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.