Wazzu gets help on ethics and morality

Washington State was embarrassed last year when three of its top players had separate run-ins with the law over marijuana, and this offseason coach Ken Bone has tried to change the team culture by getting the Cougars to go out and perform community service. Apparently, Bone didn't stop there with finding ways to teach his players.

According to the Seattle Times, Bone also enlisted the counsel of Dr. Sharon Stoll, director of the Center of Ethics at Idaho.

They had lunch over the summer, Stoll explained her program, and Bone said, "That's exactly what we need."

From the time the Cougars ended their season last March with an ugly semifinal loss to Wichita State in the NIT in New York, Bone has tried to impose a change in culture. He believes Stoll's series of character-building sessions has been effective.

"We had a talk at that time," Bone said, referring to the aftermath of the blowout in New York. " 'If you're going to be in the program, this is the way it's going to be.' We're trying to have a culture of excellence, on and off the court.

"They've embraced that idea. Our guys have been involved in almost everything they can possibly be involved in, to reach out to the community. They're in a position to be role models and they need to understand that."

According to Stoll's bio: "She is considered one of the leading authorities in competitive moral education intervention techniques for college aged students in America." If what the Cougars needed was an intervention, now they're getting it through professional help from a sports ethicist.

That should come as a relief to those who believe the program has been plagued by off-court issues. Ultimately, it will come down to the players to improve in that area. Few can say that Bone isn't at least trying to help.