Monday, March 30, 2009

The Bone and the Benefactor

Greetings, Cougar Nation. Hope you all are hanging in there.

Well, this whole development is nothing short of bizarre.

First, Tony leaves. Then, we decide to NOT interview any of his assistants. And then Tony decides to not take ANY of his assistants with him.

Talk about 'servanthood'.


Then, Sterk makes the statement in his press conference tonight that the search is going to be "short and sweet" or some such. And you know what that means?

Its time for the REAL bone to step forward.

Yep, out with the T-Bone, and in with the Ken Bone.

Bone will bring one heck of a W-L track record with him along with solid ties both with Sterk as well as the NW. And you know what would put the icing on the Cake?

Bring back Ben Johnson and Sanchez.

The success of this program will depend on whether or not we keep that Pac defense. With Johnson, you've got a guy that played in the Bennett system and coached it for a decade. On top of that, you have the guy with ALL of the recruiting connections we've established over the years.

So, Bone and the Benefactor + Sanchez + Bone's top assistant at PSU.

You keep all of our recruits, including Thames and the Australian kid (who will both be GREAT) as well as Capers, Thompson, and Casto.

We'll suck next year, but be dynamite in two years. And then we'll see if Bone can recruit.

Its a slam dunk. Hire bone under the condition that he keep those two assistants and we'll forget this day in no time.

Go Cougs.


James said...


Haha sorry can't really put more to it. I think Johnson is a must, because it would also help our guys (Thompson, Capers, Casto) get through this transition more smoothly. I love that the team is really uniting (so it seems) through all of this drama. It'll mean a lot down the road.

Anonymous said...

"Givin' the dawg a Bone"

CougX said...

I say thanks to TB for the memories and the program you built. UVA is the UW of that state with VT being the underdog (except in footbal) it is a whole different culture there. Pretty campus but remote. By the way if TB waited until Saturday the UK or Memphis jobs may have been available.

Moving on, as we should because it has happened and there is nothing we can do about it. The Cougs will hire a quality coach but the type of scheme that the new coach installs will be they key. In general if he tries to bring a Arizona type offense then we may have difficulty however if a defense minded approach is maintained then we will have a winner. There is a solid foundation and good players more so than when Sampson left. Just because a coach leaves does not mean the players just bail. They will lose eligibility, and also give them credit for having allegience to their school. Most if not all will stay. Go Cougs.

atlantacoug said...

As with most topics, I speak from ignorance. But I agree that we need to keep the Pack Defense because I shudder to think if we try to 'speed things up' we don't have that kind of athlete on our roster. Paul Graham tried to speed it up and led us to our darkest days. Now, was that because he could not recruit or coach? Maybe. Or perhaps we need a 'system' that keeps us competive always, and contending for Pac 10 title occasionally.

Sedihawk said...

At least it will happen rather fast. Love the given the dawg a BONE! He sounds good to me, on all fronts, but like ATL Coug, I know nothing.

As to Tony, here is one thing that hasn't been mentioned, one thing that we have heard from someone who knows the guy - he LOVES THE NBA and that is his ultimate goal! I know it hasn't been talked about much, but there have been articles written in the past about it. There was even an article written about Dick Bennett not too long ago, I think in the Salt Lake City newspaper, where Dick snuck in some kind of line that Tony might spend some time as an NBA assistant in the future to learn more about the NBA, and then hope to get an NBA head job. I don't have the link, but it was in the last year or so?

Anyway, it is what it is. Tony put in some time in Pullman, was part of a huge turnaround from the depths of the abyss, and for that I will be thankful.

The stunner is the timing obviously, and the passing up of seemingly better jobs in the past for what doesn't sound like a great job. But Vince nailed it, in terms of things like budget, the challenges of Pullman likely to become more challenging as things tighten up, etc. Possibly pulling back the charter flights would SUCK. And heck, Tony offered to give back 100K in salary to help the program? Who can find fault with that?

Combine the possible issues ahead and then here's an ACC job throwing big money, great facility, etc, right at him. Maybe he suddenly realized that he does still have SOME clout out there, and that this is the time to bail after all? While the stock is down a tad after this year, it's still high enough to sell and reap some rewards? Who knows.

What I find the most interesting is that he told Sterk he was staying Sunday, then changed his mind Monday? You usually don't do that unless one side significantly sweetens the pot? Maybe he told VA he was staying, and they said "well, how much will it take?" We all have a number, don't we? Speculation, but who knows.

Grab Ken Bone, give him that Pac-10 job he covets, let him use those west coast ties he has built over the years, and let's roll.

Cougbbfan said...

I would keep woodley too, he seems to be the guy the players all want.

TiltingRight said...

I would have been disappointed, but not surprised, and not angry if he'd left last year. But he didn't. On top of that, he specifically spoke about building something special here, with legs to stand on its own feet. Now this, just before what will likely be a VERY tough season in 09-10....

Thanks for the memories. Thanks for the tourney runs. Thanks for the kick in the beanbag, ya ass.

On top of all this, reports say he was at the UVA campus early last week, taking a tour, while on a "recruiting trip." That would be days before UVA asked Sterk for permission to talk to Bennett. I guess blowing smoke is the 6th pillar.

Fact is, I'm still angry and hurt. I told my wife I feel like I've been dumped. I believed his BS when he talked about loving Pullman and wanting to build something special... just didn't realize he was talking about his portfolio.

Truthfully, I'll probably get over this anger and resentment, and root for Tony in the future. But not yesterday. Not today. Not anytime soon.

As for future coach, how bout June Daugherty?

I keed, I keed.

Bone is an up and coming coach with local ties and success, and could come at the right price. I'd like to get someone with head coaching experience, but I'd go for Johnson or Woodley, to keep some continuity and keep our players.

Is there anyone else around from Dick Bennett's coaching tree?

Sedihawk said...

I don't know if I will actually root for him. I won't root against him, but rooting for him might be a stretch. I have no feeling for UVA before this, and I will have no feeling for UVA after it either. If we ever play them, of course, but otherwise, meh.

Did anyone see Cougfan's story about how down the UVA fans are about this hire? They actually posted a bunch of comments from the UVA message boards of people just irate about it. He'll likely win them over eventually, but they clearly wanted someone/something bigger than Tony.

Anonymous said...

Wow, read the bad news last night....really devastated with Tony's decision and behavior here - we all had a feeling this would happen like Kelvin Sampson, Dennis Erickson, Mike Price, etc. but it still hurts and to Virginia of all places?? – we thought Tony would be different and we believed him that he was happy, wanted to build a program, had enough money, etc……why does this always happen to WSU?? Of course we know but we always have to yet again ask why??!! (as I am looking up to the sky)……..makes you wonder though – his Dad’s recruits are gone now – could Tony not recruit? Does he really see next season as a disaster and therefore is bailing? I am one of the few that actually thinks we would have been decent next season and I hope to God that Klay, Capers, and Casto stay – PLEASE STAY!! – the Cougar nation loves you guys!! But anyway, this hurts…….we thought you had more class Tony….this just feels bad all the way around…..anyway, whatever the reasons, I hope WSU can someday fix them so our athletic programs cease to be a revolving door for quality coaches…..always the same – taste some national success, lose your coach – rebuild……repeat.

Reno, NV

Anonymous said...

Thames gone...according to!

James Wentz said...

Well besides the soul crushing football season last year, I guess this is my first real kick in the balls as a Coug. Awesome TB, give us hope, and then leave at the first sign of trouble.

Longball said...

Wow, some of you are being way too kind here. Make no mistake about it, folks; Tony just screwed us over. And he can take "Servitude" and shove it right up his @#%*&!.

I know we have a lot of Coug fans here that are right off the turnip truck, but some of us were around for Sampson (who owed half as much to this program as Tony does) and losing a coach like this is devastating. Nate Erdman? Ernie Abercrombie? Remember them? Yeah, you don't because they ended up suiting up for Oklahoma. At least Dennis Erickson had to get drunk to stand before the Cougar nation and lie. Tony was able to do, with bible in hand, making a total mockery of all that he supposedly learned from his father. We got screwed folks. And the hangover is going to be long and painful. We are officially cast back deep into the basketball wilderness.

I'm with Hootie on this one. Bring in Seltzer. No more outsiders like TB to come in here, lie about how much they love Pullman, and abandon ship at the first sign of headwinds. Bone will use us as a stepping stone, but Bennie is a Coug.

Anonymous said...

Any word on what the deal was that TB accepted at Virginia?? I have not heard any details.....

Reno, NV

kaddy said...

UVA will pay the $400K buyout for Tony.

Then they pay Tony a $500K signing bonus.

He gets $1.7 million per year for 5 years, and if he stays all 5, he gets another $500K.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a good deal but wasn't he making close to $1M with us?? would think he would have held out for a more lucrative deal unless there are lots of things we do not know about that were beyond repair or dealbreakers in this situation? But rumors that he flew to Virginia on Thursday and made his decision by Sunday sure sound like a quick "wanna get outta Dodge" kinda decision. Makes you wonder what really went down??


Anonymous said...

Also, was it me or did TB not seem to be into the NIT game against St Mary's?.....maybe he had already decided then that he wanted out?? But still, why Virginia of all places???

Soze said...

I'm still not convinced Bone can get the kind of athletic kids he needs to run, along with being Pac-10 caliber players, in Pullman. And as others have said before, he'll probably also be using WSU as a stepping stone to another gig somewhere else. I'm not going to hate on the hire if thats the way we go, but I think there are better options out there.

I'm going to be a pessimist and assume most of our 2010 recruits are going to back out, so I just hope the returning sophomores also stick it out and the new hire can get some good recruits in Pullman in 2011.

AtlantaCoug said...

Interesting Read on the some of the coaching stuff/fluff out there.

Chris '04 said...

I'm personally thinking that Coach T wanted the hell outta Dodge ASAP. I don't know how a coach could have made such a life altering decision in a matter of 3 or 4 days. Something is going on in the background that we aren't hearing about.

On Patchen and the Wingman (700 ESPN in Spokane) yesterday they were talking about the added cost of equipment and some other things that Tony may have been paying for on his own dime. Also, things like charter flights were still heavy on his mind. Note that the Cougs flew commercial out of Spokane on their way to their NIT in Cali. I'm not in Tony's head but he may have found that to have been a slap in the face. Perhaps he was thinking, "I got this team to the post season and they won't even spend a few extra bucks on a charter?!?!"

I dunno, just a thought but I can't imagine that recruiting kids to Pullman was easy either. Aside from Spokane, there is really NOTHING that is a one day drive to around here. He has to fly and then stay at least one or two nights to most places that he is recruiting. This can only wear you down.

Longball said...

Two timing Tony apparently got paid a hefty retention bonus on March 15. Nice to know he sucked every penny he could out of our cash strapped program before running off. If this basketball thing doesn't work out for him, he has a nice career at AIG to look forward to.

Chris '04 said...


If I read correctly, he is donating that back to the WSU basketball program.

Soze said...

As far as chartered flights, I heard no one in the Pac-10 charters flights? No clue on the validity of that though.

Chris '04 said...


Do any other teams have to bus an hour and a half to the nearest city to catch a commercial flight?

Sedihawk said...

A lesson to the ladies - BEWARE THE SUPER-HANDSOME! They tell you everything you want to hear, "you are the greatest baby, I'm SO INTO YOU." You walk around, thinking how great it is, how can this be true? You finally believe him and lower your defenses, and BOOM - a hotter piece of a$$ parades on by, and he leaves you in the restaurant and stiffs you with the bill in the process. End of story.
Tony is going to look bad after all this, not that he bailed as we all thought he would at some point? But the way he left was just so out of character(at least what we thought was his character?). He looks awfully phony and shallow all of a sudden. When you remove the words and just focus on his actions, he just reaffirmed what we know about the monster ego of college coaches. His true colors have been revealed. We clung to hope that he was diferent, yet 3 years later at the first down moment, he punts WSU. He is NOT who we thought. Or at least who we hoped.

Let's see what Sterk does. IF Thames wants his release, well, let him ask the new coach for the release after they have a meeting. But let's see what happens.

Soze said...

Chris '04, no. But don't forget about traffic? Its taken me an hour and a half to get to SeaTac! :)

But not really my point. When you said it was a slap in the face to not take a chartered flight to St. Mary's, I was wondering if it was a Pac-10 rule that teams are not allowed to charter? Its my understanding that no team in the Pac-10 charters flights so he shouldn't consider it a slap in the face. That's all...

And again, I could just be an idiot and maybe the Cougs just don't charter flights and it IS a slap in the face.

Longball said...

Wow, you should see the Cougfan boards. Looks like Tony himself is over there trying to clean the sh-t off his name disguised as "SDCoug". What a total knob.

ggschulz said...

To the guy who said Tony wasn't "into the game" at St. Mary's: I was there, six rows behind Tony, and trust me, he was plenty into it! That doesn't mean he wasn't already thinking about UVA, but give him some credit.

My take on the situation is this: Do I blame Tony? No. Am I dissapointed? Of course. Was I surpised? Yes, since I thought he would be more likely to leave a year ago fresh off the Sweet 16 and Weaver, Low, and Cowgill graduating.
But don't tell me that it doesn't make a fair amount of sense to leave Pullman, Basketball Siberia, for the ACC and another $700K/year. We need to remember that we are Washington State and it takes the perfect combo to keep somebody in Pullman in the winter. Tony is young and ambitious, so let's move forward and hope to land somebody who will stick around.
By the way, why is nobody mentioning Stew Morrill from Utah State as a possible candidate? He is a Gonzaga grad, familiar with the area, and at 57 years old would probably be making his last move.

Geoff in Fresno, CA

Longball said...

Geoff, I think you and a lot of people are missing the point. Nobody is arguing that the Virginia gig isn't better in almost every way. But he had a job to do here and he walked out before it was done, all along saying he wouldn't promising the fans, the school, the recruits that he was building something here and invoking "servitude" and God and all that crap while doing it. Now his players and his loyal assistant coaches are all left high and dry.

If I am a Gonzaga, or a Kansas, or a Globetrotter fan his move makes total sense. But i am a Cougar fan and it is a stab in the back to us, nothing more. We all understand that coaches are ambitious and all of that stuff, blah de freakin dah, but most of them don't shower us in sanctimoneous loads of total BS before showing their true colors. It is the total load of crap we were fed by this jerk that is so gauling in the end, and yeah, we're a little mad at ourselves too for buying into it. That is why we should all be united in wishing him nothing but the worst.

BMels said...

Well I don't have much to add on top of everything that has already been said here. I was shocked, absolutely shocked when I heard the news. Just seemed like he had a great opportunity to build his own team with this year's three frosh and the incoming class and do something special that was truly his doing. Everybody knew he was gonna leave at some point but this timing doesn't make sense to me as a logical career move for him.

Somebody else mentioned it already but I would really like to know the "real reason" per se. What changed his mind in a span of 12 hours? I suppose we'll never know.

With some time to digest it a little, I like BH's plan. Get Bone, keep the assistants and keep some of the momentum. Go Cougs!