So normally we aren't huge around here on gossip, rumors, etc. We generally don't break any news, and if you are a regular around here you know of what I write. That said, there were some interesting "Gossip Girl" style stuff we heard at the spring game, so, thought we might want to pass it along. NOTE - this stuff is GOSSIP, which is often times unreliable. But I can definitely vouch for the source of some of this.....
1) Jim Walden - We heard he was "highly unlikely" to return at the spring game, and now the story is out there. But what we did hear is that there were some people who were extremely, extremely unhappy with him in the way things were handled with Wulff getting fired and Leach coming on board. It wasn't necessarily his performance in the booth, but there were a lot of things said in front of and behind the scenes that really turned off the the people in charge, and to go in another direction. Let's face it, he RIPPED WSU's administration for the firing of Wulff, repeatedly, and painted the people in charge as clueless. You can't destroy your bosses in the media and behind the scenes and expect to not have major ramifications?
2) Walden's replacement - While the details are still being worked out, look for Bud Nameck to ascend from the sideline and in to the booth. Will that be for color commentary, or an even larger role? We don't know. We do know that with Bud coming off the sidelines, a new face will be down there. And it is very likely that it will be a FEMALE sideline reporter.
No, it won't be Erin Andrews (much to her dismay, I'd imagine). But from what was whispered at the spring game, look for a female sideline reporter to be announced. Whether you like the idea of a female on the sidelines isn't really relevant, but the reality is that a female on the sidelines is the rage in the world of athletics, and WSU is more or less signing up to join the party. Personally I love the idea of someone fresh and new on the sidelines (no offense Bud!).
3) Bob Robertson - More than likely what will happen is that Bob-Rob will be "Golden Mic'd", which means he can pretty much pick and choose the games he wants to do. Obviously the man is getting up there a bit, now 83 years old, and is reaching that point of having to reel things in a bit. From what we were told, he also "HATES" the new numbers on the uniforms and has a very difficult time getting an accurate read on the numbers during game play, leading to mistakes in identifying players, etc!
If you are slowing down and you have a hard time seeing the numbers anyway, it just makes it that much more difficult. The mike will be available for Bob when he wants it, but we should expect to hear a different voice on some games this year. Bud sounds like the logical choice right now but we'll see what happens.
4) Sekope Kaufusi - Much as to what has been hinted of late, even from Coach Leach in post-spring interviews, is that the door IS OPEN for Kaufusi to return. That isn't breaking news, I know, but it sounds like behind the scenes they are very hopeful it will work out. There are things he must do, but things sound promising on that front.
5) Paul Wulff - He is still in Pullman, and word is he is still unhappy about the way things went down. He truly believed he was going to be given another chance and was pretty shocked when he was let go. We don't know if he has crossed paths yet with Leach, but it seems like they may have run in to each other by now? I mean let's face it, Pullman isn't exactly huge!
6) HBO show on Coach Leach - From what we heard, even though it is quiet right now this is still very much in the works. They did come in and film about a week's worth of footage already but they don't know for sure if it will happen. They might be back in the summer, or they will go with the footage they already have, but the plan is still there to make it happen.
7) Arkansas - No, Arkansas didn't call after Bobby Petrino was let go down south (at least we don't think so?). But let's just say that a lot of people inside WSU were relieved when John L Smith took that job! AND they were very relieved that the Petrino thing didn't go down in, say, November of last year. If the Cougs had to go head-to-head with Arkansas in openly courting Mike Leach?? I think we know how that probably would have gone down.
8) WSU series with Oregon/Oregon State in Seattle - Like it or not, this is going to be the deal for the next four years as the Cougs play an Oregon school in Seattle. But there already has been a decent amount of backlash against it, and things will probably return to normal when it runs the full course of the contract. Mainly donors are upset with the donations on the new suites/luxury seats/etc, yet giving up a conference home game to a NW rival to Seattle is not going over too well.
9) Stadium seating sales - Word is the luxury/premium seats have gone extremely well, and almost all of it is sold out. The reception to the new amenities has been fantastic, and they can't wait until people can actually experience it this fall. What's interesting is that a lot of ticket buyers are buying the luxury seats, but, they aren't giving up their original seats in the process. That was a fear for some, that they would move up to the boxes and leave empty seats below, but it sounds like that isn't the case. What they have seen is people holding a couple of their original seats, then buying some seats up above. So a longtime season ticket holder with four seats, for example, they have bought two luxury seats and then kept two down below.
10) RV Passes - A big change this year is the new pricing for the RV lots. Basically if you want to get in the premium RV lot by Beasley, well, you have to pay up. The price is now $500 for a season RV pass, and you have to be a $500 level donor as well. This was determined after a study was done that found many other schools were charging a heck of a lot more money than WSU for the premium RV lots, so this is just another step in keeping up with everyone else. It hasn't been received all that well however, but it's the new reality of the Pac-12 and unlikely to change.
That's about it for gossip girl stuff. I hope you aren't offended by any of it, and we never really do this kind of thing. But hey, it's the offseason and all that, and we thought some of the chatter around the spring game might be somewhat interesting in times like this?
All for now. GO COUGS!