Friday, July 11, 2008
While you were on vacation... Washington State
By ESPN.com staff
Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller
The final of 10 quick hit updates of off-season Pac-10 goings on.
In a sentence:
- New coach Paul Wulff inherited a team laden with questions and riddled with off-field issues, but the former Cougar player did a good job connecting with fans that appeared to buy into his vision of a winning future.
The big question:
- He's got one of the Pac-10's best receivers in Brandon Gibson, but can new quarterback Gary Rogers effectively lead an offense transitioning to Wulff's no-huddle attack?
Quick hit news:
- The Cougars made news in the offseason and much of it wasn't good. First, the Cougars lost eight scholarships after failing to meet NCAA Academic Progress Rate standards. Then, the Seattle Times did a story on 25 player arrests over the last 18 months.
- Safety Xavier Hicks, included in the list above, has been suspended for the first three games of the season after pleading guilty to two gross misdemeanors and serving 45 days in jail.
- A final decision on the status of defensive lineman Andy Roof hasn't been made yet. Roof also ran into trouble a few times.
- Running back Dwight Tardy is healthy again after undergoing knee surgery last fall. Tardy led the Cougars with 676 yards rushing despite missing the final four games. He and Chris Ivory figure to split carries in the backfield.
- In light of the off-field problems, Wulff opted to cut loose quarterback recruit Calvin Schmidtke of Tacoma because of a number of traffic and controlled-substance violations.
- Part of the renovation of Martin Stadium is a fancy new scoreboard.