Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Seattle Times to Attack WSU Football

I guess their UW series just wasn't enough for the Seattle Times. Maybe deep down we had to know that with all the negative news this off-season and now the APR, we had to feel like something was coming.

Many of you have probably read this already, but this e-mail is now making the rounds:

Dear Cougar Family,
First, let me apologize if any of you receive this email in duplicate. We have tried to hit as many Cougar supporters as possible with this and some of you may appear on duplicate lists.

The purpose of this email is to alert you to a Seattle Times story that is scheduled to appear either later this week or early next week. From our understanding the story is an in-depth look at the WSU football program, perhaps focusing on negative issues that have occurred over the past few years. My belief is they may combine the off-field incidents of some of our players with the recent APR news as the focus of the story.

I, along with the entire coaching staff and athletic administration, evaluate each and every incident involving our football program in a very serious manner. Although the attitude and behavior of our football student-athletes is not in a crisis situation, there is room for improvement. I believe Paul Wulff has put in place a process to positively impact the culture surrounding Cougar football and that change is already noticeable. While there are no quick fixes, the program is heading in the right direction.

I appreciate your continued support of Cougar Athletics and please let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding this issue.


Jim Sterk
Director of Athletics

So there you have it. I applaud Jim Sterk for getting the word out now, before the story hits the press and having to issue reactionary statements after-the-fact. And just ignore your UW brothers and sisters if/when they jab you when it hits the media. It is what it is, and as Mr. Sterk says above, the program is headed in the right direction under Paul Wulff.


Anonymous said...

Ah, don't sweat it. I hate the Seattle Times, p-i and any other seattle newspaper garbage. Jim Sterk will handle this correctly. From the e-mail he already is.

Sedihawk said...

While I couldn't agree more that Jim Sterk will handle this the right way, at the same time it could be an ugly few days. I cannot imagine an athletic director e-mailing ticket buyers, alumni and fans with a warning about a story that hasn't even broken yet unless it has some teeth to it.

You have to admit, we're fair game right now. UW was dragged through the mud for extraordinary screw-ups with their 2000 team. At the same time the UW stuff hit the news, we've made headlines with our misdeeds off the field. It is only natural they would dig in further as to what is going on.

I only hope they also point out the good vibe Wulff has brought to the program with his way of doing things. More than anything it will probably be a sledge-hammer reminder as to why the change was made, beyond the results we saw on the field.

Woody said...

I guess we should have seen this coming! The Times took a bunch of heat for their story on the UW Program, and I imagine it came from some very influential Seattleites.

Unless there is some major stories that we do not know about, I think most of the bad incidences are known, and they were dealt with. Now, one could argue the severity of punishments, etc. fair enough.

I do not care how much saber rattling comes from UW Alums. As bad as the behavior is (and it is bad) A DUI, a couple of MIP's, a fight here, a fight there, some bad apples in the class room ARE NOT equivalent to A serial Wife Beater, A habitual scumbag in all areas (Stevens) and an attempted murder of a drug dealer.
Mind you all of whom played and were celebrated after the fact.

Other than the heinous nature of the behavior (see above), the other alarming thing on the UW story was the cover up and look the other way mentality from every angle. The law/courts, The coaches, athletic program, the media, alums all seemed to turn a blind eye to these things.

So, again if I am wrong I will eat crow, but unless there is some out of left field bomb shells that we are not aware of this looks like it could be a "make up" call by the Times.

Go Cougs!


Sedihawk said...

I hope you are right Woody. Just a rehash of what we already know would seem like a waste of time, so, I'm hoping there isn't anything earth-shattering that comes of this. I guess we will all find out soon enough.

Kris said...

Highly questionable public relations tactics coming out of Sterk's office with this email. I can't imagine what would motivate an email like this being sent to "as many Cougar supporters as possible." His choice of words is particularly curious:

"Although the attitute and behavior of our football student-atheletes is not a crisis situation..."

Thanks for the reassurance Jim.

Sedihawk said...

Kris, I think we'll probably understand once the story hits. He sure seems to want to spread the word that this is coming beforehand, so either he doesn't fully know the extent....or he does and wants to calm the masses?

I really do hope that no matter what dirt they dig up, that Sterk has a fair chance to address things at the end of the day. If you remember the UW series, the entire last day of the thing was all about how wonderful things are now under TW, they were headed in the right direction, etc.

Hooty McBoob said...

Thankfully Andy Roof "only" broke that guy's face. We can still fall back on the "at least our football players haven't killed anyone" argument.

Rubbing alcohol mixed into contact solution? Is that really much worse than peeing in someone's half-filled pitcher under the table at the Coug? We're probably ALL guilty of that, right? Are you with me? Guys? Jen?

Fights on Greek Row are certainly no cause for alarm. I'd probably worry if there WEREN'T a scrape or two every now and then. I myself was once sucker-punched by Calvin Griggs. It's part of life on a college campus.

Here's the thing...

Every position in football (with a couple obvious acceptions) REQUIRES that in addition to physical skill, players have the ability to turn to a source of rage to get them through the battles of the game. Chris Spielman used to line up and look across the line, imagining the guys on the other side raping his wife and hurting his family. He said at times he'd have tears in his eyes when the ball was snapped. Is that healthy? No, but it's what allowed him to play with rage.

One could make the argument without making too much of a stretch, that it's unreasonable to expect an individual to completely harness that rage and limit it to the football field. It's not a far cry from training a soldier to kill; send him off to war to do what he was trained to do; and then have him come home and immediately blend right back into life as we know it. It doesn't make sense.

Before anyone throws a college-aged football player under the bus and passes judgment on him, they should first try and understand what it takes to actually play the game of football at this level; and then think back to when they were in college and all the stupid shit they did and got away with, because they weren't subject to the scrutinization of the media.

What did the Times accomplish with their series on UW? Nothing. Water under the bridge as far as I'm concerned. It all happened at a different time, under different leadership. As far as the program was concerned, they had moved on. The only thing shocking about that story was the preferrential treatment some of those guys seemed to get from the judicial system. THAT'S your real story.

Just like UW, we too have moved on, so take your best shot while you have the chance.

kaddy said...

I think Bird actually consumed pee from 4-5 different brothers at one time, and he's still alive, I think.

And Kris, I'm glad Sterk sent out that e-mail, giving the supporters a heads-up. Much better than seeing it in the paper, and thinking we had our heads in the sand.