For Husky fans desperately pining for Jim Mora Jr, the Huskies, and Ty Willingham gave them something almost as good when they hired Ed Donatell to run the defense next season. Donatell brings a Husky bloodline, and lots of college, and NFL experience to the team. If coaching was indeed the problem with the defense last year it was fixed by this hire.
Donatell won't have an easy job because the Husky defense as bad as it was last year is now going to be green as grass in 2008. Maybe that is a good thing and youth will be served, but past experience tells me that you win championships with 4th, and 5th year players.
Whatever the result Donatell is the kind of fresh air that Willingham, and the Husky program has needed for a long time. It was apparent to many last year that the game was passing Kent Baer by to a certain extent. The infusion of new ideas, and defensive philosophies should help turn that around with a better talent base to work with in Montlake.
Art Thiel of the PI takes a crack at this one today in his column.
"And I say to you gentlemen that this college is a failure. The trouble is we're neglecting football for education." -- Groucho Marx as Professor Wagstaff in "Horsefeathers"
It still doesn't answer the question of why they released it the day before UW went to the legislature to seek funding for stadium renovation. The story is eight years old, and it could have been released at any time. It could have also had the positive slant of how much the program has changed.
In retrospect I think the story deserved to be told. It was well written and researched even though it had an overemphasized, negative, and sensational slant. Most people who are casual observers, and that makes up most of the readers, probably didn't notice that.
Nathan asked me a question if the series changed my opinions of Curtis Williams?
I think most people were surprised to see that I answered that it didn't change my opinion at all.
The reason was I already knew about all the problems Curtis had at UW. I knew about them the minute he hit campus out of shape for his freshman year. I knew what his personal problems were. I also knew his side of the story. I knew his wife's side of the story. I had a good idea of how he grew up, and how is upbringing was considerably different as the baby of the family compared to his much older brothers. Curtis needed a lot of help, and mentoring he simply didn't get late in his youth, and while at UW.
Based on all that information I wasn't surprised at all when Barbara Hedges, and her predecessor remained mum about honors, and statues. I knew it would never fly because when the truth came out about Curtis, and it eventually would, they would all look like hypocritical idiots. Funny thing is despite that, they all still do look like hypocritical idiots because their way of handling things was to ignore them and hope they didn't surface.
You can't defend what Curtis did, but you can also take a closer look to try to understand the reasons behind why it happened. I think a lot of it was preventable, and it could have been nipped in the bud with the right type of support. I don't think the UW was providing the right support in those days, maybe even not today, so maybe that is a good reason to tell the story.
I still believe that Curtis needs to be honored in some way since he gave up his life wearing purple and gold. That honor doesn't have to be a statue, but it could be a counseling and intervention program for young student families that need the same type of help that Curtis, and Michelle never received.
Weekly Poll Question
Are you in favor of the state funding half the bill for the renovation of Husky Stadium?
The vote came in predictably in favor at 85 to 12. There was one other answer which stated that they were in favor as long as the Sonics got funding for a new arena too.
For the record I voted yes, and even though the poll is only a little over a week old it feels like months since we started it. If you want to throw some cold water on public funding at Husky Stadium the Seattle Times certainly did that this week.
Nathan Ware feels it might actually help because the University can show all the changes that have been made over the last five years. I guess it all depends on what type of spin you want to put on it.
This weeks question:
What is your opinion of the Seattle Times Investigative reports series on the 2000 Husky Football Program?
This is a pretty open ended question since I expect a multitude of opinions that are not offered by the questions. Feel free to write an other answer and we will publish those next Friday.
The articles will still be a hot topic for a couple of weeks because now they are going national.
My point is all big time football programs have similar problems. Is Washington currently doing a better job than other big time football programs under the leadership of Willingham?