Q: I have noticed all season since Jake Locker’s penalty against BYU, players throwing the ball and such yet they do not get flagged. Have you heard any talk about if they told refs to cool off on that call?
A: I haven’t heard of anything like that. But officials don’t live in vacuums. I’m sure they all heard about the controversy and probably some of them became more sensitive to it than they were before. But as was stated here and everywhere at the time, that was simply a bad call. It was defensible by the letter of the rule, but a bad call nonetheless. So I don’t think it should have been expected that every other official would make the same bad call. Typically issues regarding officiating are addressed in the off-season and I would imagine that maybe that scenario will be discussed again, possibly to bring more clarity to what should be called and what shouldn’t be. But again, everyone makes mistakes and they aren’t always going to get them all right. And all that said, UW still could have just made the PAT and none of it would have mattered.
Q: Some of the ESPN analysts were talking about USC as a national title contender, but noted the weak perception of the PAC10 due to only seeing them play twice a year because of the night games and the poor TV coverage of FSN. I believe you said that the PAC10 is with FSN because its a high paying contract, but how much is potentially lost from USC not being in the national title? Do you think if the PAC10 had a better TV contract for exposure (albeit less paying), that in the long run it would pay out more from getting more publicity and better bowl games?
A: I didn’t hear that, but if so, that frankly sounds a little like the guys at ESPN trying to take a little shot at FOX. I’ve been a consistent defender of the Pac-10 when it comes to the TV stuff because the reality is that ESPN will never offer the same level of coverage of the conference as will Fox. All the complaints I get about such-and-such game not being on TV will only increase if the conference ever ditches Fox because ESPN isn’t going to offer those triple-header Saturdays of Pac-10 games the way FSN does. And to be fair to the Pac-10 powers-that-be, they have tried to have the best of both worlds with the new deal that includes more games on ABC/ESPN yet keeps the heavy presence on FSN, which allows for all the other games to still get on TV. Every single UW game was on TV this year, and that for an 0-12 team. That doesn’t happen if there’s no FSN involvement. And that’s the kind of big picture, for the good of the conference stuff, that may sometimes be missed when people talk about this. As for it hurting USC, if pollsters really had a hard time figuring out how to see USC on TV than they shouldn’t be voting. FSN is a national network and pretty easy to find on most systems, I would think, and USC is about as visible a team as there is. USC played very high-profile games early against Virginia and Ohio State early in the day early in the season. So I really don’t think exposure should have been a problem in any way.
Q: Anything on Tony Heard from Edmonds- Woodway. Has he made a decision?
A: No, he hasn’t. Scout.com lists him as having an offer from UW but with no visit set up yet.
Q: I was wondering how much direct control a head coach typically has over the strategies and game planning of the coordinators. If this is too general then specifically I was curious about Tyrone Willingham compared to other UW coaches and what affect he might have had on Tim Lappano and Ed Donatell to be effective in their jobs. This might help determine what factor talent vs. coaching played into things this past year.
A: The first part of your question is hard to give a definitive answer because it all just depends on the coach. Steve Sarkisian plans to have about as big a role in the offense as a head coach can, calling all of his own plays come gameday. But he apparently will cede almost complete control of the defense to Nick Holt. Other coaches handle it other ways. Just depends on the head coach. Ultimately, the head coach is responsible for everything, to be sure, so most head coaches always have some sort of veto power. Willingham was known for giving his coordinators quite a bit of freedom. Obviously, the defense had a lot of different looks this year that were Donatell’s idea, and the spread stuff that Lappano brought in was a lot different than what Willingham did at his previous stops. So it seemed like he gave them a lot of latitude to do what they wanted. But again, the head coach lays the foundation for everything, so it’s still a group effort to a point.
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