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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

October 9, 2008 at 9:25 AM

Bye week answers, volume three

Here we go with another round. …
Q: What did Don James say about Tyrone Willingham’s status during his interview on KJR-AM Wednesday?
A: James, the former UW coach, did a round of radio interviews Wednesday to promote his charity roast Oct. 23. I heard only his interview on KJR where James said that he did not support making an in-season change of coaches. “There’s more than half the season left, seven games left, and teams do get better if they stay healthy. You evaluate them after the season is over, is the way I look at it. Make your evaluation then. If you listen to the fans, it might feel good for them to make a change, but I don’t think that’s the answer.”
Q: Whatever happened to Keauntea Bankhead, the former state player of the year who signed with UW in 2004?
A: No one actually asked that question this week, but it’s been a popular one in the past and the Times had the answer today — he’s in Seattle, helping coach at Franklin High. It’s at the bottom of this story here. I don’t know if that means his playing career is over or not. He had been rumored headed to Illinois State in the summer and I know he took a trip there. But apparently it didn’t work out.
Q: Much has been made of the distancing that has been done during the last 4-5 years from the DJ era, former players, alumni, boosters, media et. al. Interviews like the one with Steve Emtman on KJR this week facilitate this notion. It is pretty well-known that one of Willingham’s main assignments was to restore order and respectability to the program. However, his tactics appear to have led to a major fracture between the program and some of its best links to the storied past while also failing to facilitate good will with the current fan base. The hope for the future is that we have two men in charge who know what they are doing in Mark Emmert and Scott Woodward. My question is, what role has Emmert played in the last few years since he has been president through the whole Ty tenure. Does he know about the distancing? Does it bother him? Is that a major reason Turner is gone? Are they doing anything to begin mending the fracture?
A: Emmert and Woodward are well-aware of everything going on. Whether they share the same opinion you do about it may be the more relevant question. I think you have to be careful with some of this stuff in terms of whether you are hearing all sides to these stories. Not saying that you aren’t, just have to make sure that you are. As Emtman said in that interview, Willingham is the CEO of the football program, and as such gets to set the rules. I think that’s the way that Emmert and Woodward have approached it. Willingham was hired to do a job, so they are letting him try to do that job the way he best sees fit. Also, remember that Turner was the AD when Willingham was hired. I think Turner may have allowed Willingham to set a direction for the program that another AD may not have. But once that direction was set, it can be hard to turn it a different way in midstream. I also think that with this season being such a make-or-break year for Willingham, there may have been a sense to let him do things his way through this season and then deal with things at the end of the year, because either he would be gone (which seems likely now) or he would be signed to a new contract when they could discuss with him possibly changing some of the ways in which he runs the program as a condition of his new deal.
Q: Is Jake Locker elgible for a medical redshirt this year?
A: No. He already redshirted in 2006, so to get another year he’d have to apply for a sixth year. Those are given only for missing entire seasons, and usually for missing two complete seasons due to an injury, as was the case with Juan Garcia. They are given out very rarely — Garcia is the only one in the last decade or so of UW football and I think he might be the only Husky to ever get one. EDIT — A reader pointed out correctly that WR Patrick Reddick got one in 2002, which I forgot about. Thanks for the reminder. Like Garcia, Reddick also missed two full seasons due to injury. In both cases, the players missed the seasons consecutively, which is also usually required to get a sixth year.
More later.



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