Ty Willingham stirred up a little controversy by going back to his home state of North Carolina to play in a charity golf tournament honoring injured Marines from the Iraq Conflict. The conflict comes from the fact that he missed an annual coaches tour event scheduled at the same time back in Washington State.
How important is the annual coaches tour?
I think it is extremely important because it is usually the only time you are going to get a chance during the year to mingle with the coaching staff if you live in places like Bellingham, Longview, Yakima, Vancouver, Walla Walla etc... . Fan's at Dawgman looked at it this way. They feel when the head man doesn't show up it sends another signal that boosters and fans just aren't that important to the program anymore.
This is Molly Yanity's take.
This week, the Huskies football beat writers received an e-mail from the athletic communications office revealing that coach Tyrone Willingham would be playing in the fifth annual Marine Corps Celebrity Classic in Jacksonville, N.C.
So what do you guy's think?
Jake and the Belle's
Here is Jim Moore's report from Bellingham, where Husky quarterback Jake Locker made his baseball debut with the Bellingham Bells Friday evening. Look for this to be pretty big news for the rest of the Summer. Hopefully he keeps away from the head first slide into third base.
Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times chips in with this one. Kudo's to Bob for keeping his blog going all year in these days of Montlake's Purple Curtain. Bob is also your source of everything Bellingham Bell's this Summer.
Rayford sticking in BC
First is this story from Vancouver on former Huskies Caesar Rayford and Brandon Ala, now playing for the B.C. Lions. Rayford is trying to make the team as a rookie free agent, and it sounds as if he's on his way, drawing raves from coaches --- a development likely drawing a few sighs of what-might-have-been from a lot of you who are well aware the Huskies could really use a fifth-year DE right about now. Rayford discusses the redshirt issue in the story, saying again that he was fully on board to play in 2004. Just think how bad that team would have been if he hadn't played. ( I don't know Bob, I don't think Rayford played much at all as a true frosh. He was too light to make an impact.)
Walker sets record
Former Husky Brad Walker seems to be peaking at about the right time as he gets ready for the Olympic Games.
There are no sure things in the wacky world of pole vault. Even so, it's not bad being Brad Walker right now. The defending world champion and former Washington Huskies standout broke an eight-year-old American record Sunday at the Prefontaine Classic, clearing 19 feet, 9 ¾ inches on the same field where he'll try to make his first U.S. Olympic team in only three weeks.
Follow up by Dan Raley on the IRA's
I didn't expect Wisconsin to beat Washington in the IRA's, in fact few anticipated the upset since the Badgers while always strong start later in the season, and can't practice all Winter on the water because of all the ice. So mark this down as a monumental win for the Badgers who were just smoking on the Cooper! Washington gets back to full strength next season as six of it's rower return from getting ready for the Olympic games.
For the first time in 24 months and 19 races, the men's varsity eight crew was denied the usual gold medal and opposing racing shirt spoils.
Master of the Obvious Award
This was an interesting blip that I saw passed around last week. CFN/Scout.com's Pete Fiutak says that the Huskies will not win another national championship in our lifetime.
By the way, Washington has only won one legit national championship in all it's years of playing college football. The 1960 team is definitely an asterisk, the 1984 team also deserves an asterisk when they finished second to BYU. Both of those teams were undoubtedly the best at the end of their respective seasons, but neither wire service awarded them a title. They also won something known as the Libby National Championship back in the days of Gil Dobie.