I think I like the Matt Leinart beer-bong pics better than this (and you've all seen them so I won't show them here, but, just in case, check it). Still, while the great academic name of Washington State gets rubbed repeatedly in the steaming pile out behind the woodshed, well, it's actually not so bad after all.
Cougfan is running a story that states that, in reality, the football team actually has a highly-respectable 2.72 cumulative GPA. Sure, a 2.72 sounds fine, but it happens to be the best in WSU FOOTBALL HISTORY?? As the story goes:
"WSU student-athletes ranked second over the last 10 years in the Pacific-10 Conference in graduation rate with respect to seniors who have exhausted their eligibility. The football team has graduated its student-athletes at a rate four percent higher than the national Division I average, which also ranks second in the Pac-10."
This is a program that is falling apart based on the APR stories? Hardly. It makes good copy that they lost 8 scholies, and yes, Doba and the rest failed the young men they gave full rides to when they admittedly just, gosh darn it, didn't do their homework on some of these kids! We didn't hesitate to throw Doba under the bus for what happened, and that won't change. We will feel these scholarship losses, there is just no sugar-coating it. But it won't last long. As Cougfan once again points out today in another story, it's going to be felt but we're moving in the right direction. After all, as we pointed out last week when all this news broke, Wulff's track record is strong with this APR business, posting a 940 at EWU (925 is the line, but you probably knew that already).
I guess the biggest thing to take with this APR news is simply that the coaching staff has to hit at a decent percentage in terms of recruits and their ability to stay in school. Off the field is a new rage of importance through college football, but it might never be MORE important for WSU than these next few years. Not only to establish the types of players and culture that make the Wulff system go, but the APR is always going to be an issue from now on. The margin for error was swallowed up by the prior staff's transgressions. But this isn't the end of the world.
Moving on, damn, Lofa, you should have called a cab. I know we've all been in those situations, and some good people can make bad decisions. He's reportedly a great guy, not just a great football player, and he fits the mold in what Tim Ruskell wants for his Seahawks. But this is a big mistake. Signing that fat contract and being a celebrity in a football-crazed town, you have to know that every move he makes is going to get attention. Getting a DUI isn't good, period, end of story, but with the "great power comes great responsibility" line comes to mind here. But any way you cut it, it sucks, because the guy is the heart and soul of the team and I swear, you see more #51 jerseys at Qwest Field than any other player, period!
Obviously we are entering a real dead period with the football team. News is going to slow to a trickle. But that doesn't mean we're going to fully take the next few weeks or even months off (unlike the tanned and rested Grippi, who just got back from Disneyland. How sweet). No, we're going to keep pushing forward with new content. You'll get a weekly dose of Brinkhater Diaries, love it or hate it. We'll take a look at each of our upcoming opponents for 2008 as they stand coming out of spring football. Look for a glimpse at Cal in the coming days. Plus we'll finally get to our stacks of DVD's from the past, including some of the best wins in school history, as well as highlights from the glorious 2007 campaign! Ok, that's a dumb joke. 2007 generally sucked, except for the Apple Cup. But we will put up some 2007 stuff mainly how it pertains to next year. In other words, you won't see a lot of Brink TD passes or Bumpus or Collins or Abdullah highlights. We'll try to focus on highlights of who to watch for next year, stuff like that. So stay tuned and don't give up. There's only, let's see, 108 days, 6 hours and 54 minutes until we have to chase Zac Robinson and the rest of the 'Pokes around for 60 minutes! Wheeee!
Finally, some personal stuff here. I'm posting a picture of my beloved Barkley, our 8-year old Golden Retriever. Why? Because old Barker-boy is really, really sick. I started to notice a change in him about a month ago, out for a morning jog. After only about a mile in, he started to really lag behind. I thought he was just getting too fat and needed to push through it, but he lagged the entire rest of the way. I admit I was actually mad at him for holding me up. However, these last few weeks have really taken a turn for the worse. He had barely eaten any food for a few days before we took him to the vet. The hard part is that it took several different tests, x-rays, and finally, an ultrasound, before they confirmed the worst fear - cancer. Barkley has lymphoma, cancer of the lymph nodes, in his abdomen. This is, sadly, a common thing for Golden's. After a couple of extremely emotional days, we decided we are going to do all we can for him. Not that we are going to throw thousands upon thousands of dollars at him on radical treatments, ala what is going on at WSU right now (which sounds amazing by the way). We are going to do what any young family would do for a sick family member, within reason of course. We started him on chemo-therapy today, and it's going to be a very busy schedule for the next 6 months to try and kick this thing back into remission.
I only post this because I love my dog, like many of you can attest in your own world. Just having him out of the house these last two days has been very painful. Anyway, if the posting around here gets a little sporadic or maybe doesn't make much sense, just know that there's some real world stuff going on. And give your dog or cat an extra hug tonight. Don't take them for granted, because things can change on a dime and you are suddenly faced with losing a great friend, just like that.