403 Forbidden


nginx
403 Forbidden

403 Forbidden


nginx
Follow us:
403 Forbidden

403 Forbidden


nginx

Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

November 16, 2006 at 9:21 AM

Thursday mailbag

You have questions, many regarding the “suddenly senior” deal, we’ll try to have some answers:
DO COACHES AT OTHER SCHOOLS, OR HAVE PREVIOUS UW COACHES, DONE THE SAME THING WITH FOURTH-YEAR JUNIORS?
Yes. What made this so unusual and attention-grabbing was the timing. I can think of a half-dozen or so Huskies in the time I’ve been covering the team who were fourth-year juniors one season and suddenly weren’t back the next — some who come readily to mind from the Neuheisel era are Devon Johnson, Alvin Burleson, Manny Austin and Geoff Shelton. This also happened last year with Kim Taylor, Dash Crutchley and Jason Benn.
Close followers of any program I’m sure could find a bunch of guys in similar situations — coaches are always looking for scholarships, especially these days with the 85-scholarship limit (which is one thing that makes comparisons to the deep past on this issue irrevelant).
But my memory is that these decisions often were made after the season, and usually quietly came to light before the start of spring ball. The fact that these guys are key contributors also makes it a little different. The above examples were all guys who hadn’t done much on the field. But as every old coach I’ve talked to in recent days has said about this, it’s not so much what was done but how and when it was done and announced.
Interestingly, the same thing basically happened last year with Benn, Crutchley and Taylor — each was announced as seniors for the Apple Cup after previously being listed as juniors. But since they were lower-profile guys and nobody noticed until the day of the Apple Cup — and then the season was over with — it went relatively unnoticed. But I talked later with Crutchley and he said all the same things the guys from this year have about what Willingham told him and when.
CAN THE FOUR SUDDENLY SENIORS FROM THIS YEAR APPEAL TO TRY TO GET THEIR YEAR BACK?
Yes, we wrote a little bit about it in Saturday’s paper, and it’s not a big secret. There is an upper campus appeals board that is not connected with the athletic department that athletes in all sports can appeal decisions regarding their scholarships. I know Crutchley last year appealed the decision not to give him a fifth-year and was denied. I know Roger Faagata (remember him?), a linebacker from the early Neuheisel era also appealed when Neuheisel made a similar decision to deny him a fifth-year in 2000. Faagata’s appeal was also denied.
CAN THESE GUYS PLAY SOMEWHERE ELSE NEXT YEAR?
Yes, a new NCAA rules allows players who have completed a degree in four years to play somewhere else immediately if they still have remaining eligibility. The most noteworthy example so far may be Kevin Kruger, a basketball player who left Arizona State this year to play for his father, Lon, at UNLV.
Here’s some background on what Kruger did. It’s a controversial rule, however, and there has been talk that it could be overturned soon so in an ironic way, Willingham may actually have done these guys a slight favor by letting them know immediately so they can get somewhere quickly if that’s what they want to do.
Sounds like they both do want to go on. Hemphill, who was a standout basketball player in high school (his point guard was Pooh Jeter who played last year at Portland), recently told me how he quit basketball because he thought he had a better shot at the NFL than the NBA. So there’s no doubt he wants to keep playing.
HOW HAS ALL THIS AFFECTED THE REST OF THE TEAM?
Sure looked like it had a negative impact Saturday, didn’t it? Initially, players seemed to deny that the loss and the news of the week were related. But as this week progressed, a few (Roy Lewis, Stanley Daniels) said they thought it did. But maybe they will be over it by Saturday. I never saw a Husky team in more shambles before an Apple Cup than 2004, when Keith Gilbertson had already been fired, no team captains were healthy enough to play, and Scott White got suspended the day before the game for being late to the bus. And UW almost one that game anyway, losing 28-25. So anything can happen.
WHY HAVEN’T YOU BEEN HARDER ON THE COACHES ON THIS BLOG?’
For one thing, even though I have a little more freedom on the blog to opine, I’m not a columnist and not the one to start calling for people’s heads. I can and will analyze certain situations with a different perspective here than I might in the paper. After a game like Saturday’s, I think everything is up for consideration — the coaching and the talent. None of it looks good right now. But in general, I view this space as a place for me to give information and analysis that can’t be found elsewhere.

Comments

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


403 Forbidden

403 Forbidden


nginx
403 Forbidden

403 Forbidden


nginx