I was looking at the conceptual plans for the new Oregon baseball stadium that is going to cost in the neighborhood of $15 million. Pretty nice digs for a school that hasn't had a baseball team since 1981. The new stadium is the latest development for a department that is undergoing a tremendous growth spurt: It's added two sports, renovated Hayward Field, pushed forward the plans to build a new basketball arena, and intends to build a stadium for its new baseball team.
While most of us aren't Duck fans it is pretty hard not to be impressed with what continues to happen at both Oregon, and Oregon State. This isn't all about Bill Knight, this is about a state coming together over the last 15 years and supporting intercollegiate sports. While Knight has spent a lot of his own money, he has also been the catalyst at both schools for other alumni and boosters to start contributing.
I remember going to Eugene in the 60's, 70's, and 80's to see games and it seemed like a hopeless proposition as far as turning around those overall programs go. They didn't have the population base, they didn't have the attendance, and both schools lacked support from the state of Oregon legislature.
Washington has all of that, and we will always have as many, and as more resources available as any school in the conference. What we lack at this point is passion, and the unifying presence to pull it all together.
The Husky Baseball team is enjoying a good season and is currently third in the conference playing in the worst facility in the Pac Ten. The Huskies new baseball facility remains 1/3 built stalled by a lack of donations. The actual diamond, and outfield are fine, but permanent stands, locker rooms, dugouts etc... were never built.
Washington has been falling behind for almost a decade despite the Olympic sports facility improvements made under Barbara Hedges. A lack of leadership, winning, and the general lethargy created by a lack of stability at the school need to be reversed immediately by the new athletic director.
The question of course is who that new AD is going to be. The two most discussed names out there are Bob Stull from UTEP, and Bill Moos formerly of Oregon. Both have considerable interest in the job, both have Washington roots, and both have the ability to get the job done.
Both Moos, and Stull are older than you would like which means if they are picked they will probably have tenures of around five years which may not be enough to get it all turned around. Make no mistake, this is a major reconstruction job similar to when Washington hired Mike Lude. A tenure of ten years seems to be the ideal they are looking for. Todd Turner of course fell under that type of guideline, so maybe possible length of tenure is not the most important thing.
Look for UW to have a new AD hired in time for the start of football season. Look for the new AD to have a background in football, and building new facilities.
UW needs to hire a charismatic leader with the right type of experience to pull it all together.
Reece Gets Another Shot
Former UW receiver Marcel Reece, cut earlier this week by the Dolphins, is now in mini-camp with the Oakland Raiders. Reece won a shiny new helmet as the offensive MVP of the Raiders three-day rookie mini camp Sunday. At 6-foot-3, 240 pounds, Reece was second in receiving at the University of Washington with 39 receptions for 761 yards and eight touchdowns, averaging 19.5 yards per reception. Reece had a big gainer during practice Sunday when quarterback Jeff Otis play-faked to Michael Bush and hit him in stride with a reverse roll.
Ex Huskies looking for Gold
World champion Brad Walker, a former Washington Huskies standout, won the pole vault at the Osaka Grand Prix meet Saturday in Japan. Walker cleared 17 feet, 8 ½ inches in the rain and cold while fellow American Russ Buller was second at 17-4 ½. "In an Olympic year, you want to jump as high as possible to give yourself confidence," the 26-year-old Walker said. "But with the conditions today, I decided it was best not to push things." Another ex-Husky, Aretha Thurmond, 31, was third in the discus at 196-10. Song Aimin of China won the event with a throw of 198-1.
Web Cams and Recruiting
A look at some major colleges football programs' takes on the new technique of head coaches using Web cams to talk to recruits, which is allowed by the NCAA: -LSU's Les Miles, Tennessee's Phillip Fulmer and Alabama's Nick Saban have begun using Web cams following a new NCAA rule that keeps head coaches from visiting high school campuses during the spring.
USC Keeps Giving Back to It's Athletes
Former USC basketball player O.J. Mayo, a projected lottery pick in this year's NBA draft, received thousands of dollars in cash, clothes and other benefits in apparent violation of NCAA rules while he was still in high school and during his one year in college, a former Mayo associate told ESPN's "Outside the Lines."
WSU's Roof Caves In
Pullman police have recommended that one second-degree assault charge and five fourth-degree assault charges be filed against Washington State defensive tackle Andy Roof. Bill Druffel, senior deputy prosecutor in the Whitman County prosecutor's office, said Thursday that the decision on what charges will be filed will be made next week after a review of the evidence. Roof didn't play last season because his three alcohol-related arrests resulted in suspension from the team. Roof returned to WSU for spring semester and was moved from offensive line to defensive line for spring drills.
Jayson Miller fell one strike short of pitching a shutout as Washington State stopped No. 30 Washington's five-game win streak 5-1 Saturday in a Pac-10 baseball game at Husky Ballpark.
The Huskies (30-17 overall, 9-8 Pac-10) dropped to fourth place with the loss to WSU (27-21, 6-11).
Nick Haughian struck out 11 in a complete-game victory, and Kyle Conley hit a pair of two-run homers as the Washington baseball team defeated Washington State 5-1 Sunday at Husky Ballpark. The victory gave the Huskies (31-17, 10-8 Pac-10) a 2-1 win in the Apple Cup series and, coupled with a California loss to Stanford, put them back in third place in the conference.
Senior Cambria Miranda hit her 10th home run of the season in the bottom of the seventh, leading Oregon State to a 3-2 win over No. 24 Washington Thursday in Corvallis, Ore.
Washington (26-22-1, 5-13 in the Pac-10) got seven hits, including two singles by sophomore Amanda Fleischman.
The University of Washington softball team was selected on Sunday night for their 15th-straight postseason appearance and will head to the Houston, Texas regional where they will face Texas this Friday. Washington and Texas are joined by Delaware State and host Houston. Games will be played May 16-18 at Cougar Softball Stadium on the campus of the University of Houston.
The Huskies, ranked 24th in the last USA Today/NFCA Coaches Top 25 Poll, finished tied for fifth in the Pac-10 this season with a 7-14 record, and finished 28-23-1 overall. This is their 15th-straight trip to the NCAA Tournament, which is tied with Oklahoma for the fifth-most consecutive appearances.
The Washington men's tennis team had its season come to a close today as the 32nd-ranked Huskies fell to No. 33 Wisconsin, 4-1, in the first round of the NCAA Championships. The loss followed a familiar and painful script for the Huskies, who lost to the Badgers in the first round last year as well, despite winning the doubles point in each match. Wisconsin moves on to face UCLA in the second round tomorrow at the Los Angeles Tennis Center. The match came down to the third and fourth singles positions, which Wisconsin pulled out in tight third sets. Had the match continued, UW was on the verge of winning at No. 5 singles, and was early in a third set at No. 2 singles as well.
Washington women's golf shot a second-round score of 22-over 310 to remain in 18th place at the NCAA Central Regional Championship at the University of Texas Golf Club, Friday.
The Huskies improved upon their first round score by two strokes and will enter Saturday's final round at 46-over 622. Washington is two shots behind 25th-ranked Notre Dame and six shots behind Texas State. Top-seeded UCLA remains the team leader at even-par 576. For the second-straight day, sophomore Molly Aronsson and freshman Karinn Dickinson fired the low rounds for the Huskies. Both carded second-round scores of 4-over 76. After turning in scores of 3-over 75 in the first round, the UW duo is tied for 37th on the individual leaderboard at 7-over 151.
The NCAA West Regional will be one of three regional tournaments conducted to determine the 30 teams and six individuals not on a qualifying team that will compete in the 2008 NCAA Div. I Men's Golf Championship, May 28-31 at Purdue in West Lafayette, Ind.
Senior Carl Moe authored a rousing end to the 2008 Washington track and field home season this evening, flying around Husky Stadium in 4:01.53 to win the mile run in his last appearance in front of the Husky faithful.