Friday, November 16, 2007

Turner Delays Meeting with the Regents

This is an interesting way to start off the morning isn't it?

Washington athletic director Todd Turner had hoped to deliver a final recommendation on renovations to Husky Stadium to the school's Board of Regents on Thursday. Instead, Turner and a committee helping advise on the project have decided to push back making any presentation to the board until early next year. Turner said the move is simply a delay due to the complicated nature of the project, in this case, trying to coordinate construction plans with those of Sound Transit, which is scheduled to break ground on a new station near the stadium in 2009. That construction could last until 2014.

Todd Turner announces another delay in the stadium remodel project due to the complexity of the project supposedly due to the Sound Transit Light Rail project.

If you read between the lines the delay is more perhaps about the uncertainty of Todd's tenure as UW as athletic director, and also the tenure of his chosen football coach Ty Willingham. It wouldn't make sense kicking off what could be a $450 million dollar project if those guys aren't going to be around after the first of the year.

With three weeks left to go in the 2007 season both Turner and Willingham are on very rocky ground. Washington has never had three consecutive losing seasons in football. We are talking over 100 years of Washington football history here. The natives are restless, and the big money boosters are not in a mood to open their wallets till the teams shows signs of turning the corner.

Arizona beating Oregon last night while unrelated throws more wood on the fire. Only three weeks ago Mike Stoops was almost certainly on his way out at Arizona trailing Washington by 15 points in the fourth quarter. The Wildcats put together a spirited comeback beating UW 48-41 and have won their last three games. The victory last night over Oregon by the way was what you call a signature victory, the type of win that turns around football programs.

Willingham on the other hand still lacks that type of win after almost three years at the helm. Losing to Arizona, and Oregon State have assured that the Huskies will be home once again for the Holidays. It also assures that Mark Emmert who has been bombarded by emails, and phone calls will have to make a very tough decision at the end of the year.

In a perfect world Willingham would coach the Huskies till retirement. Ty brings a lot of good things to the program, he really does, but the two things he hasn't brought is excitement, and winning. Washington needs both if they are going to continue to sell tickets, keep the athletic department out of the red, and most importantly modernize Husky Stadium.


t9odawg said...

I find Felder's comments more telling in recruiting the "must get" local players.

To paraphrase, UW was struggling (2005) and I thought it was in my best interest to go someplace else. Like a winning program perhaps?

Taylor Mays said basically the same thing. Ty didn't win those guys over with his "molding them into fine young men" pitch. How many more will feel the same?

John Berkowitz said...

I noticed that too. I went to HS with his dad and figured Anthony was a good bet to be a Husky,but the program really lacked foundation.

Things are actually a lot better right now despite the W/L record.

t9odawg said...

I think they have players that want to play but the coaches won't let them. The coaches are playing "not to lose" and the kids want to play to win.

The pregame player walk goes right by where we tailgate and I've been thinking of making a sign telling the players to "give'em hell in spite of their coaches".

Anonymous said...

"Washington has never had three consecutive losing seasons in football."

John, wouldn't 2004 under Gilby, and then 2005 and 2006 under TW count as 3 consecutive losing seasons? And now 2007 makes 4? 2003 was a 6-6 year, so that's now 5 years in a row without a bowl? Wow. That used to be a source of pride around here, all those consecutive bowl bids. To think this program has now gone 5 straight seasons, all home for the holidays?

All I know is TW better win these next two easily winnable home games. Cal is struggling and WSU absolutely sucks and is an easy blowout at home. Then we'll see about Hawaii's thugs.

John Berkowitz said...

I should have said under the same coach.

Hard to believe it has been five years without a bowl, pretty sad stuff.

I don't know what the outcome will be the final three weeks, but all three are winnable.

abg said...

I enjoy this blog very much and have learned a lot from it and appreciate its relative civility and level-headedness compared to some other forums.
Unfortunately, I can't buy that Turner would use Sound Transit construction -- a monumental engineering undertaking -- as an excuse to buy time from the university.
The audience is too smart and well-connected to be fooled by something that isn't true, and Turner is not stupid enough to use a public project whose sizeable requirements are public record in this way.
If it isn't true, he's toast, and rightly so.
Talk about the restless boosters drives me nuts. Wasn't it boosters who secretly loaned Hobert 50 large 15 years ago and got the program two years of probation, lost scholarships, tv time and bowl games?
And wasn't it those boosters who got Jim Lambright fired and Rick Neuheisel installed because of Lambo's pathetic 63 percent winning percentage?
With supporters like that who needs enemies?
If I were one of those boosters I'd keep llllooooooowwwwwww
profile about how many changes I want to force on Emmert and Turner.
Just my two very obnoxious cents.

t9odawg said...

The fellow that loaned Hobert teh money was in no way connected with the UW and was not a booster. It was a guy Hobert met on a golf course, IIRC.

Boosters did get Lambright fired.

Boosters want Turner gone as well, rightly so IMHO

John Berkowitz said...

ABG...Turner isn't trying to buy time, or doing anything wrong. The scuttlebut is he, and Ty may be on their way out in December. So it doesn't make a lot of sense to kick off a 450 million dollar project until that is settled one way or another.

abg said...

Scuttlebutt from whom?

John Berkowitz said...

It would be the fans, the boosters, insiders, and the media. Ty and Turner are definitely on the hot seat. Three straight wins at the end of the season would help.