weekend); 6,200 for the Nov. 1 game with USC; and 900 for the Nov. 29 game with Washington (Apple Cup).

The Cougars have sold 14,052 season tickets, up from 12,466 a year ago. Sales totals for all-sports passes for students, which often number more than 10,000, have yet to be released. For ticket information, go to www.wsucougars.com or phone (800) GO-COUGS.
- Howie Stalwick

Sept 23 3:10 PM
  • IS THAT A COACH OR A ROCK STAR?
Whispers that WSU assistant coach Dave Yost is actually the long-speculated about, but never seen, third Allman Brother were torn asunder on Saturday as the Cougars unloaded from their buses at Martin Stadium before the game with Oregon. While the rest of the coaching staff was attired in the standard khakis and polo or windbreaker, Yost went natty with a black mock turtle, gray suit and dark sunglasses. “He looks like a cross between Bono and the early ‘60s Beatles,” one fan on Stadium Way was overheard saying. To which we add: No self-respecting Allman Brother would ever allow himself to be so put together.


DAVE YOST STYLIN’ UP A STORM ON SATURDAY.

Sept 23 9:30 AM
  • WSU CONNECTIONS STORE IN SPOKANE OPENS TUESDAY
Washington State University will host a grand opening for its WSU Connections store in downtown Spokane this afternoon, WSU SID said in a release. A ribbon cutting ceremony will be held at 4:30 p.m. to officially open the building. Drawings will be held throughout the day, beginning at 10 a.m. WSU Connections, located at 618 W. Riverside Ave., will include a WSU ticket office, staff for the Cougar Athletic Fund and IMG College, as well as a retail outlet for WSU apparel and merchandise.

Sept 22 2:30 PM
  • OREGON CONTACTS WSU OVER ALLEGED BOTTLE THROWING INCIDENT
The Oregon athletic department has contacted Washington State about an alleged bottle throwing incident in Saturday's game, the Oregonian reports. "Only aware of it because I saw people tweeted about it, apparently it is visible in the broadest," Senior Associate Athletic Director Craig Pintens Pintens said in an email to the Oregonian. "We have addressed it with Washington State only based on what we heard happened." Click here for the story plus video of the incident.

Sept 22 1:30 PM
  • ESPN RULES EXPERT, FORMER PAC-12 DIRECTOR OF OFFICIALS DAVE CUTAIA WEIGHS IN ON NON-CALL CONTROVERSY
Dave Cutaia, ESPN’s College Football Rules Expert and former Director of Pac-12 officials, says the refs on Saturday night erred at the most critical juncture of the game when they didn’t flag Duck DB for pass interference against Cougar WR Isiah Myers.

“To me, it’s definitely defensive pass interference," said Cutaia on the 750TheGame radio show Monday afternoon. "The contact was early, against the receiver, the flag should have been thrown. That said, when you judge these types of plays you have to judge them with the first shot at full speed because that’s what the official sees."

There’s been some internet chatter that maybe the pass was tipped, which would negate a flag for defensive pass interference. But even if that were so, and there’s been no evidence that was the call, it is a reviewable play to see if the ball was tipped, said Cutaia. So had that been the case, it’s unfathomable the WSU sideline wouldn’t have challenged the call and requested a review.


MYERS GETS A FULL EMBRACE LONG BEFORE BALL ARRIVES.



Sept 22 12:22 PM
  • OH LOOK, ANOTHER NIGHT GAME FOR COUGS
Kickoff time has been set for the WSU-Cal game on Oct.4. It will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks at 7:30 p.m. With Stanford the following week at 6 p.m. on ESPN, the Cougars will have played their first seven games of the season with start times of 5 p.m. or later.

Most other Pac-12 team through four games will have played at least two day games and one has yet to play a night game:

--Stanford will have played their first five games at 2 p.m. or earlier.
--Cal will have played three of four games at 1 p.m. or earlier.
--Oregon has played two of four games 3:30 p.m. or earlier.
--Oregon State will have played two of their first five games at 1 p.m. or earlier.
--Washington will have played four of their first five games at 3 p.m. or earlier.
--Utah will have played two of their first four games at 3:30 p.m. or earlier.
--Colorado will have played three of their first six games at 2 p.m. or earlier.
--USC will have played two of their first four games at 4:30 p.m. or earlier.
--UCLA will have played one of their first four games at 12 p.m. or earlier.
--Arizona and ASU both prefer night games in the early season because of the late summer heat.

Sept 19 12:22 PM
  • FATHER OF THE AIR RAID
You can talk all you want about Nick Saban's national titles or Chip Kelly's Duck offense, says ESPN magazine in an interesting feature this week. But it's Hal Mumme -- mentor to Mike Leach and WSU chief of staff Dave Emerick's father-in-law -- who is most responsible for shaping this modern era of college football. CLICK HERE to read the full story.

Sept 18 11:47 AM
  • ESPN DOESN'T THINK MUCH OF COUGS' CHANCES TO PULL AN UPSET ON DUCKS
ESPN's Will Harris, in a column listing the 10 best bets in college football, doesn't see WSU pulling it off on Saturday night in Pullman, picking Oregon to win 45-28.

"It's hard to get enthusiastic about an underachieving Washington State bunch... Whether the overall defense, the offensive line or the team's intangibles are really improved ... well, the jury's still out, and we've had some concern about the last item since Leach abdicated responsibility for last season's New Mexico Bowl debacle," the article reads. The article projects all 10 favorites to win, with K-State producing the narrowest predicted result at Auburn 41, Kansas State 38.

Sept 18 11:45 AM
  • FANS GET TO PICK COUGS’ HOMECOMING UNIS VS. CAL
Washington State is giving fans the decision of which uniform combination the Cougars will wear in the Oct. 4 Homecoming game against Cal. Voting will take place in two rounds. The first, which runs now through Sept. 23, will pare the options down from the current 17 (see below) to an undisclosed number of finalists that will be voted on between Sept. 24-30. For what it’s worth, CF.C casts a vote for No. 4, with No. 2 a close runner up. To cast your ballot CLICK HERE.

Of course, one question begs: why no options featuring the new white helmet? According to sources within the Bohler Complex, putting white in the mix would have preempted the anticipation of what uni combo the Cougs will be wearing this Saturday against Oregon when WSU is expected to be sporting white helmets for the first time since 1963.

- Barry Bolton


HEAD TO WSUCOUGARS.COM TO CAST YOUR VOTE.



Sept 18 11:35 AM
  • THE DAY IN THE LIFE OF A ROOKIE WSU CHEERLEADER
Nia Watts, a WSU freshman from Moses Lake, writes about the day in the life of a rookie cheerleader at her first home game in a prominent feature story this week on American Cheerleading magazine’s website.

When game time arrives and it’s about time to take the field, she writes, “There are no words to describe this experience. Butch, our mascot, races onto the field from the player tunnel, riding on a Spyder Roadster, and stops at midfield to lead the entire stadium in a “GO COUGS!” chant …. After that, the big screen plays the intro video for the football team to the tune of Into the Jungle. My heart was pounding as I watched from inside the band tunnel, ready to take the field. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, is as exciting as running through that tunnel to the cheers of the crowd with the football team right behind us. NOTHING!” To read her full story CLICK HERE.
- Barry Bolton


NIA WATTS AT HER FIRST GAME IN MARTIN LAST WEEK.



Sept 18 11:19 AM
  • INTERESTING DEVELOPMENTS AT WSU
In case you missed it last, the WSU Board of Regents last week gave President Elson Floyd the green light to pursue his vision of creating a WSU Medical School to combat the chronic shortage of doctors in all regions of the state outside the I-5 corridor. The Regents’ vote came after an independent consulting firm concluded that WSU already has much of the infrastructure for a medical school at its Spokane campus. The bottom line is that with no capital outlay, the state can start battling its doctor shortage in a significant way through Floyd’s plan. The state legislature will need to vote on the matter. The University of Washington, naturally, strongly opposes the plan. To express your support for creation of a WSU Medical School, write your representatives and senators in Olympia at www.leg.wa.gov/pages/home.aspx .

Also last week, WSU announced that fall enrollment across all its campuses is up 4 percent, to a record 28,686 students. Approximately 19,000 of the total resides in Pullman. WSU’s increase is particularly notable, says Provost Dan Bernardo, because the state’s demographics are producing a “trough” on the trend line of high school graduation numbers, thus reducing the pool of potential students.
- Barry Bolton

Sept 18 8:47 AM
  • YOUNG BLEDSOE OFF TO 2-0 START
Sophomore quarterback John Bledsoe, son of CougGreat Drew Bledsoe, is making an impact early this season in Oregon high school football. He has thrown six touchdown passes in leading Summit High of Bend to a 2-0 start, the Oregonian reports. The 6-foot-2, 185-pounder is playing under the direction of his father, Summit's second-year offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

“Drew would say that John moves around a lot better than he did,” Summit coach Joe Padilla says in this article. “But John is definitely more comfortable in the pocket, when he gets time back there to make his reads. That’s one thing about him, especially as a sophomore, he’s made some really good reads for us. He’s checking to different receivers. He’s not locking on to one particular guy. He’s timing up the screens very well for us.”

Sept 17 8:47 AM
  • MORROW THE MULTI-DIMENSIONAL
In perusing WSU’s stats after three games, something stands out when it comes to all-purpose yardage totals: second-year freshman running back Jamal Morrow does it all. He is No. 3 on the yardage list, with 246 hashes, and he compiled it all in a remarkably balanced way. He has 87 yards rushing, 98 receiving and 61 on kick returns. Of WSU’s top-10 all-purpose performers, Rickey Galvin, with 144 receiving and 91 on punt returns, is the only other player besides Morrow with more than one area of contribution. In case you’re wondering, No. 1 on the list – by a long way – is receiver Isiah Myers with 423 yards.
- Barry Bolton


MORROW MAKING HIS MOVE THIS SEASON.


Sept 16 2:00 PM
  • CHEERLEADING NOTES: PHOTO OF THE WEEK, AND MORE
The photo below was taken by James Snook of USA Today Sporting Images prior to the Cougars’ game with Portland State last Saturday. At top left is Alyssa Hawley, who is one of three national finalists to appear on the cover of the next issue of American Cheerleader magazine. Voting for the cover ended last week but there has been no word yet from the magazine on the winner.

Talk about strength in numbers. Ever wonder why the Cougar spirit team seems to be at every sporting and alumni event around? Well get this: there are 50 members of the team – 17 women cheerleaders, 16 men cheerleaders and 17 members of the dance team. Props to Kennewick and Kent; given the relative size of the two, they are disproportionately represented among the 50 members of the spirit squad with three from each city on the team.
- Barry Bolton


LOTS OF REASONS TO SMILE LAST SATURDAY.


Sept 16 9:56 AM
  • COUG WIDEOUT MYERS' BIG NIGHT DID NOT GO UNNOTICED
Isiah Myers' 11-catch, 227-yard, 3-TD night against Portland State, and his work through three games this season, did not go unnoticed. Myers on Tuesday was added to the Biletnikoff Award Watch List, the Tallahassee Quarterback Club Foundation announced. Myers leads the Pac-12 Conference with 26 receptions and 423 receiving yards and is second with five touchdown catches. His 227 receiving yards were the sixth-most in program history.

The Biletnikoff Award is presented annually to the nation's outstanding college football receiver (the award defines receiver as any player who catches a pass regardless of position). The Biletnikoff Award will open on October 1 its online Fan Vote on its website. The aggregate fan tally will be counted as one official vote to determine semi-finalists (ten receivers), finalists (three), and the winner. The selection committee is made up of 201 voters according to the Biletnikoff Award website. The 2014 winner will be presented on December 11.

Sept 15 5:23 PM
  • WHITE HELMETS... BUT WHAT ELSE?
The Cougs are donning white helmets in practice this week, leading the crimson masses to predict Washington State will feature a white helmet on the gridiron for the first time since the '60s in Saturday's game against the Ducks (7:30 pm, ESPN).

What we want to know is what do you think the rest of the Cougs' uniform should look like to go with the white helmets. Weigh in HERE ON THE CF.C FREE FOOTBALL FORUM



Sept 15 4:20 PM
  • WSU CANCELS COUGAR 2014 HARDWOOD CLASSIC
Washington State and Hawaii have come to a mutual agreement to cancel the 2014 Cougar Harwood Classic held at Seattle’s KeyArena originally scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 13, Bill Moos said in a WSU release.

Moos did not say why the decision was made to cancel the event.

Instead, the Cougar basketball team will travel to California to take on Santa Clara, Dec. 13.

Washington State returns three starters and nine letterwinners from last season’s squad, including leading scorer DaVonté Lacy, who averaged 19.4 ppg. WSU hosts Azusa Pacific in exhibition action, Friday, No. 7, before opening the season in Texas at UTEP, Friday, Nov. 14 and TCU, Monday, Nov. 17.

Sept 15 1:15 AM
  • THOMPSON AND BAYNES ALL WORLD CUP HONORABLE MENTION
Former Washington State basketball stars Klay Thompson and Aron Baynes earned honorable mention on the Eurobasket.com All-World Cup team.

Thompson, a reserve guard for the United States, finished second on the gold medalists with 12.7 points and 23.6 minutes played per game. He originally was credited with 12.8 ppg on the tournament website.

Thompson, known for keeping his emotions in check, let his guard down after the Americans (9-0) hammered Serbia 129-92 in Sunday’s title game in Madrid, Spain.

“We shot the ball unbelievably, we shared the ball well and we played great defense,” Thompson said. “We played with all our heart, we played for our country, and it was amazing.”

Baynes, Australia’s starting center, ranked ninth among all players with 16.8 ppg. He finished fourth in offensive rebounds (3.4), 14th in total rebounds (7.0) and tied for 15th in blocked shots (1.0).

Former Washington State players Brock Motum and Thomas Abercrombie also played in the tournament. Motum averaged 6.5 points and 2.3 rebounds coming off the bench for Australia (3-3). Abercrombie started five games for New Zealand (2-4) and averaged 7.3 points and 3.7 rebounds.

Thompson (Golden State) and Baynes (San Antonio) are NBA players. Motum, who turned pro in Italy last season, has been invited to training camp with the NBA’s Utah Jazz. Abercrombie is a veteran in Australia’s top pro league.
- Howie Stalwick

Sept 14 3:15 PM
  • COUGREAT THOMPSON AND USA WIN GOLD
Basketball has made Klay Thompson a wealthy young man, but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t thrilled to discover gold.

Thompson was one of eight United States players who scored in double figures in a 129-92 rout of Serbia in Sunday’s championship game at the World Cup in Madrid, Spain.

Thompson, a key reserve in all nine games for the undefeated Americans, scored 12 points in 21 minutes. The former Washington State guard sank 5 of 8 shots from the field, including all three of his 3-point shots, and added two assists and two blocked shots. Thompson averaged 12.8 points in the tournament.

The Americans have won 63 consecutive games in international play since 2006. The U.S. also won the previous World Cup (then known as the World Championships) in 2010. Since the tournament began in 1950, the only other teams to win back-to-back titles were Brazil (1958, 1962) and Yugoslavia (1998, 2002).
- Howie Stalwick

Sept 11 3:15 PM
  • TICKET UPDATE FOR WSU vs. PORTLAND STATE
Washington State officials publicly declared prior to the season that they believed the Cougars could sell out all six games at Martin Stadium this year, but 2,800 tickets remain available for the team’s Pullman debut Saturday night against FCS opponent Portland State (5 p.m., Pac-12 Networks).

Forty standing-room-only tickets remain on sale for WSU’s only sold-out game thus far, the Pac-12 Conference opener with Oregon next Saturday (7:30 p.m., ESPN). The Cougars made 200 SRO tickets available earlier this week.

Approximately 3,500 tickets are left for homecoming Saturday, Oct. 4 against California. Eight hundred tickets are still available for the Apple Cup on Saturday, Nov. 29 against Washington. Times have not been set by the television networks for those two games.
- Howie Stalwick

Sept 11 3:14 PM
  • GOUGREAT KLAY THOMPSON CONTINUES STERLING PLAY IN WORLD CUP
Klay Thompson scored 14 of his 16 points in the first half to help the United States hold off Lithuania long enough for the Americans to gain momentum and run away in the second half of a 96-68 victory Thursday in the semifinals of the World Cup basketball tournament.

The U.S. started the third quarter with an 18-2 run to bury Lithuania and advance to Monday’s title game against the winner of Friday’s semifinal between France and Serbia.

Thompson, the former Washington State star, had three assists, three rebounds, two blocked shots and one steal in 26 minutes. His sterling play off the bench has been a key factor in the United States’ 8-0 record.
- Howie Stalwick

Sept 10 12:25 PM
  • CHEERLEADING NOTES: NEW UNIFORMS, PLUS A NATIONAL COVER GIRL?
Cougar cheerleaders are sporting new threads (see photo below) this season. Not sure how we missed it at the Rutgers game but through the power of Twitter and the @WSUCougarSpirit account, we are up-to-speed now. That's not all that's new with the Cougar cheer squad: Sophomore Alyssa Hawley of Snoqualmie is one of three national finalists in American Cheerleader magazine's contest to pick their next cover girl. Her two opponents are from Ohio State and Minnesota. Voting ends on Friday. If Alyssa wins, she will become the first representative of the Pac-12 ever to appear on the magazine's cover. CLICK HERE to vote early and often for Alyssa.
- Barry Bolton


THE NEW LOOK FOR WSU CHEERLEADERS.


Sept 9 4:24 PM
  • KLAY THOMPSON LEADS WAY IN LATEST USA WIN
Klay Thompson scored a game-high 20 points Tuesday to lead the United States to a 119-76 triumph over Slovenia at the World Cup basketball tournament in Barcelona, Spain.

Thompson, the former Washington State guard, sank 7 of 12 shots from the field (4 of 8 from 3-point range). He added three rebounds, two steals, two assists and one blocked shot in the latest of a series of strong efforts off the bench.

The Americans (7-0), who led only 49-42 at the half, advance to the semifinals against Lithuania (6-1). ESPN televises the contest at noon Thursday.
- Howie Stalwick


Sept 9 3:07 PM
  • NATIONAL RECOGNITION FOR QUE JOHNSON
Sports Illustrated college basketball analyst Luke Winn is out today with his annual Breakout Sophomore Formula, in which he IDs “future stars who didn’t stand out in traditional box scores as freshmen" but had stats that indicate high-scoring potential. He picks a top five and then lists two more players he thinks are close. One of those latter two is 6-5 Cougar guard Que Johnson.

Writes Winn of Johnson: “When Cougars star DaVonte Lacy missed most of nine games from Dec. 28-Feb. 1 due to an emergency appendectomy and then a rib injury, Johnson became their emergency scorer, averaging 14.1 points during that stretch. On the season, he took 27.3 percent of Washington State's shots while he was on the floor -- a notably high level for a backup freshman guard that suggests he has a future as the Cougs' top scorer. But with Lacy back for his senior season, and his strong efficiency numbers justifying him as the No. 1 guy, Que's scoring ceiling is most likely in the 12-13 point range." CLICK HERE to read the full story.
- Barry Bolton

Sept 9 10:15 AM
  • HILINSKI FACES FIRST BIG TEST ON FRIDAY
Future Cougar quarterback Tyler Hilinski will get the first real test of his senior season this Friday night when his Upland High squad meets Tesero High in a clash of top 25 California teams. Hilinksi has guided Upland to a 2-0 start in which they have outscored opponents 114-0. In last Friday’s 43-0 drubbing of Redondo Union he completed 17 of 20 passes for 283 yards and 2 TDs. For the season he is 25 of 32 (.781) for 481 yards, 7 TDs and no interceptions.
- Barry Bolton

Sept 8 4:00 PM
  • FUTURE COUG TRAVELS NORTH AND TRAMPLES LOCAL CLUB
Washington State verbal commit Dominic Davis and his fellow Bishop Alemany High (Mission Hills, Calif.,) Warriors flew into the Evergreen State on Friday and proceeded to dismantle Eastside Catholic of Sammamish 31-14. Davis, who is projected to play slot receiver at WSU, rushed for 183 yards and 3 TDs to lead the way for Alemany.

Meanwhile, another WSU verbal commit from California had a rougher night on Friday. James Williams hurt his right knee on Burbank High's opening kickoff against Bell Garden and didn't return to the game, according to the Burbank Leader. CF.C will try to get an update on the severity of the injury. Over the previous two seasons Williams rushed for 2,912 yards and 46 TDs.
- Ryan Witter


Sept 8 4:01 PM
  • TEAM AUSTRALIA IN TROUBLE OVER BAYNES?
The decision by Australia national basketball team coach Andrej Lemonis to sit out former Washington State center Aron Baynes in the final round of group play at the World Cup would appear to figure prominently in FIBA’s decision to look into possible disciplinary action against Australia.

FIBA, the governing body of international basketball, announced Monday it is “opening disciplinary proceedings” against Australia in regard to its 91-83 loss to Angola last Thursday. Playing time was limited for Australia’s regular starters, and Baynes – the team’s leading scorer and rebounder – did not play.

A FIBA press release read, “The on-court behavior displayed by Australia in that game generated huge disappointment by basketball fans and experts. It is widely suspected that Australia lost that game in order to avoid having to face the reigning world champions USA until the Semi-Finals.”

After the loss to underdog Angola, Lemonis said he rested players to prepare for upcoming games, since Australia was already assured of advancing to the Round of 16. Australia was eliminated in a 65-64 loss to Turkey in Round 16 action on Sunday, when Baynes led the Aussies with 15 points and seven rebounds.

Following Australia’s loss to Angola, Slovenia guard Goran Dragic tweeted that Australia “fixed the game.” Dragic starred on the NBA’s Phoenix Suns last season. Baynes was a reserve on the NBA champions from San Antonio.
- Howie Stalwick


Sept 8 12:18 PM
  • BOB COSTAS SENDS MESSAGE TO COUGAR FANS
As part of the festivities around this Friday's dedication of the new Keith Jackson Hall at WSU's Murrow College of Communication, NBC-TV's Bob Costas has recorded a video greeting for Cougar fans saluting Keith. The enormity of Jackson's impact on broadcasting is summed up, he says, by the fact Jackson is forever known as "the voice" of an entire sport. Click here to watch the Costas tribute to K-Jack. Keith, by the way, will be in Pullman this weekend for the Jackson Hall dedication and the 60th reunion of his WSC graduating class.
- CF.C Staff


Sept 8 9:12 AM
  • KICKOFF TIME AND TV SET FOR OREGON
WSU announced the Sept. 20 game in Pullman vs. Oregon will be shown on ESPN, with a kickoff time slated for 7:30 p.m.

Bill Moos said Monday morning on his radio show about 200 standing room only tickets are available.
- CF.C Staff


Sept 7 11:11 PM
  • T-BRACK LIKENS BIG HITS TO PLAYING VIDEO GAMES
The Regina Leader-Post published an interesting feature story the other day on old Cougar cornerback Tyron Brackenridge and his reputation as one of the hardest hitters in the Canadian Football League. As kids, he and his brother used to practice tackling each other in the family living room. Today, he talks about tackling opposing ball carriers the way musicians describe a magical riff.

"You just get that feeling of running through somebody," she said. "It gives you such a boost of energy. The crowd feels it, your teammates feel it and it just deflates your opponent and their teammates as well. It's pretty much like being in a video game or watching a cartoon where you can steal somebody's energy from them. It just completely charges you right up." Click here to read the full story.
- John C. Witter


Sept 7 5:56 PM
  • KLAY THOMPSON IS LAST COUG STANDING
Klay Thompson is the lone former Washington State player left at basketball’s World Cup after Aron Baynes, Brock Motum and Thomas Abercrombie were sent backing Sunday in the Round of 16. Baynes led Australia with 15 points and seven rebounds, but it wasn’t enough to prevent Turkey from rallying past the Aussies for a 65-64 victory in Barcelona, Spain. Motum played less than two minutes for Australia (3-3) and scored two points.

Earlier Sunday, Abercrombie’s New Zealand squad (2-4) was eliminated in a 76-71 loss to Lithuania. Abercrombie recorded six points, three rebounds and one assist in 19 minutes.

Thompson’s United States squad downed Mexico 86-63 on Saturday to advance to the quarterfinals. Thompson piled up 15 points, five rebounds and two assists in 23 minutes. Only Stephen Curry, Thompson’s back-court partner on the NBA’s Golden State Warriors, scored more points (20) for the undefeated and 6-0 Americans who take on Slovenia (5-1) at noon PDT Tuesday on ESPN2.
- Howie Stalwick


Sept 6 8:39 AM
  • COUGAR VERBAL COMMIT COMES UP BIG IN OPENER
Future WSU cornerback Austin Joyner went all offense Friday night, rushing for 257 yards on 12 attempts (21.4 yards per carry) and scoring on TD runs of 53 and 32 yards as his Marysville-Pilchuck team routed Kamiak 41-15. “Austin was fantastic tonight, and once he gets into open space, he’s pretty good,” MP head coach Brandon Carson told the Everett Herald.
- CF.C staff


Sept 5 3:12 PM
  • OL' COUGS FULLINGTON AND TUEL DOING JUST FINE, THANK YOU VERY MUCH
In light of John Fullington and Jeff Tuel being signed to the 49ers and Bills practice squads, respectively, ever wonder how much those practice squad players make?

It's not quite "NFL money", but it's certainly not like they're starving either. NFL practice squad members make a minimum of $6,300/week. There's no limit to what they can be paid but most teams pay most players that. They can be cut at any time but they are guaranteed at least a 3-week paycheck. If a player remains on the practice squad for an entire 17-week regular season, he would earn $107,100 -- and more if his team makes the playoffs.
- CF.C staff


Sept 5 3:12 PM
  • COUGREAT KLAY THOMPSON MINING FOR GOLD
Klay Thompson, who won his first gold medal in international completion after his freshman year at Washington State, continues mining for gold at the World Cup when the United States resumes play Saturday against Mexico.

The game will be telecast from Barcelona, Spain at 7 a.m. PDT on ESPN2. The winner advances to the quarterfinals. The U.S. led Group C with a 5-0 record; Mexico finished fourth in Group D at 2-3.

Thompson, a Golden State Warriors guard, is playing on the U.S. national team for the first time. He won a gold medal at the Under-19 world championships in 2009.

Thompson leads the Americans at the World Cup with 50 percent shooting on 3-pointers (5 for 10). He’s second in minutes played (22.8 per game) and fourth in scoring (10.2) as a key reserve known for his outside shooting, defense and versatility.

Former WSU players Aron Baynes, Brock Motum and Thomas Abercrombie return to action Sunday. Baynes leads Australia and ranks 11th in the tournament with 17.3 points and 7.0 rebounds. Motum comes off the bench for the Aussies, who play Turkey on Sunday. Both teams are 3-2.

Abercrombie’s New Zealand squad, erroneously listed by some online sites as being eliminated after going 2-3 in group play, advanced on a tiebreaker. The Kiwis next face Lithuania (4-1).
- Howie Stalwick


Sept 5 9:12 AM
  • KEEPING TABS ON COUGAR BASKETBALL PROS
Former Washington State basketball players continue to spread their skills around the globe in pro and college basketball.

At the pro level, point guard Xavier Thames is headed to Sevilla, Spain; swingman Abe Lodwick signed with a team in Aalst, Belgium; forward Patrick Simon will play in Allmendin, Germany; point guard John Allen landed in Nyon, Switzerland; forward Austin Bragg turns pro in Domzale, Slovenia; and forward Ivory Clark has joined a team in Mar del Plata, Argentina.

Other Cougars on the move at the collegiate level include guards Andre Winston from NCAA Division I Portland State to NAIA Southeastern in Lakeland, Fla., and Bryce Leavitt from North Idaho (junior) College to NCAA Division II Seattle Pacific.

Thames was selected 59th (next to last) by Toronto in this summer’s NBA draft. The Brooklyn Nets immediately purchased Thames’ rights for $300,000. Thames, the Mountain West Conference Player of the Year at San Diego State last season, struggled in the NBA’s Orlando Summer League.

Lodwick spent his first two years of pro ball in Germany and Australia. Simon turns pro after two stellar seasons at Seattle Pacific. Allen sat out last season after starring at Division II powerhouse Western Washington with Bragg, who redshirted but never played for WSU. Clark played for a rival Argentine club in Buenos Aires last season.

Point guard Danny Lawhorn, who was suspended by the Cougars before leaving school prior to last season, is now at Division II Midwestern State in Wichita Falls, Texas.

Earlier, combo guard Royce Woolridge transferred from WSU to Division I Grand Canyon in Phoenix, and point guard Taylor Rochestie re-signed with his pro team in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia. Thus far, no word on 2014-15 destinations for overseas veterans such as Derrick Low, Kyle Weaver, Marcus Moore, DeAngelo Casto, Marcus Capers and Josh Akognon, or aspiring pro D.J. Shelton (a senior forward at WSU last season).
- Howie Stalwick


Sept 4 12:41 PM
  • APPLE CUP TICKETS GOING FAST
Only 1,000 tickets remain for the Apple Cup, the annual football showdown between Washington State and Washington, WSU tells Cougfan.com. The Cougars and Huskies close out the regular season Saturday, Nov. 29 in Pullman. A game time has not been set.

Approximately 3,000 tickets remain for WSU’s Martin Stadium opener on Sept. 13 against Portland State (5 p.m., Pac-12 Networks). WSU’s Pac-12 Conference opener Sept. 20 against visiting Oregon is sold out, but some standing-room-only tickets may be sold.

The Cougars announced that season-ticket sales are currently sitting at 14,100. That excludes all-sports student passes, which often number more than 10,000. The Cougars sold 12,500 season tickets last year.
- Howie Stalwick


Sept 4 12:25 PM
  • COUGAR UPDATE FROM HOOPS WORLD CUP
Former Washington State basketball stars Aron Baynes and Brock Motum have advanced to the Round of 16 at the World Cup with Australia’s national team, but not without controversy. Slovenia’s Goran Dragic tweeted that favored Australia “fixed the game” Thursday in a 91-83 loss to Angola in Gran Canaria, Spain. The Australians (3-2) had already clinched a spot in the Round of 16, but the loss improved their chances of finishing third instead of second in Group D and delaying a potential meeting with the top-ranked United States.

Baynes, leading Australia with 17.3 points and 7.0 rebounds per game, did not play against Angola. He has been Australia’s starting center. Coach Andrej Lemonis said he reduced playing time for starters to prepare for the start of Round 16 play Saturday in Barcelona. Motum, continuing to play a key role off the bench, amassed his tournament bests of 22 minutes played, 13 points, four rebounds and two assists.

The U.S. improved to 5-0 with another rout, this one 95-75 over Ukraine in Bilboa Spain. Ex-WSU guard Klay Thompson had seven points, five rebounds, four assists and two blocked shots in 24 minutes. Thompson has played in a reserve role all five games; a box score from the first game originally listed him as a starter. The U.S. returns to action Saturday against Mexico.

Another Cougar, New Zealand swingman Thomas Abercrombie, is headed home after a 67-65 win over Finland in Bilboa. The Kiwis finished 2-3 after winning their final two games. Abercrombie scored seven points Thursday and averaged 7.6 in five games.
- Howie Stalwick


Sept 4 10:49 AM
  • LEACH PROVIDES ONLY SPICE IN BLAND NEW TV SPOT; MEANWHILE, KENT AND COACHES STAR AT THE BBQ
Mike Leach doesn’t just write books in his spare time. He also stars in TV ads promoting WSU’s organic ag program. While it’s about time WSU retired its ancient, though well-done, spot regarding bio-fuels, this new effort featuring “tomato gel spheres” is about as stilted as they come – that is, until Leach unexpectedly appears at the end. He holds up a gel sphere and intones that he “loves these things.” While Mike doesn’t necessarily look convincing in his testament to the spheres (a name about as appealing as the ad itself), he does inject life into the otherwise yawn-inducing spot. Here’s a link to it.

Now, if you want to see a truly entertaining piece of video featuring WSU and food, you’ll love this segment WSU Athletics put together on the Cougar hoops team. It includes footage and commentary from Ernie Kent’s recent “first annual coaches cook off” in his backyard. If your mouth isn’t watering at the end of this one then you’re either a vegan or just not paying attention.
- Barry Bolton


IN NEW TV SPOT, MIKE LEACH SAYS HE LOVES ‘EM. THOUGH SOMETHING TELLS US HE’D PREFER A RUN-STOPPING DEFENSE MORE.

Sept 3 3:04 PM
  • OL' COUG BAYNES COMES UP BIG IN WORLD CUP WIN
Former Washington State center Aron Baynes recorded game highs of 21 points and three blocked shots Wednesday to lead Australia to a 70-62 triumph over Mexico at the World Cup in Gran Canaria, Spain.

Brock Motum, another former WSU standout, added two points off the bench. Australia, 3-1 with three straight wins, hopes to advance to the round of 16 by finishing group play with a win over Angola on Thursday.

The top-ranked United States clinched the top seed in its group with a 106-71 drubbing of the Dominican Republic in Bilboa, Spain. Former WSU guard Klay Thompson collected eight points, three assists, two steals and one assist in reserve duty for the Americans. The U.S. (4-0) finishes group play Thursday against Ukraine (8:30 a.m., ESPN2).

Thomas Abercrombie, the other former WSU player performing in the World Cup, was held scoreless Thursday in Bilboa. However, his New Zealand squad broke into the win column with a 73-63 decision over Ukraine. New Zealand (1-3) finishes tournament play with a Thursday contest against Finland.
- Howie Stalwick


Sept 3 12:30 AM
  • CF.C TAILGATERS LITERALLY TOSS IN $1,400 FOR TEAM GLEASON
Every 30 minutes last week at the Cougfan.com tailgate outside CenturyLink Field, a beat-up old paint bucket was passed around for donations to Team Gleason, the non-profit organization founded by CouGreat Steve Gleason to raise awareness about ALS and to equip those battling the disease with leading edge technology and services. The final accounting shows that Cougar fans tossed $1,400 into the paint bucket.

This’s year’s annual CF.C Karlynn “Maw” Howard Memorial Tailgate doubled as an informal reunion of WSU’s 1981 Holiday Bowl team as they came together to salute one of their own, Redmond dentist and former Cougar cornerback Jeff Files, who is battling ALS.
- Pat Mitchell



1981 COUGS COME TOGETHER: Among those at the CF.C tailgate before the Rutgers game were, front row/left to right: Jeff Keller, Dave Harrison, Jeff Files and Ken Emmil; and back row/left to right: Gary Teague, Ron Claudon, Mark Smaha, Cameron Mitchell, Steve Sebehar, Clete Casper and Ken Collins.

Sept 2 1:18 PM
  • THOMPSON, U.S. WIN AGAIN
Klay Thompson and the United States national basketball team continued to breeze through World Cup competition on Tuesday in Bilboa, Spain. The Americans improved to 3-0 with a victory over New Zealand. Thompson scored 12 points in 21 minutes off the bench. In a rare international pairing of former Washington State players, swingman Thomas Abercrombie started for New Zealand (0-3). He scored four points in 18 minutes. The top-ranked U.S. next faces the Dominican Republic on Wednesday (12:30 p.m. PT, ESPN).

Meanwhile, old Cougs Aron Baynes and Brock Motum, helped Australia down Lithuania 82-75 in Gran Canaria, Spain, today. Baynes, starting at center, recorded 14 points and six rebounds in 22 minutes. Motum, a reserve forward, totaled six points and two rebounds in 16 minutes.
- Howie Stalwick


Sept 2 1:10 PM
  • APODACA THROWING EARLY AND OFTEN
Former Washington State backup quarterback Austin Apodaca transferred to Mesa (Ariz.) Community College in search of more playing time. So far, so good for playing time, but not for winning. Apodaca completed 37 of 44 passes for 372 yards and two touchdowns Saturday, but Mesa trailed 34-0 before rallying in a 48-27 loss at Glendale (Ariz.). One week earlier, Snow (Utah) drilled Mesa 51-29. Apodaca completed 26 of 48 passes for 237 yards and three touchdowns, but the redshirt sophomore also had three interceptions. Against Glendale, he was picked off once and lost a fumble. New Mexico has offered Apodaca a scholarship for next season.
- Howie Stalwick


Sept 2 1:00 PM
  • CATCHING UP WITH COUGS PLAYING PRO BASEBALL
The struggling Arizona Diamondbacks’ midsummer signing of former WSU first baseman Taylor Ard looks like a crafty move. Signed out of the independent Frontier League, Ard hit .344 with two home runs and 12 RBIs in 19 games with the Diamondbacks’ Rookie-class Pioneer League team in Missoula (Mont.). Earlier, he made brief stops with Arizona’s farm clubs at Class A South Bend (Indiana) and short-season Class A Hillsboro (Ore.) after representing River City (Mo.) in the Frontier League All-Star Game.

Ard, who was released this spring after two years in the Seattle Mariners farm system, continues his season in the Pioneer League playoffs. Another WSU product headed for the playoffs is Nick Tanielu, who finished fourth in the New York-Penn League with a .300 batting average. Tanielu tied for sixth in runs batted in with 40 in 62 games. The NYP League All-Star Game’s Most Valuable Player has played third base and second baseman for Tri-City of Troy, N.Y., after being drafted in the 14th round by Houston.

The three other Cougars who turned pro this summer all fared respectably. All four rookie pros played at the short-season Class A level. Pitcher Tanner Chleborad (Orioles farmhand) and catcher-outfielder Collin Slaybaugh (Yankees) joined Tanielu in the New York-Penn League. Chleborad compiled a 2-3 record and 2.78 earned run average in 10 games (eight starts) for Aberdeen, Md. Slaybaugh hit .241 with no homers and 12 RBIs in 32 games with Staten Island, N.Y. And Eugene (Ore.) outfielder Yale Rosen recovered from a slow start to hit .247 with seven homers and 29 RBIs in 54 games in the Northwest League.

Other minor leaguers of note out of WSU include first baseman Jim Murphy (.240-11-47, 116 games), a Philadelphia Phillies farmhand with Class AAA Lehigh Valley, Penn.; utilityman Alex Burg (.264-7-29, 76 games), a Miami Marlins farmhand with AA Jacksonville, Fla.; outfielder Kyle Johnson (.259-4-39, 103 games), a New York Mets farmhand with AA Binghamton, N.Y.; and outfielder Derek Jones (.227-9-34, 113 games, a Colorado Rockies farmhand with Class A Modesto, Calif.

Marlins prospect Adam Conley (3-5, 6.00, 12 games) struggled with arm problems most of the season and did not pitch after July 20 with New Orleans in the AAA Pacific Coast League. Adam Nelubowich (.176-0-2, five games), a teammate of Tanielu, retired during his second season in the New York-Penn League.
- Howie Stalwick


Aug 31 6:07 PM
  • MOTUM GETS CREATIVE WITH ALS ICE-BUCKET CHALLENGE
Not only did former Cougar hoops star Brock Motum undertake his ALS ice-bucket challenge in a unique locale, but he pulled a fast one when he poured the bucket. Two weeks ago, standing in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, where he was traveling with the Australian national team, Motum looked to be hoisting a bucket of ice on himself when out dropped a $100 bill taped to a card reading #nowhiteflags. He then challenged old Cougar teammates Klay Thompson, Charlie Enquist and Abe Lodwick to take the challenge.

Motum, who recently signed with the Utah Jazz, is in Spain right now for the FIBA World Cup tournament. In a Team Australia victory Sunday over South Korea, he came off the bench to score eight points and pull down two rebounds. Teammate and fellow Coug Aron Baynes scored 13 points and had a game-high 10 rebounds in the win. Australia plays Lithuania on Tuesday. In other FIBA action Sunday, old Cougar Thomas Abercrombie scored a team-high 22 points, but New Zealand fell to 0-2 with a loss to the Dominican Republic. New Zealand faces the top-ranked United States on Tuesday (8:30 a.m. PT, ESPN). The U.S. improved to 2-0 Sunday with a 98-77 rout of Turkey. Klay Thompson had six points, two assists, two steals and one rebound in 25 minutes off the bench.
- CF.C staff



MOTUM GOES EIFFEL FOR THE ALS CHALLENGE.

Aug 31 3:30 PM
  • IT'S TUEL TIME AGAIN IN BUFFALO
One day after being released by the Buffalo Bills, former WSU quarterback Jeff Tuel cleared waivers and was signed by the Bills to their practice roster. Tuel appeared on track to make the regular roster for the second straight season until Buffalo picked up veteran Kyle Orton late in camp to back up E.J. Manuel. Another old Coug, undrafted free agent rookie lineman John Fullington, was not signed to the Packers' practice squad today. He had been released yesterday.
- CF.C staff


Aug 31 11:45 AM
  • COUGS MAKING WAVES AT HOOPS WORLD CUP
    Klay Thompson played out of this world on the first day of the basketball world championships. Thompson, making his first start for the United States national team after coming off the bench in all four pre-tournament exhibition games, led the Americans with 18 points in a 111-55 rout of Finland on Saturday at the World Cup.

    The three other Cougars at the tournament also played in Saturday’s opening round. Center Aron Baynes started for Australia and tied for game honors with team bests of 21 points and seven rebounds in an 80-77 loss to Slovenia.

    Forward Brock Motum added eight points and three rebounds in 18 minutes off the bench for the Aussies. Swingman Thomas Abercrombie started for New Zealand in a 76-73 loss to Turkey. Abercombie totaled five points and seven rebounds in 20 minutes.

    Thompson, one of 12 NBA players who make up the U.S. roster, sank 4 of 7 shots from 3-point range in 22 minutes. The Golden State Warriors guard is known for his lack of outward emotion, but he loved playing in front of thousands of lively Finland fans in Bilboa, Spain.

    “I don’t know if if we’ll play in front of a better crowd the rest of the tournament,” Thompson said. He added, “They shocked me … I’ve never played in front of a crowd like that. That was fun.”

    Pool play continues today in the two-week tournament, which will be played in various cities in Spain. The top-ranked U.S. faces Turkey (12:30 p.m., ESPN); Australia takes on Korea; and New Zealand battles the Dominican Republic.
    - Howie Stalwick


Aug 30 5:15 AM
  • COUGAR NFL ROSTER UPDATES
    The Buffalo Bills have determined Jeff Tuel will not be their backup quarterback this season. The second year passer from Washington State was released from the club today after they signed veteran Kyle Orton.

    Through four preseason games this summer Tuel had complete 29 passes in 45 attempts for 236 yards with a pair each of touchdowns and interceptions. He also ran the ball four times for 35 yards.

    He saw no snaps in Buffalo’s final preseason contest on Thursday.

    It was an unceremonious end to the Cinderella NFL summer of first-year tackle John Fullington. The old Coug was a final roster cut by Green Bay. The free agent was thought to be a long shot to go this deep, but his performance made his dismissal a difficult decision for the Packer coaching staff.

    Meanwhile, in Philadelphia, Cougar great Travis Long went from the absolute low of suffering a season-ending ACL tear on Thursday to the high (relatively speaking) of making the Eagles final roster, albeit on the injured reserve.

    Long has been praised all training camp by the coaching staff. The linebacker—a Gonzaga Prep product -- recorded nine tackles, including one sack, over four preseason games.

    It was a similar fate for injured Chicago receiver Marquess Wilson. The former Coug, who is expected to miss half the season with a broken collarbone, was also retained by the Bears as an injured reserve.
    - John C. Witter


Aug 29 12:30 AM
  • FUTURE COUG HILINSKI LIGHTS UP THE SCOREBOARD
Cougar QB verbal commit Tyler Hilinski went video game on Friday night in firing 5 TD passes -- in the first half -- to lead Upland High to a 71-0 season-opening victory over Knight.

“The next few games will only get harder,” Upland coach Tim Salter told the Daily Bulletin.

After posting 508 total yards of offense, things get tougher next week, when Upland takes on Redondo Union. RU finished No. 9 in the CIF-SS Western Division poll last season.
- CF.C staff


Aug 29 12:30 AM
  • OLD COUGS RALLY FOR JEFF FILES
Jeff Keller is a radio talk show host in Los Angeles, Ken Emmil a Ph.D and school administrator, and Cameron Mitchell a superior court judge. But back in the day they shared a common passion. They were part of the first WSU bowl team in 50 years -- the 1981 Holiday Bowl Cougars. And Thursday before the WSU-Rutgers contest, they were among a cadre of old players from that squad who came together at the annual CF.C Seattle tailgate to salute fellow teammate Jeff Files, a Redmond dentist who is battling ALS.

Ken Collins, the old New England Patriot, was there. So was Steve Sebehar, Clete Casper, Ron Claudon, Dave Harrison, Gary Teague, Kevin Sloan, Jeff Poppe, head coach Jim Walden and trainer Mark Smaha. Scott Pelluer, Ed Tingstad, Jack Thompson and others who played for the Cougs before for after 1981 also were there. It was a heart-warming afternoon and evening of friends rejoicing in their crimson bond. And a special shout out to event organizer and griller supreme Rich Howard.
- Pat Mitchell



JEFF FILES, CENTER, SURROUNDED BY OLD FRIENDS.

Aug 26 6:20 PM
  • WHERE TO GATHER BEFORE THE COUGS-RUTGERS KICKOFF
All readers of CF.C are invited to our annual Karlynn "Maw" Howard Memorial Tailgater before the Rutgers game. Beverages, brats and burgers will be served. The location will be at the northeast corner of the intersection of 4th Avenue S. and Royal Brougham (it's a parking lot between Pacific Office Automation and the Salvation Army, basically across from where the 4th Ave. off ramp ends coming off I-90). Royal Brougham is the east-west street that splits between Safeco and The Clink. This is a location change from the previously announced north parking. No north parking lot!

Of special note is that this year's event will serve as an informal reunion of WSU's 1981 Holiday Bowl team, with Dr. Jeff Files, a starting corner on that team, being the guest of honor. Jeff (pictured above breaking up a BYU pass in the '81 Holiday Bowl and below with coach Jim Walden) is battling ALS. He and his wife and kids -- all Cougs -- will be there, as will Walden and many members of that 1981 Cougar team.

The first burger will be served no later than 2:45 p.m. Cougs and Rutgers kick off at 7 p.m.

In case you missed Paul Sorensen’s recent column on Jeff Files, CLICK HERE. It’s a heart-warming read. - Rich Howard


Aug 26 5:22 PM
  • THERE ARE BENEFITS TO MEMBERSHIP
Cougar Athletic Fund members can tour WSU's $61 million Football Operations Building on any Friday evening & Saturday morning of home football games this season, Bill Moos said Monday in the Seattle Times chat room. Membership starts as low as $50 per year. The CAF raises money to cover the annual cost of student-athlete scholarships. In 2013, the CAF raised $5.7 million, Alas, the cost of scholarships totaled $9.4 million, leaving a $3.7 million chasm that had to be filled from the athletic department's operating budget. That puts WSU at a disadvantage compared with the rest of the Pac-12, and it's why CAF membership is so important to the health of Cougar athletics. CLICK HERE to learn more and join the CAF.
- CF.C staff


Aug 26 10:55 AM
  • COUGS VS. COWBOYS IN CACTUS BOWL?
Stewart Mandel, the long-time Sports Illustrated scribe now at Fox Sports, is out with bowl projections today and he has the Cougars ticketed for the Cactus Bowl in Tempe on Jan. 2 against Oklahoma State. He sees the Cougs being the No. 7 team out of the Pac-12 and the Pokes the No. 6 team from the Big. 12. The Cactus Bowl was formerly called the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl. It will be televised on ESPN. CLICK HERE for Mandel's complete bowl run down.
- CF.C staff


Aug 26 8:05 AM
  • MOTUM SIGNED BY JAZZ
Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders tweeted yesterday that former WSU standout Brock Motum has agreed to terms with the Utah Jazz. Pincus believes it's a non-guaranteed camp invite, but didn't know for sure. Motum recently concluded play on the Jazz' summer league team, where he averaged eight points and five rebounds in five games.
- Braulio Perez


Aug 25 6:55 PM
  • THE LATEST TICKET COUNT FOR SEATTLE GAME IS AN EYE OPENER
As of Monday, WSU looks like it's going to need one heck of a closing run when it comes to selling tickets for Thursday night's WSU-Rutgers game at CenturyLink Field in Seattle.

The current sales total is a mere 26,000.

WSU fans attending the Seattle game have always been late to purchase tickets but the current figure and purchasing trends from the past indicate this year's game could wind up setting a new low. CenturyLink Field's capacity is 67,000. The number of tickets sold last year for Stanford was 40,095, the all-time low in the 11-game series.

DISH Network on Friday revealed it will black out the game, with the carrier and Fox Sports 1 locked in a rate dispute. For game tickets, phone (800) GO-COUGS or go to www.wsucougars.com.
- CF.C staff


Aug 25 6:45 PM
  • BAYNES AND THOMPSON IN PRIME FORM ON CUSP OF WORLD CUP
Former Washington State teammates Aron Baynes and Klay Thompson appear to be in prime form as they prepare for their national teams’ opening games Saturday at the World Cup basketball tournament in Spain.

Baynes started at center and led Australia with 17 points, 11 rebounds and three blocked shots Sunday in the Aussies’ final exhibition game, a 73-50 loss to France in Strasbourg, France.

Thompson, who has played well off the bench in all three United States exhibition games, is set to play in the Americans’ final exhibition Tuesday against Slovenia in Gran Canaria, Spain (11 a.m., ESPN2). Thompson, a Golden State Warriors guard, is one of 12 NBA players who make up the U.S. roster.

“It’s a crazy feeling to be able to represent your country,” Thompson said after the U.S. practiced Monday in Gran Canaria. “Twelve out of the whole country is pretty incredible to think about, and it’s a real humbling experience being with all of these stars.

“We are all going to sacrifice something for the common goal, and that’s pretty cool.”

The top-ranked U.S. takes on Finland in a World Cup opener (12;30 p.m., ESPN). In other first-day action Saturday, Australia battles Slovenia and ex-Cougar Thomas Abercrombie’s New Zealand squad faces Turkey.

Abercrombie scored 23 points in a recent exhibition win over a Chinese team. Australia’s Brock Motum, the fourth Cougar playing in the World Cup, came off the bench Sunday to contribute four points, three rebounds and a steal in 11 minutes against France.
- Howie Stalwick


Aug 25 12:30 PM
  • ANOTHER PRESEASON, ANOTHER BROKEN HAND FOR PITOITUA
Tennessee defensive end Ropati Pitoitua broke his left hand during the Titans' preseason game with Atlanta on Saturday. The old Cougar suffered the injury early in the contest, but played through three quarters.

Tennessee coach Ken Whisenhunt says the fifth year player will miss the final preseason contest next weekend but is expected to be ready for their season opener at Kansas City.

The injury was a case of déjà vu for Pitoitua. He broke his right hand in the third preseason game last year, but played in all 16 regular season games for the Titans, registering 91 tackles and a career-best four sacks.
- John C. Witter


Aug 25 11:00 AM
  • HOW MUCH DOES A 'GUARANTEED' WIN COST THE COUGS?
What’s the going rate for a guaranteed win these days in college football? For Washington State, it amounts to half a million dollars.

The Cougars are forking out $500,000 to Portland State, a member of the Football Championship Subdivision (formerly NCAA Division I-AA), to come to Pullman on Sept. 13 for the first game at Martin Stadium this season.

Due to the fact that WSU is 17-0 against current Big Sky teams since losing to Montana in 1947; and Portland State is picked to finish eighth in the Big Sky Conference; and the Vikings lost 48-9 in 2008 in their only previous meeting with the Cougars; a victory over Portland State seems assured.

WSU’s other two nonconference games this season involve bargain-rate payouts of $300,000, but only because identical payments go the other way in the home-and-home arrangements with Rutgers and Nevada.

Rutgers plays WSU on Thursday at Seattle’s CenturyLink Field (7 p.m., FOX Sports 1), and the Cougars head to Nevada on Sept. 6. Washington State visits Rutgers next year, and Nevada comes to Pullman in 2017.
- Howie Stalwick


Aug 23 9:44 AM
  • KLAY THOMPSON MAKES FINAL CUT FOR USA TEAM
USA Basketball announced late Friday night that CouGreat Klay Thompson is one of 12 NBA players who will represent the top-ranked United States at the World Cup, the world championship of men’s basketball. World Cup rosters are limited to 12 players. The final four U.S. cuts were made after a 112-86 exhibition win over Puerto Rico on Friday night at Madison Square Garden in New York.

The Americans are scheduled to fly today to Spain, where the World Cup unfolds Aug. 30-Sept. 14. The U.S. begins group play Aug. 30 against Finland. Thompson, a guard on the Golden State Warriors, has been a key reserve in all three U.S. exhibition games. He has scored in double figures in each of the three wins. On Friday, he scored 12 points (tied for fourth on the team) and tied for game honors with 27 minutes played, four three-pointers and three blocked shots.

Thompson will be joined on the U.S. squad by Golden State teammate Stephen Curry, Chicago’s Derrick Rose, New Orleans’ Anthony Davis, Houston’s James Harden, Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving, Sacramento’s DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay, Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan, Blooklyn’s Mason Plumlee, Detroit’s Andre Drummond and Denver’s Kenneth Faried.

“Since taking over the USA basketball men’s national team program in 2005, this was without doubt the most difficult selection process we’ve been through,” managing director Jerry Colangelo said.

The U.S. plays its fourth and final exhibition game Tuesday against Slovenia in Gran Canaria, Spain (11 a.m., ESPN2). The ESPN family of networks is set to carry all the U.S. games at the World Cup. Three other former WSU players made World Cup rosters: Aron Baynes and Brock Motum with Australia, and Thomas Abercrombie with New Zealand.
- Howie Stalwick


Aug 22 7:52 PM
  • HONORS COMING IN BUNCHES FOR KEITH JACKSON
The three old Cougars who were elected this year to the State of Washington Sports Hall of Fame will be saluted Thursday at CenturyLink Field. Broadcasting legend Keith Jackson, record-shattering quarterback Jack Thompson and hydroplane racing icon Chip Hanauer will be "publicly inducted" to the hall at the WSU-Rutgers game, which kicks off at 7 p.m. Former Indy 500 champion Tom Sneva, a Spokane native and EWU grad, also will be honored.

Jackson is not expected to be on hand at the Clink, but he will be in Pullman in a few weeks for the 60-year reunion of his graduating class and the dedication of the Keith M. Jackson Hall at the Murrow College of Communication. The dedication will take place Sept. 12 and celebrate Jackson's lifetime of influence and contributions to the sports broadcast industry and to WSU. In case you missed it, here's a link to a highly entertaining interview Jackson gave to CF.C earlier this year: The wit and wisdom of Keith Jackson.
- CF.C staff


Aug 22 1:29 PM
  • DISH THREATENING NOT TO BROADCAST LIVE THE WSU OPENER VS. RUTGERS
Tons of WSU fans have switched to DISH over the past two years in order to get the Pac-12 Network and watch all the Cougars games. But now a dispute between DISH and Fox Sports 1 has come to light, one that threatens to keep DISH viewers in the dark for the Cougs' season opener -- and possibly for all WSU and Pac-12 games broadcast on FS1 over the course of the season unless an agreement is reached.

According to DISH: "Now, FOX is demanding we pay them a significant additional charge to carry these events. We are unwilling to pass these costs on to our customers... Below is a schedule of events on FOX Sports 1 that we do not have the rights to air. We will keep this updated so you know what games may not be available."

The schedule on the site contains every college football game FS1 is scheduled to broadcast in Week 1. That would indicate each week DISH would simply update the list to say they're not carrying the games broadcast by FS1 that week.

These disputes are sometimes settled at the last moment, and sometimes they drag on and on. WSU had three games on FS1 in 2013 in the channel's first year. It is unknown how many WSU games will be on FS1 this season because most of the TV selections have yet to be made. We'll keep you updated on anything we learn over the next six days leading up to the opener.
- CF.C staff


Aug 21 7:07 AM
  • KLAY THOMPSON MAY LEARN FRIDAY IF HE'S MADE THE CUT
Klay Thompson may learn as soon as Friday if he will be one of four ex-Washington State basketball players heading to Spain for the World Cup.

U.S. coach Mike Krzyzewski said the next cuts will be announced Friday. Krzyzewski said it is possible the final four players will be cut from the current 16-man roster on Friday. The Americans play an exhibition game that night with Puerto Rico (4 p.m., ESPN2) at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Thompson, a guard with the NBA’s Golden State Warriors, has played well as the first man off the bench in both U.S. exhibition games. He scored 11 points in 14 minutes Wednesday in a 105-62 rout of the Dominican Republic in New York. Earlier, he scored 10 points in 25 minutes in a 95-78 win over Brazil last Friday in Chicago.

On Wednesday, former WSU player Thomas Abercrombie was named to the World Cup roster for New Zealand. Earlier, ex-Cougars Aron Baynes and Brock Motum were tabbed to play for Australia.
- Howie Stalwick


Aug 21 7:01 AM
  • TANIELU ALL-STAR GAME MVP
Former Washington State third baseman Nick Tanielu was named Most Valuable Player at the New York-Penn League All-Star Game on Tuesday night in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Tanielu went 3-for-3 with three singles and an RBI as the starting designated hitter for the North. The game, played before 7,230 fans at MCU Park, was called after nine innings with the score tied at 1-1.

Tanielu, a graduate of Federal Way High School, passed up his senior year at WSU to sign with the Houston Astros after being drafted in the 14th round in June. After 54 games, he’d tied for eighth in the NYP with 38 RBIs, and he’s ninth in hitting at .302.

“Playing every day is a grind, definitely,” Tanielu told MiLB.com. “Seeing good pitchers every day, it’s tough. You have to get mentally ready, physically ready and just out there and play your best.”
- Howie Stalwick


Aug 20 10:51 PM
  • FUTURE COUGAR QB ABOUT TO BECOME AIR KING?
Eric Sondheimer, the long-time prep sports reporter for the Los Angeles Times came out the other day with his list of the high school quarterbacks in Southern California to watch this season. He tabbed 10 players, including future Cougar signal caller Tyler Hilinski, plus another 30 or so who hold intrigue. His comments on Hilinksi were short and sweet: "Washington State commit could lead Southland in passing."
- CF.C staff


Aug 20 10:45 PM
  • TWEET OF THE WEEK AND PHOTO OF THE WEEK
Cougar senior defensive lineman Lyman Faoliu fired up this photo on Twitter the other day featuring head coach Mike Leach with every member of the 2014 Cougs who is of Polynesian descent. With it, he wrote the caption: “Tu Whakamaua Kia Tina! We stand together as ONE!” He also tagged it #Polynesian #Brothas. Besides being a plain ol’ fun picture, it highlights the success Leach and Joe Salavea have had recruiting in Hawaii and American Samoa, where nine of the 14 players pictured are from. - CF.C staff


Aug 20 9:45 AM
  • WSU TICKET UPDATES ON RUTGERS, OREGON, APPLE CUP
Ticket sales are moving briskly for two of the biggest games on the Cougs' 2014 home football schedule. The season opener is a different story.

Washington State announced that only 1,000 tickets are left for the Cougars' Pac-12 opener with third-ranked Oregon on Sept. 20, and the Apple Cup on Nov. 29 against 25th-ranked Washington. The television networks have yet to determine game times for either contest.

Approximately 4,500 tickets remain for the first game at Martin Stadium on Sept. 13 against Portland State (5 p.m., ESPN2).

The Cougars report 25,000 tickets have been sold for the season opener next Thursday against Rutgers in Seattle (7:00 p.m., Fox Sports 1). Sales for WSU’s Seattle “home” games traditionally pick up in the final days before the game.

CenturyLink Field's capacity is 67,000. The number of tickets sold for the last three WSU games in Seattle: 40,095 for Stanford, 60,929 for Oregon and 49,219 for Oregon State. The attendance for the last non-conference opponent the Cougs played in Seattle was 42,912, against Hawaii in 2009.

For tickets, phone (800) GO-COUGS or go to www.wsucougars.com.
- Howie Stalwick


Aug 19 12:09 PM
  • COUGS' XAVIER COOPER NAMED TO LOTT TROPHY WATCH LIST
Washington State football defensive lineman Xavier Cooper has been added to the initial Lott IMPACT Trophy watch list, WSU said in a release.

Named after Pro Football Hall of Fame member, Ronnie Lott, The Lott IMPACT Trophy is awarded to college football's top defensive player who exemplifies the best in character and performance.

Cooper, entering his redshirt-junior campaign for the Cougars, started all 13 games for the Cougar in 2013 and posted 50 tackles -- including a team-high 5 sacks, and 13.5 tackles for loss (9th-best in Pac-12). He also recovered two fumbles and forced two.
- CF.C staff


Aug 19 9:08 AM
  • RUTGERS PLANS ON SHUFFLING IN CORNERBACKS AGAINST WSU IN OPENER
Despite the return of three corners from the injured list, head man Kyle Flood said Justin Goodwin, who moved to corner from running back last week, remains a starter, according to a report in NJ.com. But the starting designation is a mostly nominal title for the opener because multiple cornerbacks will be used to match-up with Washington State's Air Raid offense.

"It really doesn't (matter)," corner Nadir Barnwell said of the starting lineup.

Rutgers will wrap up training camp on Tuesday and then preparation for Washington State commences on Wednesday.
- CF.C staff


Aug 17 9:47 AM
  • BRINK AND BRACK SQUARE OFF IN TIGHT BATTLE
Former Cougar QB Alex Brink, making his first CFL start since 2012, found a familiar face across the line Saturday when his Montreal Alouettes faced the Saskatchewan Roughriders. One of the Roughriders’ biggest stars is former Cougar defensive back Tyron Brackenridge. The two played three seasons together at WSU. Brink started the battle in fine fashion, completing his first five passes, and finished the night going 19-for-31 for 187 yards, no TDs and one interception. He also led Montreal in rushing with 32 yards. Saskatchewan, the reigning Grey Cup champs, prevailed 16-11, dropping Montreal to 1-6 on the season. But Brink’s work earned praise from the Montreal Gazette, which wrote, “Alex Brink might have displayed more potential in 30 minutes than Troy Smith (the previous starter) has shown this season.” Brink, by the way, will be writing his weekly column about the Cougars again this season for Cougfan.com. His first entry will run the Monday following the Cougs’ August 28 season opener against Rutgers.
- CF.C staff


Aug 15 3:18 PM
  • KLAY THOMPSON TO TAKE ANOTHER STEP TOWARD TEAM USA
Former Washington State star Klay Thompson hopes to take one more step toward a berth on the U.S. World Cup basketball team when the national team takes on Brazil on Saturday in an exhibition game at Chicago’s United Center. ESPN televises the game at 6 p.m. PDT. Thompson is one of 16 NBA players fighting for 12 spots on the World Cup roster. The tournament begins Aug. 30 in Spain.

The national team also plays exhibitions against the Dominican Republic next Wednesday and against Puerto Rico next Friday. Both games are set for New York’s Madison Square Garden. Only the Puerto Rico contest will be televised (4 p.m., ESPN2). Thompson, a guard on the Golden State Warriors, started in the national team’s intrasquad game Aug. 1 in Las Vegas. Thompson played 15 minutes and recorded eight points, three rebounds, one assist and one steal.
- Howie Stalwick


Aug 14 1:57 PM
  • HALLIDAY ON MANNING AWARD WATCH LIST
Cougar QB Connor Halliday, already on the Johnny Unitas Award watch list, today was named to the 2014 Manning Award watch list, WSU announced. Like the Unitas Award, the Manning is aimed at recognizing the top quarterback in the country. But there’s a notable difference. The Manning Award also factors in what nominees accomplish in bowl games. Halliday is one of seven Pac-12 quarterbacks included on the list of 32. The winner will be selected by a national media voting panel. The Manning Award was created by the Allstate Sugar Bowl in honor of the college football accomplishments Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning. Halliday started all 13 games for the Cougars last season, setting a school-record with 4,597 passing yards, second-most in Pac-12 Conference history.
- CF.C staff


Aug 13 5:57 PM
  • RUTGERS BEAT WRITER FINDS CRIMSON INSIGHT ONE CUBE OVER!
Long-time Cougfan.com correspondent Braulio Perez started working in Newark, N.J., this week for the Star-Ledger and NJ.com. It’s a fabulous opportunity for a terrific reporter and great guy. And to top it off, he still gets to write in his spare time for CF.C. Taking advantage of the fact their newest reporter spent five years covering Rutgers’ first opponent this season, NJ.com wasted no time pumping Braulio for intelligence on the Cougs. Here’s their recent Q & A with him.
- CF.C staff


Aug 13 5:43 PM
  • USA TODAY LAUDS COUGAR O, CRAPS ON NATIONAL RANK
For a guy with complimentary things to say about Washington State. USA Today’s Paul Myersberg certainly didn’t give the Cougars with a lot of love in his ranking of all 128 teams playing FBS football. While most pundits this off-season have pegged the Cougs somewhere between the mid 40s and mid 50s, Myersberg slots them at No. 61. That’s just ahead of Rice and just behind UT-San Antonio. He writes of the Cougars: “Players like Vince Mayle and Gabe Marks give Washington State arguably the best receiving corps in the Pac-12. And with Connor Halliday throwing, that is a strong combination.” So the purely wild guess here is that he doesn’t much care for the WSU defense. At all.
- CF.C staff


Aug 12 6:45 PM
  • NOW OFFICIAL: FARRAR COMING TO WSU THIS MONTH
WSU made it official today that standout prep defensive back Jeff Farrar, who signed with Virginia this past February but didn't gain admittance this summer, will enroll at WSU this month and become immediately eligible to play football. He had more than a dozen scholarship offers, including one from WSU, in the past recruiting cycle.

Farrar signed a Financial Aid Agreement with the Cougs, Mike Leach announced Tuesday. The 6-1, 195-pounder out of Upland High in Upland, Calif., is listed as a safety but likely to get a first look at corner with the Cougars. He was named an All-Baseline League DB last season after posting 35 tackles and five interceptions. He also played receiver and caught 25 passes for 201 yards. He capped his senior season by playing for the West team in the 2014 Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl in Carson, Calif. He was rated a four-star prospect by ESPN.com and a top 300 recruit during his senior year.
- CF.C staff


Aug 12 12:45 PM
  • BRINK TO MAKE FIRST MONTREAL START ON SATURDAY
Former Washington State quarterback and current Cougfan.com columnist Alex Brink has been anointed the starting QB for the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League, Brink confirmed with CF.C following grapevine reports in the Canadian media. Montreal is off to a 1-5 start this season with Troy Smith at quarterback. Brink will make his first-ever start for the Alouettes – this Saturday at Saskatchewan -- since joining the team last October. It will be his eighth all-time start in the CFL, having helmed seven with Winnipeg between 2010 and 2012. So far this season, Brink has thrown 23 regular-season passes, completing nine for no TDs and no INTs..

Brink will have no shortage of keen quarterback minds to draw from as he prepares for Saturday’s kickoff. Montreal’s offensive coordinator is former Boise State record-setter and CFL vet Ryan Dinwiddie; the quarterbacks coach is former 49ers Pro Bowler Jeff Garcia; and the receivers coach is former Stanford star and NFL journeyman Turk Schonert.
- CF.C staff


Aug 9 8:22 AM
  • TANIELU EARNS ALL-STAR NOD
Former Washington State third baseman Nick Tanielu, enjoying a strong pro debut in the Houston Astros farm system, has been selected to play in the New York-Penn League All-Star Game. The game is scheduled for next Tuesday in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Tanielu ranks sixth in NYP batting at .306 and is tied for fourth in runs batted in with 34 in 46 games. Tanielu plays for the short-season Class A Tri-City ValleyCats in Troy, N.Y., a suburb of the New York capital of Albany.

Houston drafted Tanielu as a second baseman in the 14th round of the June draft. He began the season playing at second, but has since moved to third, his college position.
- Howie Stalwick


Aug 9 8:22 AM
  • WSU OPENING SPOKANE STORE IN SEPTEMBER
Washington State is opening a downtown Spokane store that they say will be a one-stop shop Cougar fans, the Spokesman-Review reports. While the WSU Connections stores in Seattle and Everett offer all kinds of WSU gear, the Spokane store will offer gear, a ticket office, WSU Spokane research information plus donor and alumni relations.

WSU’s real estate office signed a 10-year lease for the store.

University officials have not set a firm opening date, but they hope to open the doors by Sept. 13, coinciding with WSU's home opener against Portland State.
- Howie Stalwick


Aug 7 1:30 PM
  • THE POWER 5 CONFERENCES JUST GOT A LOT MORE POWERFUL
As expected, NCAA Division I board of directors on Thursday voted 16-2 to allow the schools in the top five conferences to write many of their own rules, according to AP and other reports.

The top five conferences, comprising 64 schools, are the Pac-12, SEC, ACC, Big 12 and Big Ten. Notre Dame is also included in the Big 5, putting the number of schools at 65.

The first rules changes are likely to be cost-of-attendance stipends, with estimates ranging from from $2,000 to $5,000, as well as four-year guaranteed scholies, which are currently year-to-year.

Other rules that could be enacted include loosened restrictions on contact between players and agents, letting players pursue outside paid career opportunities, health insurance that extends beyond the playing years and covering expenses for players' families to attend postseason games.

Areas that will not fall under the new Big 5 autonomy umbrella include postseason tournaments, transfer policies, scholarship limits, signing day and rules governing on-field play. But, even that has a caveat. The power conference schools will wield twice as much voting power as any group in a newly formed council that will handle the bulk of the legislation of college sports.

The non-Power 5 conferences are the Mountain West, American, Conference USA, Sun Belt and Mid-American Conference.
- CF.C staff


Aug 5 5:30 PM
  • THREE FUTURE COUGS MAKE SCOUT.COM's "ULTIMATE" TEAMS ...
Scout.com put together recruiting ultimate teams from five different regions in the West based on the camp and combine circuit this spring and summer: the Northwest, Southwest, Mountain/Island, Northern California and Southern California. Three future Cougs made the lists ...

From the Scout.com Ultimate Northern California Team:
DL- Thomas Toki, 6-1, 292, Mountain View (Calif.) St. Francis- Playing his first season in Northern California after moving from Washington, the Washington State commit was excellent on the NFTC circuit this spring in the Golden State.

K- Matt Abramo, 6-2, 170, Petaluma (Calif.) Casa Grande- The Washington State commitment is the top kicker in the West and gives Casa Grande a Pac-12 commitment for the third straight year.

From the Scout.com Ultimate Northwest Team:
ATH- Austin Joyner, 5-10.5, 190, Marysville (Wash.) Pilchuck- May be the best running back in the state of Washington but wants to play cornerback in college, which is what he’ll do at Washington State.
- CF.C staff


Aug 5 2:01 PM
  • AND THE OSCAR GOES TO ...
The award for most unique profile photo by a new Twitter follower of @COUGFANcom goes to the dad of WSU freshman offensive lineman Sean Krepsz. Papa Krepsz, also named Sean, features this shot of himself and youngest son, Kyle, jumping off a pump house on the Colorado River near Blythe, Calif. … .
- CF.C staff



Aug 5 1:55 PM
  • MARTIN STADIUM BRICKS SHAPING UP NICELY
The WSUcougars.com Instagram account is out today with a new look at the bricks ringing the field at Martin Stadium. Talk about an instant touch of classic ... .
- CF.C staff



Aug 4 11:13 PM
  • BIG RAISES FOR LEACH, SALAVE'A
WSU athletic director Bill Moos told the Spokesman-Review at Monday's practice he's amended Mike Leach's contract to raise his annual media compensation from $100,000 per year to $600,000 per year, raising his total guaranteed annual compensation to $2.75 million.

Leach is now the third-highest paid coach* in the Pac-12, behind UCLA's Jim Mora ($3.5 million) and UW's Chris Petersen ($3.25 million). *USC and Stanford are not subject to public records disclosures.

Moos has allocated another $500,000 into the pool for assistant coaching salaries -- $100,000 of which is going to Joe Salave'a. He was initially paid $175,00 to coach the d-line at WSU, and recently signed a personnel action form that will raise his salary to $275,000.

Moos said the raises reflect a desire to keep Leach's compensation near the top of the Pac-12. He also cited offseason attempts by Washington and USC to hire defensive line coach Joe Salave'a away from WSU.
- CF.C staff


Aug 4 9:47 PM
  • RUMOR NO MORE: FIELD TO BE LINED IN BURNT-CRIMSON BRICK
The much-speculated about and widely embraced idea of covering the cement wall that rings the field at Martin Stadium in crimson-hued brick is turning into reality. WSU athletics' official Instagram account fired off this photo earlier today of the installation getting underway.
- CF.C staff



Aug 4 9:45 PM
  • KLAY THOMPSON MAKES 16-MAN CUT
The U.S. men's national team trimmed its roster to 16 on Monday, with Klay Thompson among those still under consideration for the 12-man squad that will play in the World Cup of Basketball later this month in Spain, the Associated Press reported.

Remaining in the roster pool: Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant, Chicago's Derrick Rose, Cleveland's Kyrie Irving, New Orleans' Anthony Davis, Golden State's Stephen Curry and Thompson, Houston's James Harden, Atlanta's Kyle Korver, Sacramento's DeMarcus Cousins, Dallas' Chandler Parsons, Utah's Gordon Hayward, Toronto's DeMar DeRozan, Portland's Damian Lillard, Denver's Kenneth Faried, Detroit's Andre Drummond and Brooklyn's Mason Plumlee. They will report to Chicago for practices that begin Aug. 14.

John Wall, Bradley Beal and Paul Millsap were the three players cut.
- CF.C Staff


Aug 4 3:13 PM
  • LEACH CLASS NOW FEATURES FOUR FOUR-STARS WITH DOMINIC DAVIS' NEW RANKING
Dominic Davis was moved by Scout.com from running back to wide receiver, and receiver is where he'll play his college ball at Washington State. And he also has gone from a three-star ranking to four stars.

Davis, along with Thomas Toki, Kameron Powell and Austin Joyner, are all rated four stars by Scout.

WSU is at No. 36 nationally in the team recruiting rankings.
- Barry Bolton

Aug 4 2:47 PM
  • FORMER COUG MARQUESS WILSON WITH A BIG SETBACK
What was shaping out to be his breakout NFL season has turned upside down for Chicago’s Marquess Wilson. The former Coug — frontrunner for the Bears third receiver spot — fractured his clavicle in practice today.

“I’m extremely disappointed,” Bears coach Marc Trestman told CBSChicago.com. “He was continuing to ascend. That’s football, unfortunately. We’ll pray for his recovery as soon as he can get things done that he needs to get done.”

No timetable has been set for his return, but a similar injury befell Dallas quarterback Tony Romo in late October of 2010 and shelved him for the remainder of the season.

Wilson was injured while diving for a pass in the left corner of the end zone.
- John C. Witter


Aug 4 2:37 PM
  • A GOOD SIGN FOR FORMER COUG QB JEFF TUEL
It was a good sign for former Cougar Jeff Tuel being named the Buffalo's number two QB for Sunday’s Hall of Fame matchup between the Bills and New York Giants and he made the most of the opportunity. The second year player made nice strides in his bid to beat out Thad Lewis for the back-up quarterback spot during the Bills’ 17-13 loss, connecting on 12 of 17 passes for 77 yards and a touchdown—the Bills’ only 6-pointer of the game. He also rushed for 13 yards on a single carry.

And although he did toss an end zone interception, Lewis did as well.

Bills starter EJ Manuel was a disappointing 2 for 7 for 19 yards; Lewis was 10-of-17 for 87 yards, including the aforementioned end zone pick.
- John C. Witter


Aug 4 8:49 AM
  • COUGS BOFFO AT BOX OFFICE
The Washington State Cougars hope to continue making progress on the football field this year, just like they’re continuing to make progress at the ticket windows.

The Cougars reported to CF.C on Sunday that 13,500 football season tickets have been sold. That’s an increase of 1,100 from last season. Martin Stadium figures to be louder than ever with the glitzy new Football Operations Building holding in noise and adding greatly to the visual appeal of the stadium’s west end zone area.

Ticket sales to single games for non-season ticket holders began over the weekend. The Cougars have an attractive home schedule, starting with the Thursday, Sept. 28 season opener versus Rutgers in Seattle. That 7 p.m. contest at CenturyLink Field leads into Labor Day weekend.

WSU’s other six home dates are Saturday games in Pullman. Opponents include Portland State on Sept. 13, Oregon on Sept. 20, California on Oct. 4, Arizona on Oct. 25, USC on Nov. 1 and Washington on Sept. 29. The only game time announced thus far is 5 p.m. for Portland State.

To purchase tickets, phone (800) GO-COUGS or go to www.wsucougars.com.
- Howie Stalwick


Aug 3 2:49 PM
  • CHEF NEUHEISEL FETES CONNOR HALLIDAY
Rick Neuheisel could be singularly responsible for Connor Halliday finally eclipsing the 200-pound mark. It was a food-fest when the Cougar quarterback traveled to Los Angeles to tape a segment for Neuheisel’s “Under Center” series on the Pac-12 Networks. Bud Withers captured all the calories and a whole lot more in a compelling feature story on Halliday today in the Seattle Times.

“Two double-doubles and animal-style fries to start out the trip,” Halliday told Withers about Neuheisel’s first stop, at In-N-Out Burger, after touching down at LAX. “How do you get better than that?” CLICK HERE to read the full story.
- CF.C staff


Aug 1 2:00 PM
  • KLAY THOMPSON IN INTRASQUAD GAME TONIGHT ON ESPN
Former Washington State standout Klay Thompson continues his bid for a spot on the U.S. national men's basketball team when five days of training in Las Vegas concludes with a nationally televised intrasquad game tonight at the Thomas & Mack Center (ESPN, 6 p.m. PT).

Ten NBA players will suit up for each team (Brooklyn forward Mason Plumlee was added to the preliminary national team roster Thursday). Thompson, a Golden State guard, plays on the White team with players like Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant, Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving and Portland’s Damian Lillard.

The Blue squad features Stephen Curry, Thompson’s backcourt partner on Golden State, as well as Chicago’s Derrick Rose, Washington’s John Wall and New Orleans’ Anthony Davis.

National team managing director Jerry Colangelo said the roster will likely be trimmed to 15 after the intrasquad game. Only 12 players will represent the U.S. at the World Cup in Spain, which starts Aug. 30.
-Howie Stalwick


Aug 1 8:11 AM
  • COUG WR LOFTUS ARRESTED
Cougar walk on wide receiver Drew Loftus was arrested for assault by Pullman police early Thursday morning, according to the police log. Loftus and another player were upset at being videotaped while at nearby Stubblefield's bar because they were not supposed to be in the bar, according to the Spokesman Review. Once outside a victim claims that he was punched by Loftus, who then ran off.

Loftus was a favorite target of Connor Halliday's this spring and took advantage of injuries to other wideouts to put himself into the mix this fall camp. He wasn't listed on the depth chart that came out this week but the Cougs are very deep there, the chart didn't list several other receivers and it was put together long before the incident so Loftus' not being listed has nothing to do with the incident.

However, it's not the first time Loftus has been in trouble. He was booted from the program by Mike Leach in the spring of 2013 following his arrest for trying to steal two bottles of tequila at Dissmores. He was later let back onto the team. In 2011 Loftus was arrested on suspicion of car prowling according to the Tri-City Herald.
-Cougfan.com Staff


July 31 2:22 PM
  • TAYLOR ROCHESTIE RETURNING TO RUSSIA
Taylor Rochestie loved growing up in sunny Southern California, but he seems to have warmed up to chilly Russian winters.

Eurobasket.com reported that Rochestie, a former Washington State point guard, will return for a second season in Nizhny Novgorod in Russia’s top pro basketball league.

Rochestie helped lead Nizhny Novgorod to the VTB United League finals before losing to CSKA. He averaged 14.6 points and more than four assists per game and hit 43.1 percent of his 3-pointers.

Rochestie began the season in Italy, one of six European countries his teams have been based in during his five-year pro career.
-Howie Stalwick


July 31 1:59 PM
  • WSU HOOPS: KOPRIVICA AND WOODLEY TEAMING UP AGAIN
Matt Woodley and Nik Koprivica are adding a splash of Cougar crimson to the Midwest.

Woodley and Koprivica, whose tours of duty at Washington State included the 2008 run to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA basketball tournament, are teaming up again at Truman State University in Kirksville, Mo.

Woodley, entering his fourth season as Truman’s head coach, has hired Koprivica as an assistant coach. Woodley was an assistant coach at WSU under Tony Bennett when Koprivica played for the Cougars.

“I consider Nik family,” Woodley said in a Truman news release. “He has a great understanding of the game of basketball, and his personality will allow him to develop great relationships with our players.”

Koprivica played professionally in his native Serbia and in Greece after graduating from WSU in 2010. He has been working as an assistant coach with a Serbian pro team. Truman, an NCAA Division II team, returns three starters off a 20-7 team.
-Howie Stalwick


July 31 1:57 PM
  • WSU BASEBALLER TAM SING GOES PRO
Undrafted free agent Trace Tam Sing has become the fifth member of the 2014 Washington State baseball team to turn pro.

Tam Sing went 1-for-3 with a double and two errors in his debut Sunday with the Jamestown (N.Y.) Jammers. The Jammers, a short-season Class A team, are the New York-Penn League farm club of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Tam Sing, WSU’s starting shortstop, was a redshirt junior. This year, he hit .238 with two home runs, 10 runs batted in and 16 errors in 49 games.
-Howie Stalwick


July 31 1:56 PM
  • EX-COUG DOCKERY NOW OFFICIALLY A BEAV
Former WSU CB/WR Rahmel Dockery received clearance from Oregon State just minutes ago. He will show up on Oregon State's roster as a wide receiver, 5-10, 192, Jr., TR, Tacoma (Curtis/Washington State).

Dockery came to WSU as a wide receiver before being converted to a cornerback in 2012. He left WSU in August of 2013 after expressing frustration with his move to cornerback at WSU and expressed a desire to move back to wide receiver, where he starred in high school.
- Barry Bolton

July 30 4:02 PM
  • BSU RUNNING BACK NO LONGER COMING TO WSU
Aaron Baltazar signed a financial aid agreement back in April to join the Washington State football program but a source tells CF.C he is no longer coming to Pullman. Baltazar did not immediately return messages left by CF.C.

Baltazar, 5-10, 215, would have sad to sit out the 2014 season at Washington State per NCAA transfer rules after playing at Boise State in 2013 as a freshman.

In five games, he rushed for 234 yards and two touchdowns on 50 carries, caught five passes for 19 yards and returned one kickoff for 24 yards before suffering a season-ending knee injury.
- Barry Bolton

July 30 9:22 AM
  • HALLIDAY NAMED TO JOHNNY UNITAS WATCH LIST
Connor Halliday has been added to the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Watch List, it was announced by the Golden Arm Foundation of Baltimore.

The Golden Arm Award is presented annually to the top senior quarterback, taking into account performance, character, citizenship, integrity and those who honor the game.

Halliday threw for a school-record 4,597 yards last season, (just behind the new Pac-12 record of 4,662 yards thrown by OSU's Sean Mannion in 2013.) Halliday tossed 34 TDs against 22 interceptions with a QB rating of 126.5.
- Barry Bolton

July 30 9:22 AM
  • FORMER WSU WALK ON GRADY ANDERSON PROMOTED BY LEACH
Gordy Anderson, a one-time WSU walk-on QB and tight end who became a student assistant to Mike Leach in 2012 when injury ended his playing career, was recently hired by Leach as a paid offensive assistant. “The duties are about the same as a graduate assistant,” Anderson tells CF.C.

Speaking of graduate assistants, the Cougs return four from last season — Kevin Freitag (offense), David Lose (defense), Mike Bethea (defense) and Chris Keagle (special teams). The lone newbie to the GA staff this season is Chris Reinert, who comes to WSU from UCLA. He will work mostly with the safeties.

If you’re wondering where Graham Harrell, the former Green Bay Packer and Texas Tech All-American, fits into the puzzle, his title is offensive analyst. In that role, which he assumed this past spring, he assists the Cougar offense with film breakdown, player evaluations and game planning.
- Barry Bolton

July 29 2:21 PM
  • NCAA SETTLE CLASS ACTION CONCUSSION LAWSUIT
The NCAA reached a settlement in a class-action head-injury lawsuit after nearly a year of talks, the Associated Press and others reported. The NCAA agreed Tuesday to create a $70 million fund to test current and former athletes for brain injuries. It will also establish a common return-to-play policy all schools must follow. And it agrees to mandate baseline neurological tests for athletes to help determine the severity of any concussion during the season.

There was no lump sum set aside to pay damages to athletes who have suffered debilitating head injuries. However, plaintiffs' lawyers reserve the right to sue for damages on behalf of individual athletes.

The settlement still needs to be approved by a federal judge, who will hear from former athletes.
- Barry Bolton

July 28 2:41 PM
  • FORMER COUG BRACKENRIDGE ALL OVER THE PLACE
In CFL action, defensive back Tyron Brackenridge contributed mightily to Saskatchewan’s 39-7 victory against Toronto Saturday night. The Wazzu great returned an interception 42 yards to set up the Roughriders first touchdown. He also recorded five tackles and a sack.

It was his second interception of the young season, tying him for best in the league.
-John Witter


July 28 1:53 PM
  • FORMER COUG WILSON GETS FIRST TEAM REPS WITH BEARS
Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler has enjoyed throwing to a taller group of receivers this training camp, the official Bears site reports. One of those skyscrapers is 6-4 Marquess Wilson.

The 2013 seventh-round draft pick from Washington State has had an impressive camp and is a leading candidate to be the Bears’ No. 3 receiver this season, chicagobears.com reports.

“He’s doing a great job,” Cutler said. “We’re asking him to do a lot. With some guys going down periodically, he’s got to know a lot of positions. He’s got to go with the ones, he’s got to go with the twos, so I think he’s done a really good job of getting in shape."
- Barry Bolton

July 28 9:00 AM
  • KLAY THOMPSON, U.S. START COMPETITION MONDAY
Former Washington State star Klay Thompson and 18 other NBA players vie for spots on the U.S. national team this week in Las Vegas. Practices will be held Monday through Thursday before the tryouts conclude Friday with an intrasquad game.

The U.S. opens World Cup play Aug. 30 in Spain. Two former WSU players, center Aron Baynes and forward Brock Motum, survived the final cut for the Australian team. Swingman Thomas Abercrombie, another WSU product, is expected to play for New Zealand.

Thompson, a 6-foot-7 guard, has been a force with Golden State since the Warriors drafted him 11th overall in 2011. Last season, Thompson averaged a career-high 18.4 points per game.

Thompson has been the subject of trade rumors connected with Minnesota Timberwolves standout Kevin Love. The Cleveland Cavaliers and other teams also have shown interest in Love, who has decided not to play for the national team. Another gifted forward, Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers, also turned down an invitation.

Baynes played for the NBA-champion San Antonio Spurs last season. Motum turned pro in Italy. Abercrombie played in Australia’s pro league.
-Howie Stalwick


July 27 4:22 PM
  • LEACH ONLY ONE TO OFFER BOTH ST. BROWNS
Mike Leach is the only coach to have offered a pair of brothers: Class of 2015 WR Equanimeous St. Brown and Class of 2017 RB Osiris St. Brown, notes Sports Illustrated.

Equanimeous is the No. 9 wideout prospect in the nation according to Scout.com. While has said he doesn't have a leader, his mom, notes SI, wants him to sign with Stanford.
- Barry Bolton

July 26 1:01 AM
  • SINGLETON UPDATE
Incoming Cougar defensive back Deion Singleton is now listed on the official WSU site's roster -- but he's not officially in just yet.

His brother Lionel told CF.C on Saturday that Deion is not yet at WSU and is waiting for clearance on his summer school courses from the NCAA. Lionel expected that clearance would come sometime next week. Fall camp starts on Saturday, Aug. 2.

While he's listed on the WSU roster, Singleton is not yet in the wsu.edu student directory, which tends to be an accurate gauge of whether an incoming Cougar has had all his paperwork go through and has joined the program. Barry Ware, who is also now listed on the official roster, is not yet listed in the wsu.edu student directory.

Singleton and Ware are the only two members of the class who have yet to be listed in the WSU database. This time on Friday, however, is expected to tell a different story.
-Cougfan.com Staff


July 25 2:59 PM
  • WASHINGTON STATE FALL CAMP BEGINS AUG. 2
Washington State football will kick off fall camp on Saturday, Aug. 2 at Sacajawea Middle School in Lewiston, Idaho.

Times, nor the remaining dates for fall camp, have not yet been set but the Cougars will practice in Lewiston from Aug. 2-13, then return to Pullman for the remainder of camp.
- Barry Bolton

July 25 12:43 PM
  • COUGS' COEN NAMED TO POLYNESIAN PLAYER OF THE YEAR WATCH LIST
Washington State senior linebacker Cyrus Coen has been named to the inaugural Polynesian College Football Player of the Year Award watch list, WSU SID said in a release on Friday.

Coen appeared in all 11 games last season, starting 10, and posted 60 tackles, fourth-most on the team. The Pearl City, Hawaii native also recorded 6.5 tackles-for-loss and tallied six special teams tackles, all on kickoff coverage. In his three seasons with the Cougars, Coen has played in 35 games, made 22 starts, racked up 129 tackles including 19.5 tackles-for-loss and grabbed three interceptions.

The winner of the 2014 Polynesian College Football Player of the Year will be announced on December 9, 2014. Five finalists will be unveiled November 20. The 40 candidates on the watch list have been selected based on past performance and future potential. The finalists and the winner will be chosen by the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee, which is composed of past college football head coaches Dick Tomey (Chairman), LaVell Edwards and Ron McBride, ESPN SportsCenter anchor Neil Everett, NFL player personnel expert Gil Brandt, past NFLPA president and Inaugural Inductee Kevin Mawae and Hawai’i sportscaster Robert Kekaula.
-Barry Bolton


July 24 3:02 PM
  • JEFF TUEL GETTING SECOND-TEAM REPS IN EARLY STAGES OF BILLS' TRAINING CAMP
Jeff Tuel continues to be a revelation, writes Pro Player Insider, in going from an unheralded, undrafted free-agent from Washington State to getting a start against the Kansas City Chiefs last season. And his rise doesn't seem to have hit its high point.

“We have a battle for the second team quarterback,” Bill head man Doug Marrone told PPI. “We’re trying to find out who it’s going to be and Jeff did a nice job in OTAs and he’s earned himself some more reps.”

Tuel has shown a great release, underrated arm, and has packed on more muscle this offseason, according to WGR’s 550 Joe Buscaglia, who cites Tuel's the prototypical frame and the team's belief in him as a long-term option as a backup quarterback.
-John Witter


July 23 9:30 PM
  • BRUGGMAN INDEED MOVING TO LOUISVILLE
As expected, former Washington State quarterback Tyler Bruggman is headed to Louisville. He recently told CF.C that was his likely landing spot and late today InsidetheVille.com reported that he is indeed joining head coach Bobby Petrino's team. He won't be eligible to play this season per NCAA transfer rules. Bruggman redshirted at WSU last season as a true freshman and this year was expected to battle Luke Falk for the No. 2 QB spot behind Connor Halliday.
-CF.C staff


July 23 12:13 PM
  • PAC-12 TEAMS' WHITE HELMETS... FOR DISPLAY PURPOSES ONLY?
The Pac-12 had on display 12 white helmets at Media Day for all 12 teams – all featured an all-white base with grey lettering/logos. But there is a report that these helmets will not be seen in a single game.

"They were for display only – and will never be used in any games by any of the 12 programs," reports Matt Lombardi of College Spun.

WSU is still expected to unveil a white helmet at some point this season, but apparently not exactly like the one pictured today at Pac-12 media day.
-Barry Bolton


July 23 11:36 AM
  • SCOTT NOT OPTIMISTIC FOR DIRECTV DEAL
Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said on Wednesday that he was "not optimistic" that DirecTV would pick up the Pac-12 Networks for this fall's football season, the LA Times reported.

"We continue to have discussions with DirecTV," Scott said. "Sitting here today, (I'm) not optimistic about those discussions. We continue to ask them to provide it to the many Pac-12 fans."

Scott made the comment after addressing media during Wednesday's Pac-12 media day.

Last year, the Cougs played four games on the Pac-12 Nets. Two years ago, the Cougs played half their schedule -- 6 games -- on the network.

  • For anyone who will be switching to DISH in order to get the Pac-12 Networks: A reminder not to leave money on the table. Check with your friends and family who have Dish and have them give you a referral -- both you and they will receive an extra $50 discount, in addition to all the other discounts/deals for new customers. (And if you don't know anyone who has Dish, shoot us an email either on the CF.C forums through your Inbox in the upper right of the page, or by clicking HERE, and we'll get you someone who does so you and they can save the extra $50.)
    -Barry Bolton


  • July 23 11:18 AM
    • WHITE WSU HELMET SPOTTED AT PAC-12 MEDIA DAY
    Cougar linebacker Darryl Monroe tweeted a photo of a white Cougar helmet at Pac-12 Media Day.

    Cougfan.com published this story back in June: WSU HELMETS: Is white the new black?
    -Barry Bolton


    July 23 10:20 AM
    • PAC-12 COMMISH CONFIDENT BIG 5 WILL GET MORE FREEDOM
    Pac-12 Larry Scott says he's confident that the Power 5 conferences will get "the autonomy and flexibility we’ve been asking for" to make rules on their own.

    Some of those changes would likely be sweeping changes such as increasing the value of scholarships to meet the full cost of attendance, a recruiting rules overhauling recruiting rules and changing the way they investigate and punish schools that break rules.
    -Barry Bolton


    July 23 9:01 AM
    • COUGS PICKED TO FINISH FIFTH IN PAC-12 NORTH BY MEDIA
    In a preseason poll of media members who cover the league, Washington State was picked to finish fifth in the Pac-12 North.

    Oregon was first in the North, followed by Stanford, UW, OSU, Washington State and Cal. Oregon was the pick to win the conference over UCLA, who finished first in the poll in the South Division.

    The media poll has correctly selected the Conference Champion in 28 of 53 previous polls, including 11 of the last 14.
    -Barry Bolton


    July 22 2:41 PM
    • WSU OPPONENT NEVADA PICKS UP SOME FIRST-PLACE VOTES
    Someone thinks Nevada, whom the Cougs play early in the season, is going places in 2014. Nevada captured three first-place votes in polling from Mountain West media members for the 2014 West Division title of the MWC.

    Defending conference champion Fresno State edged San Diego State with 15 first-place votes and 174 points in the West. San Diego State also received 15 first-place votes but 172 total points. Nevada was third with the three first-place votes and 130 points.

    WSU travels to Reno in Week 2 for a Friday night tilt (ESPN, 7:30 p.m.)
    -Barry Bolton


    July 22 2:40 PM
    • TWO FORMER WSU PLAYERS ON AUSTRALIA'S NATIONAL TEAM ROSTER
    Former Washington State center Aron Baynes, a reserve on San Antonio’s NBA champions this season, has been added to the Australian national team roster. Forward Brock Motum was named to the team earlier. The updated roster now includes 17 players. Cuts may be made before the World Cup begins Aug. 30 in Spain.

    Former WSU guards Klay Thompson (United States) and Thomas Abercrombie (New Zealand) are also bidding for World Cup spots.

    Motum and two other former Washington State players, forward D.J. Shelton and guard Josh Akognon, just finished play in the NBA’s Las Vegas Summer League.

    Motum averaged 8.0 points, 4.6 rebounds and 17.2 minutes in five games with Utah. He shot 62.1 percent from the floor (18 for 29). Motum has been invited to the Utah Jazz training camp.

    Shelton averaged 2.4 points, 1.6 rebounds and 6.6 minutes in five games with Atlanta. Akognon struggled uncharacteristically from 3-point range (1 for 10) and averaged 5.7 points and 0.7 assists in three games with the NBA Development League Select.
    -Howie Stalwick


    July 22 9:07 AM
    • RYPIEN GETS HOT ON THE GOLF COURSE
    Former Washington State quarterback Mark Rypien took home the $125,000 first prize Sunday at the American Century Celebrity Golf Championship in Stateline, Nev.

    Rypien, 51, shot 5-under-par over the final nine holes for a 54-hole total of 76 points in the modified Stableford scoring system. Former National Hockey League star Jeremy Roenick and ex-LPGA standout Annika Sorenstam tied for second at 35.

    Rypien, who won the first American Century tournament in 1990, came in second the past two years. Lightning storms delayed play more than three hours Sunday, which Rypien said gave him an advantage. at the Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course.

    “I’m accustomed to playing in inclement weather with golf and football and then that was the way it was today,” said Rypien, the 1992 Super Bowl Most Valuable Player with the Washington Redskins. “It was kind of uncomfortable for everybody, but I felt fine.”
    -Howie Stalwick


    July 21 2:07 PM
    • MARKS NAMED TO WATCH LIST
    Washington State wide receiver Gabe Marks was named to the 2014 College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) Wide Receiver Trophy watch list, WSU said in a release today.

    Marks, a junior, is one of nine Pac-12 receivers included on the 40-member list. The winner will be announced January 14, 2015.

    Marks appeared in all 13 games last season, posting team-highs of 74 receptions and 807 yards while tying for the team-lead with seven touchdown catches. The Los Angeles native’s 74 catches were tied with Nakoa McElrath ('01) for second-most in WSU single-season history, behind Marquess Wilson (82, 2011).
    Barry Bolton


    July 20 3:31 PM
    • BIG CHANGES COMING TO NCAA?
    The NCAA's board of directors will vote Aug. 7 on a modified proposal to change how the governing body works, the Associated Press reports.

    If approved, athletic administrators and the biggest schools would play a bigger role in rule-making. The proposal would create a 24-member board, run primarily by presidents, to ensure the principles of college sports are enforced. But the rule-making aspect would be delegated to a new council composed primarily of athletic directors.

    Those from the five biggest conferences would have more voting power than the other five FBS football leagues. Some rules may apply only to the five major conferences. Student-athletes would also be on both committees.


    July 19 12:31 PM
    • MOTUM IMPRESSIVE COMING OFF THE JAZZ BENCH
    It’s an uphill climb for a free agent to make an NBA club through the NBA summer league. But Brock Motum is making things interesting for the Utah Jazz.

    Motum tallied 14 points on 6 of 8 shooting off the bench, along with eight rebounds, in an 86-77 loss to San Antonio on Thursday.

    Motum seems to feel at home in new Jazz coach Quinn Snyder’s system -- a quick, wide open offense that looks to cram multiple shooters into the post.

    With the NBA summer league coming to a close, Motum will leave for Australia on Sunday to begin training with the Aussie national team for the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain.


    July 18 3:38 PM
    • HALLIDAY ON DAVEY O'BRIEN AWARD WATCH LIST
    Washington State quarterback Connor Halliday has been named to the 2014 Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award Watch List, one of eight Pac-12 quarterbacks included in the list of 39 QBs.

    The Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award is presented annually to the nation’s best college quarterback and is the oldest and most prestigious national quarterback award.

    Halliday started all 13 games for the Cougars last season, setting a school-record with 4,597 passing yards, second-most in Pac-12 Conference history. The Spokane, Wash. native also set school records for pass completions (449), pass attempts (714) and tied the school record with 34 touchdown passes.


    July 17 4:27 PM
    • FORMER COUG RB JAMES MONTGOMERY ON THE SIDELINES WITH SEARS AT SAC STATE
    James Montgomery had his playing career shortened by a seemingly small injury that turned horrific. His coaching career, however, looks to have just begun. Montgomery has joined the staff at Sacramento State as an offensive assistant under Jody Sears, (who served as co-defensive coordinator at WSU under Paul Wulff.) Montgomery will assist the offensive staff while primarily working with the running backs.

    Montgomery, a Parade Magazine All-American out of Rancho Cordova, Calif., transferred from Cal to WSU in 2008 with three to play two. But after sitting out a season due to transfer rules, he suffered acute compartment syndrome against SMU just three games into his WSU career. Emergency surgery several hours later saved both his leg and his life. But a foot-long piece of muscle was removed from his leg. Against the odds, Montgomery returned to the field and rushed for 483 yards his senior season (4.0 ypc).

    After his Cougar career came to a close, Montgomery took an assistant coaching job at Del Campo High in Sacramento. In 2013, he joined Sears at Weber State, where he was a quality control coach on Sears' staff.


    July 16 11:56 AM
    • HALLIDAY ON PAC 12 NETWORKS WITH NEUHEISEL TONIGHT
    Connor Halliday will be featured tonight at 7:30 p.m. PT on the Pac-12 Networks' program, Under Center with Rick Neuheisel.

    In the 30-minute episodes, Neuheisel takes Pac-12 quarterbacks into ‘The Dungeon' for film study while outside the film room, discusses their intangibles and leadership traits.


    July 16 9:43 AM
    • INCOMING COUG NAMNED TO WOMEN'S U18 GREECE NATIONAL TEAM
    Incoming Cougar freshman Pinelopi Pavlopoulou has been selected to play for the Under-18 Greece National Team this month. The U18 European Championship will be held July 17-27 in Matosinhos, Portugal. Greece will play Belgium July 17, Lithuania July 18 and Serbia July 19. The top three teams in each of the four groups advance to the next round.

    Pavlopoulou, out of Athens, Greece, has international experience, playing for the U16 Greece National Team in 2011 and 2012. She posted team-highs of 9.4 ppg, 2.6 apg and 1.9 spg while earning MVP honors of the U16 tournament in 2012. The 5-8 point guard also played for the U18 and U20 teams last summer. Pavlopoulou will arrive in Pullman to begin her Cougar career in August.


    July 15 10:47 PM
    • COUGS' ALLISON NOMINATED TO AFCA GOOD WORKS TEAM A
    Cougar linebacker Jeremiah Allison is a nominee for the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Good Works Team, WSU said in a release.

    The award recognizes players whose charitable involvement and community service contributions stand out among all other student-athletes participating in the sport. Allison, a rising junior on the field this past spring, has been involved with many community service projects in and around Pullman, assisting in Habitat for Humanity, the Washington State Athletics Reading Buddies with local elementary schools, Sr. Buddies at the local retirement home, a Special Olympics basketball tournament and Butch’s Holiday Bash for local children. The Los Angeles native has also helped out with National Women In Sports Day and is a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee for football.

    Comprised of 11 players from the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision and 11 players from the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision, Divisions II, III and the NAIA, the final roster of 22 award recipients will be unveiled in September.


    July 15 11:07 AM
    • AN INCREASED PRESENCE FOR COUGS IN EVERETT
    Robbie Tobeck, arguably the greatest Cougar center this side of Mel Hein, will throw out the first pitch at 4 p.m. on Sunday, July 27th at Everett Memorial Stadium when the Everett AquaSox host the Tri-City Dust Devils.

    To take in the July 27 game, CougFans can join hundreds of fellow Cougs by ordering tickets: HERE

    WSU offers four year degree programs in Engineering at the Everett University Center and WSU's School of Hospitality Business Management and Communications will open this fall. In addition, funds have already been appropriated to start building a 95,000 square foot facility to house even more degree offerings from WSU.


    July 14 9:01 PM
    • HALLIDAY PREDICTED TO SET ALL-TIME SINGLE SEASON PAC-12 PASSING RECORD
    Connor Halliday came close to setting the all-time Pac-12 single season passing record in 2013. Bleacher Report predicts he'll break it in 2014.

    Bleacher Report projects Halliday will pass for 4,750 yards, 39 TDs and 17 INT in 2014. The all-time passing yards mark held by Sean Mannion is 4,662. The 39 TDs would tie the single season career mark in the Pac-12, held by Matt Barkeley.


    July 14 4:55 PM
    • HELLO CACTUS BOWL, SPONSORED BY... AN ORGANIZATION TO BE NAMED LATER
    The postseason college-football game played in Tempe has been renamed the Cactus Bowl, according to a release by the Valley of the Sun Bowl Foundation, which owns the game. The bowl game, scheduled for Jan. 2, 2015, is the seventh of seven Pac-12 bowl tie-ins, matching up against a Bog-12 team.

    But the organization has not yet named a new sponsor to take the place of Buffalo Wild Wings, which had sponsored the bowl since 2012.

    Before Buffalo Wild Wings, the game was known as the Insight Bowl (2001-11). Earlier, when the game was based in Tucson, it was called the Copper Bowl.


    July 14 11:05 AM
    • PAC-12 MEDIA DAY BROADCAST INFO
    The Pac-12 Networks will cover the two-day media event, July 23 and 24 from 9:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. PT.

    Don't have the Pac-12 Networks? No problem. Both days will be available for viewing live on Pac-12.com without authentication, the Pac-12 said in a release.

    Mike Leach's interview is scheduled for the first day of the event on Wednesday. The interviews with the two Cougar players accompanying Leach, Connor Halliday and Darryl Monroe, are also slated for the first day.

    With the 12 Conference programs rotating through media rounds over two days, each day will offer a comprehensive look at each team.


    July 14 10:14 AM
    • KLAY THOMPSON NAMED TO TEAM USA
    Former Cougar star Klay Thompson has been selected as part of Team USA's 19-man roster for the FIBA World Cup to be held in Spain in six weeks.

    The players will participate in a Las Vegas training camp from July 28-August 1, and then 12 will be selected for the FIBA World Cup, held from August 30 - September 14.

    Thompson is no stranger to national teams. He was part of the 2012 USA Select Team that trained against the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team and helped lead the FIBA U19 Championships in 2009 to the gold medal.


    July 11 9:50 AM
    • COUGAR WR GETS PROBATION
    Wideout Gabe Marks, Washington State’s leading receiver last season, was ordered to undergo 18 months of supervised probation after he pled guilty to second-degree criminal trespassing and a minor exhibiting signs of alcohol use Thursday in Whitman County District Court in Pullman.

    Charges of fourth-degree assault and a minor frequenting a tavern were dismissed.

    Marks, who caught 74 passes for 807 yards and seven touchdowns in 2013, was arrested after a February incident at Stubblefields, a popular bar with WSU students. Police claimed Marks was heavily intoxicated and punched a male Stubblefields employee.

    It is standard policy for the WSU football team to keep any disciplinary measures private.


    July 10 3:19 PM
    • BROCK MOTUM WILL PLAY IN FIBA WORLD CUP
    Former Washington State basketball star Brock Motum has been named to Australia’s national team, which competes in the FIBA World Cup (formerly the FIBA World Championship), scheduled Aug. 30-Sept. 14 in Spain.

    Two other former Cougars, Klay Thompson of the United States and Thomas Abercrombie of New Zealand, have been invited to try out for their respective World Cup teams. Thompson stars for the NBA’s Golden State Warriors. Abercrombie played in Australia’s top pro league last season.

    Former Cougars center Aron Baynes is not listed on Australia’s national team roster. Baynes, who has played on the team in the past, was a reserve on San Antonio’s NBA champions this year, playing in 69 contests and averaging 9.2 minutes per game.

    Spurs guard Patty Mills tweeted Wednesday that he and Baynes will bring the NBA championship trophy home to Australia. Mills won’t play for the national team due to a shoulder injury.

    Motum turned pro in Italy’s top league last season after leading the Pac-12 Conference in scoring his final two years at WSU. Motum has been added to the Utah Jazz roster for the NBA’s Las Vegas Summer League, which runs Monday through July 21. Former Cougs D.J. Shelton (Atlanta) and Josh Akognon (NBA Development League Select team) are also set to play in Las Vegas.

    Former WSU guard Xavier Thames completed play in the NBA’s Orlando Summer League on Wednesday. He averaged 3.3 points, 2.8 assists and 2.0 steals in four games with Brooklyn. Thames shot just 5 for 21 from the field (23.8 percent), including 0 for 5 on 3-pointers. The Nets acquired Thames, who played for San Diego State the past three seasons, after Toronto drafted him in the second round last month.


    July 9 6:14 PM
    • NCAA's EMMERT NOW ADVOCATING "SCHOLARSHIPS FOR LIFE"
    NCAA president Mark Emmert said Wednesday college athletes should receive "scholarships for life," according to an Associate Press report. Emmert, testifying in Washington D.C., also told a Senate panel Wednesday that scholarships should cover the full cost of attending college, not just the basics.

    Emmert listed several other changes he favors in testimony before the Senate Commerce Committee, including better health, safety and insurance protocols and that universities must confront what he called the "national crisis" of sexual assault.

    The hearing comes as the NCAA faces pressure from multiple fronts to reform how athletes are treated and compensated.

    Emmert added that he feels college sports "works extremely well for the vast majority" and the overall current model of amateurism should be preserved.

    Emmert took a shellacking at times in the hearing. In one exchange, Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill said to Emmert, "I can't tell whether you're in charge or whether you're a minion..."If you're merely a monetary pass-through, why should you even exist?"

    After the hearing, Emmert deflected questions from reporters while being led to a freight elevator to leave the building.


    July 9 2:53 PM
    • NO CHARGES WILL BE FILED AGAINST COUGAR BUCK LINEBACKER
    A spokesperson for the Whitman County Prosecutor’s Office said Wednesday that no charges will be filed against Washington State BUCK linebacker Ivan McLennan for allegedly pointing a firearm with nonlethal pellets at another student last month.

    Pullman Police cited McLennan with a gross misdemeanor after police had warned McLennan previously about playing with the guns in public.

    McLennan redshirted last season after transferring from El Camino College, a junior college in Torrance, Calif. The junior is battling with Kache Palacio for the starting BUCK linebacker job.


    July 9 2:00 PM
    • ALEX BRINK STILL IN THE GAME
    All-time Washington State passing leader Alex Brink has revived his pro football career – in a manner of speaking – with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League.

    Brink, who did not land a contract last season after three seasons of sporadic duty with the CFL’s Winnipeg Blue Bombers, is listed as Montreal’s No. 3 quarterback and has not seen action in the first two games. Former Ohio State star Troy Smith is the Montreal starter. Brink wrote a highly well-received weekly column for Cougfan.com last season.

    Former Cougar defensive back Tyron Brackenridge has recorded seven tackles and an interception in Saskatchewan’s first two games. Brackenridge, who spent four seasons in the NFL with Kansas City and Jacksonville before joining the Roughriders in 2011, helped Saskatchewan (based in Saskatoon) win the CFL championship last season.

    Former WSU linebacker Alex Hoffman-Ellis, who suffered a high ankle injury in British Columbia’s final exhibition game, has yet to see action as a CFL rookie. A Lions spokesman said Hoffman-Ellis is expected to remain out of action for some time.

    Rookie offensive lineman Rico Forbes from WSU suffered a fractured foot bone in training camp with Vancouver-based British Columbia and was not retained. A team spokesman said the Lions remain interested in Forbes.


    July 9 11:01 AM
    • HOW CLOSE ARE COUGS TO A WINNING RECORD IN CONFERENCE PLAY?
    Washington State in Year 2 under Mike Leach came within one game of posting a winning conference record for the first time since 2003. WSU was 6-2 against Pac-10 opponents back in '03.

    WSU went 4-5 in Pac-12 games last season, their best record since also going 4-5 in 2006.

    Bill Moos has long said Year 3 of the Mike Leach era is when he expects the Cougars to truly be competitive in the conference. Is 2014 the year Wazzu goes above .500 in conference play?

    Washington State misses UCLA and Colorado this season. They play Oregon, Cal, Arizona, USC and UW at home, while going on the road to face Utah, Stanford, Oregon State and ASU.


    July 8 10:39 AM
    • ARIZONA IS GUNNING FOR WASHINGTON STATE
    Washington State won't sneak up on Arizona or anyone else this year, says AZStarnet.com college football reporter Daniel Berk.

    "Rich Rodriguez and the UA will head to Pullman this season with a lot more respect for Leach’s team and won’t be surprised by anything," writes Berk. "In fact, expect one of Arizona’s best games this season against Washington State. The UA has been thinking about a rematch since the disappointing home loss."


    July 7 7:35 PM
    • HALLIDAY EXPECTED AT MANNING PASSING ACADEMY THIS WEEK
    Cougar senior QB Connor Halliday is expected to be at the Manning Passing Academy this week according to ESPN Pac-12 reporter Chantel Jennings. The academy runs from Thursday, July 11 - Sunday, July 13.

    Other Pac-12 quarterbacks expected to be at the event include UCLA's Brett Hundley, Stanford's Kevin Hogan and USC's Cody Kessler.

    The Manning Passing Academy is owned and operated by Archie, Cooper, Peyton and Eli Manning. This will be the eighth year the event has been held.


    July 7 3:01 PM
    • WHAT ARE THE ODDS?
    Bovada Sportsbook in Las Vegas has released their odds for Washington State to win the Pac-12 North, and the Pac-12 championship.

    They peg the Cougs as a 12-1 shot to take the North, and a 25-1 shot to win the Pac-12.

    Bovada's odds for winning the Pac-12 North:
    Oregon 1/2
    Stanford 3/1
    Washington 6/1
    Washington State 12/1
    Oregon State 14/1
    California 50/1

    Bovada's odds for winning the Pac-12 title:
    Oregon 6/5
    UCLA 4/1
    USC 5/1
    Stanford 5/1
    Arizona State 6/1
    Washington 14/1
    Washington State 25/1
    Arizona 25/1
    Oregon State 33/1
    Utah 66/1
    California 100/1
    Colorado 100/1


    July 7 10:54 AM
    • LEACH'S PAC-12 MEDIA DAY
    The Pac-12 media day is a two-day event this year, held on July 23 and 24 at Paramount Studios in Hollywood, Calif.

    Mike Leach will be joined by QB Connor Halliday and LB Darryl Monroe.

    Leach's media interview session on Wednesday will be at 12:10 p.m. – 12:50 p.m., followed by one on the Pac-12 Networks from 12:50-1:30.

    The day on Thursday for Leach, Halliday and Monroe will be spent doing interviews with the league's television partners, Pac-12 Networks, ESPN and FOX.


    July 4 2:54 PM
    • FOURTH COUG SIGNS WITH PRO TEAM
    Washington State baseball players suffered through far too many 0-for-4 games this year, and now the Cougars have gone 0-for-4 at retaining draft picks.

    Starting pitcher Tanner Chleborad became the fourth and final Cougar to turn pro after being drafted last month when he signed with the Baltimore Orioles. Chleborad, a junior from Rapid City, S.D., went 4-7 with a 3.84 earned run average. The 16th-round draft pick quickly made his pro debut, throwing one inning of shutout relief for the Aberdeen (Md.) IronBirds of the short-season Class A New York-Penn League. The IronBirds are owned by Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr.

    Two other 2014 Cougars, Nick Tanielu and Collin Slaybaugh, also play in the NYP. Tanielu put together his first big game as a pro on Tuesday, going 4-for-5 with four runs batted in, two doubles and his first pro homer. The Houston Astros' 14th-round pick is starting at second base and batting .310 in 17 games.

    Slaybaugh, listed as a catcher when the New York Yankees drafted him in the 26th round, continues to catch and play in the outfield as he did in college. He's appeared in five games, batting .222 with no homers or RBIs.

    Outfielder Yale Rosen is batting .216 for Eugene after his first 16 pro games. He's yet to hit a homer and has seven RBIs in the short-season Class A Northwest League.

    NOTABLE: Adam Conley, the top-rated major league prospect among former Cougars in minor league baseball, recently returned to action after sitting out six weeks with a sore elbow. The fourth-year pro is 2-3 with a 4.68 ERA in nine games (all starts) with New Orleans, Miami's top farm club, in the Class AAA Pacific Coast League.

    Second-year pro Taylor Williams, a Milwaukee Brewers farmhand, ranks among the top pitchers in the Class A Midwest League with a 6-1 record, 2.87 ERA and 71 strikeouts (in 78 1-3 innings). He also threw a hitless inning of relief in the Midwest League All-Star Game. Williams plays for the (Appleton) Wisconsin Timber Rattlers.


    July 2 11:18 AM
    • XAVIER COOPER ON WATCHLIST
    Washington State junior defensive lineman Xavier Cooper has been named to the 2014 College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) Defensive Lineman Trophy watch list, the organization announced Tuesday.

    Cooper, who plays the "End" position on WSU's three-man front, started all 13 games for the Cougars last season, making 50 tackles including team-highs of 13.5 tackles-for-loss and five sacks. The Tacoma, Wash. native also recovered two fumbles, forced two and scored one touchdown on a fumble return.

    Former Cougar safety Deone Bucannon was named the CFPA Elite Defensive Back Trophy last season.


    July 1 11:27 AM
    • D.J. SHELTON WILL PLAY IN NBA SUMMER LEAGUE
    Sheridan Hoops' NBA columnist Michael Scotto reports former Cougar forward D.J. Shelton will get his shot in the NBA's summer league.

    "Atlanta Hawks have added D.J. Shelton, a 6'10," 250-pound rookie from Washington State, to their Summer League team," Scotto tweeted.

    Atlanta's summer league runs from July 11-21.

    Shelton, an undrafted free agent, averaged a near double-double for the Cougars his senior season with 10.1 points and 9.5 rebounds.


    July 1 9:14 AM
    • COUGS BUCANNON AND CASTAIN NAMED 2013-14 TOM HANSEN CONFERENCE MEDAL WINNERS
    Deone Bucannon and Micaela Castain were named the Washington State the Tom Hansen Conference Medal Winners on Monday. Bucannon capped a terrific senior season and became a first round NFL pick while Castain, the Pac-12 Player of the Year, finished the regular season as the Pac-12 leader or co-leader in goals (11), assists (11) and points (33).

    A Conference Medal is awarded annually to each member institution's outstanding senior male and female student-athlete based on the exhibition of the greatest combination of performance and achievement in scholarship, athletics and leadership.


    June 28 7:03 PM
    • AGELESS LAGAT DOES IT AGAIN
    He's 39 years old. But who's counting.

    CougGreat Bernard Lagat took the lead with just over 100 meters remaining and, as LetRun.com reported, "he did what he almost always does in a USA 5000 final – win."

    Lagat used a 54.76 last lap (26 mid last 200) to win his seventh USATF outdoor 5000 final in 13:31.41. This was Lagat's 7th US 5000 title.

    CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO


    June 27 2:03 PM
    • HALLIDAY TO BE FEATURED ON NEUHEISEL SHOW
    Connor Halliday will be featured on July 16 on the Pac-12 Networks' program, Under Center with Rick Neuheisel.

    In the 30-minute episodes, Neuheisel takes Pac-12 quarterbacks into ‘The Dungeon' for film study while outside the film room, discusses their intangibles and leadership traits.


    June 26 11:03 AM
    • FORMER COUG SIGNEE ISABELL COMMITS TO MISSOURI
    Tramaine Isabell, the three-star guard out of Seattle's Garfield High, has committed to Missouri, Scout.com reports.

    Isabell originally signed with WSU under Ken Bone and then reiterated his intent to play for WSU under Ernie Kent. However, there was a mutual parting of the ways according to Isabell shortly thereafter. Multiple sources close to the basketball program at Garfield High told CF.C that off-court concerns prompted Washington State head basketball coach Ernie Kent to release Isabell from his letter of intent with the Cougars. The sources didn't go into specifics but suggested concerns about academic diligence were among the issues that moved Kent to act.

    Isabell was also considering Providence and Colorado State in addition to Mizzou.

    "Just the coaches and saying how much they want me on the floor," Isabell said when pressed on what led to picking Missouri. "I'm just excited about the opportunity and I can't wait to get on the floor."


    June 25 12:34 PM
    • NEW BASEBALL ASSISTANT COACH HIRED
    Joe Ross has been named assistant baseball coach at Washington State University, Cougar Head Coach Donnie Marbut announced, Wednesday. Ross will be the Cougars' recruiting coordinator and work with the hitters and catchers. He replaces Pat Waer, who is taking over Clovis East High's baseball program in order to be closer to his family.

    A native of St. Paul, Minn., Ross brings 30 years of successful coaching experience to Pullman. He worked the last five years as a scout for the Seattle Mariners.

    Ross became the top assistant coach at Washington in 1993. Elevated to associate head coach in 1997, Ross spent 17 seasons with the Huskies. He oversaw Washington's recruiting efforts, coached catchers and ran the Huskies' offense during games. Prior to that, he was the head coach at Normandale Community College in Bloomington, Minn., and served in that role from 1987-92. He's also coached at Wisconsin-River Falls, in the Hoofdklasse Baseball League in the Netherlands and spent time as a coach with the United State Baseball Federation.

    "We are thrilled to have Joe as part of our staff," Donnie Marbut said. "His experience as a recruiting coordinator in the Pac-12 and an area scout for five years sets him apart among coaches in the Northwest. I have never been around as gifted of coach when it comes to catching and hitting."


    June 24 1:34 PM
    • WSU MAKES IT OFFICIAL: LENIU ON BOARD
    WSU issued a release on Tuesday afternoon that Chandler Leniu had signed a financial aid agreement to play for the Cougars this fall.

    Leniu, a 6-2, 230-pound linebacker out of St. John Bosco High in Bellflower, Calif., was verbally committed to WSU for a time before flipping his commitment to Cal. He then signed a National Letter of Intent with Cal in February but was recently released from that NLI by the school, reportedly because he didn't complete Cal academic requirements above what the NCAA requires.

    Leniu was a 2013 Parade All-American honorable mention pick and the top-rated MLB prospect in the West by Scout.com. He will arrive at WSU later this summer, WSU's SID told Cougfan.com on Tuesday. Leniu posted the sixth-most prep tackles in the country as a senior, with 238. The 4-star prospect finished his high school career with 526 tackles, 26 tackles-for-loss and five sacks.


    June 24 9:19 AM
    • ERNIE KENT OFFERS 2015 BIG MAN
    Wazzu has offered 2015 prospect Drew Eubanks, a 6-9 forward from Troutdale, Ore., CF.C's Braulio Perez reports. The offer speaks to the fact Kent is wasting no time making good on a promise that Washington State's 2015 class would be about big men.

    Kent also has one scholarship available for the 2014 class.

    Assuming Kent doesn't hold that one over to 2015, he would have three open slots to fill in '15 with the graduations of DaVonte Lacy, Dexter Kernich-Drew and Jordan Railey.


    June 23 1:11 PM
    • JEFF TUEL'S CHANCES OF MAKING BILLS ROSTER PEGGED AT 80 PERCENT
    ESPN puts Jeff Tuel's chances of making Buffalo's 53-man roster at 80 percent.

    "Tuel has shown promise this spring, noticeably more bulked up than he was as a rookie last season. Given EJ Manuel's injury history early in his NFL career, the Buffalo Bills are expected to keep three quarterbacks on their 53-man roster. Dennis Dixon, the fourth quarterback on the roster, didn't stand out in OTAs or minicamp and would have an uphill battle to beat out Tuel for the No. 3 job," says ESPN.

    The only scenario where the Bills might let him go, says ESPN, is if they didn't want to go with three quarterbacks, instead adding one player at another skill position.


    June 20 8:08 AM
    • KEN BONE JOINS STAFF AT MONTANA
    Ken Bone, former Washington State men's basketball coach, has been hired as an assistant coach at Montana under new Griz head man Travis DeCuire, who comes to Missoula after many years as an assistant at Cal. Bone, who had a record of 80-86 over five years at WSU and is 361-202 in his 19 years as a head coach, was in the Big Sky before coming to WSU, helming Portland State for four seasons and two NCAA Tourney berths.

    DeCuire's statement on Bone was interesting in that he highlighted Bone's accomplishments as an assistant more than as a head coach. "Offensively, when you look at the University of Washington when they had their success and Sweet 16 runs he was a big part of that," DeCuire said. "They were probably in the top five or six in scoring, and we're looking at getting to that point in scoring, and 85 or 90 points a game, if possible. So that's important for us. He had some success at Washington State and his teams were good offensively."


    June 19 4:03 PM
    • COUG BUCK ARRESTED
    Cougar Ivan McLennan was arrested after pointing a nonlethal Airsoft pellet gun at a student, the Spokesman-Review reported. The police log shows McLennan was arrested on a charge of Weapons Apparently Capable of Producing Bodily Harm.

    "To put it in their frame of mind, this is right after the news of the shooting over at the campus in Seattle (Seattle Pacific University) and apparently the guy was thinking about coming to WSU," Pullman police commander Chris Tennant is quoted as saying by the paper. "So that's their mindset. They were quite fearful."

    McLennan was cited for a gross misdemeanor.

    "He had been contacted about three weeks ago by us, the Pullman Police Department, and warned for this exact same thing," Tennant said. "That didn't apparently stop his activity so he was given a criminal citation."


    June 19 3:00 PM
    • COUG KICKER FURNEY SIGNS WITH JETS
    Andrew Furney announced on his twitter page that he signed an undrafted free-agent deal with the New York Jets.

    Andrew Furney @AndrewFurney · 39m Words cannot describe how blessed I am to have signed with the # NYJets God is unbelievably great!

    Furney went 16-of-20 for the Cougs in 2013. The Burlington native, who started since his freshman season for the Cougars, ranks third on WSU's all-time list with 47 career fields goals, 130 PATs made and four made 50-yard or more field goals, highlighted by his 60-yarder against Eastern Washington in 2012.

    New York's starting kicker Nick Folk was 33-of-36 in his field goal attempts and a perfect 27-of-27 on his PAT tries this past season.


    June 18 9:54 AM
    • THREE COUGS ON ATHLON LIST
    Three Cougar football players received preseason All-Pac-12 honors from Athlon Sports. Redshirt-junior defensive lineman Xavier Cooper and redshirt-junior linebacker Darryl Monroe were each named the preseason All-Pac-12 Third Team and redshirt-senior wide receiver Vince Mayle was placed on the fourth team. Cooper and Monroe and also Gabe Marks were named to the preseason All-Pac-12 Third Team by Phil Steele Magazine.


    June 17 12:54 PM
    • NEW DEFENSIVE GA FOR COUGS IS CHRIS REINERT
    Chris Reinert is the new defensive graduate assistant at Washington State, Cougfan.com confirmed with WSU SID. Reinert spent the last two years as the defensive GA at UCLA and was the one Defensive Quality Control coach for the Bruins in 2011. Reinert worked primarily with the defensive backs during his three seasons at UCLA.

    Reinert during his playing career was a wide receiver/punt returner at Vanderbilt from 2005-2009. He was honored with Vanderbilt's highest football honor, the Dedication Award, and was a five-time All-SEC Academic Team honoree.
    June 16 3:03 PM
    • IT PAYS TO BE A COLLEGE HEAD FOOTBALL COACH IN THE STATE OF WASHINGTON
    The football coaches at Washington State and Washington were the best paid state employees in 2013, the Associated Press reported on Monday. WSU coach Mike Leach earned over $2.3 million and former UW coach Steve Sarkisian earned over $2.6 million in 2013. The only other state employee listed with a salary over $1 million was UW basketball Coach Lorenzo Romar, who earned nearly $1.9 million in 2013. His counterpart at WSU, Ken Bone, who lost his job in 2014, earned $870,143 in 2013.

    The top-paid state employee who isn't a football or basketball coach is UW athletic director Scott Woodward, who earned just over $690,000 last year. Next on the list is WSU President Elson Floyd at a salary of $662,560.


    June 16 12:15 PM
    • GOLDEN NUGGET BETTING LINES OUT FOR 2 Washington State GAMES
    Golden Nugget recently released their "Games of the Year" point spreads and included a pair of Cougar games on their list. Washington State is a 4-point underdog to UW in the Apple Cup, and a 23-point underdog to Oregon. For the complete list, CLICK HERE.


    June 16 11:54 AM
    • MUSICAL CHAIRS FOR PAIR OF California PROSPECTS WITH WSU OFFERS

    Four-star WR prospect Desean Holmes, who left Alemany High at the end of last season and attended Muir in the spring semester, has returned to Alemany, reported the LA Times. Holmes holds offers from most of the Pac-12 with rides from WSU, Arizona, ASU, Cal, OSU, UCLA, USC, Utah, UW.

    Theo Howard, a junior receiver at Oaks Christian High also holds a scholarship offer from Washington State and is also on the move. Howard has transferred to Westlake, the LA Times reported, where former Oaks Christian quarterback Malik Henry is now the starter.


    June 16 11:12 AM
    • KENT HOLDING ONTO SCHOLIE FOR NOW "JUST IN CASE"
    Ernie Kent was at the 17th annual Tri-Cities Cougar Tailgate event on Friday and talked a little recruiting with the Tri-Cities Herald. "There's still an abundance of guards out there who were available," said Kent. "But there hasn't been a lot of big guys. So we're holding one scholarship out just in case."

    Mike Leach and June Daugherty were also on hand.

    "Our athletic facilities are the best in the conference," Leach said. "We move into them in about a week."

    "We are really excited about this year," said Daugherty. "I think it'll be fun for the fans to watch Tia (Presley) and Lia (Galdeira).


    June 16 10:12 AM
    • FUTURE COUG RB HAS SOMETHING TO PROVE
    WSU verbal commit James Williams told the Burbank Leader he has some things to prove his senior season.

    "There are some people who might think that just because I've already committed, that I'm gonna take it easy," said Williams. "They say maybe I'll take it easy because I don't want to get injured. But I can't think about that.

    "I have been working really hard for this upcoming season and I'm going to give it all I have. I want to prove to [Washington State] that I can play at the Pac-12 level and that I will be able to be a good player in college."

    Williams has 2,546 career rushing yards and 40 touchdowns, ranking him No. 2 on the career rushing list behind Ochoa (3,078) at Burbank High.

    FOR OLDER ENTRIES TO THE CF.C BLOG, CLICK HERE.