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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

October 12, 2010 at 11:27 AM

Tuesday mid-morning notes — SI story could be college bombshell and a few Sarkisian conference call quotes

A lunch buffet of news and notes, including some of what UW coach Steve Sarkisian had to say on the Pac-10 coaches conference call and a few links to some interesting news elsewhere.
— First off is this potential bombshell of a story in Sports Illustrated this week featuring a first-person account from a southern California-based agent who alleges he paid thousands of dollars to dozens of college football players, most from Pac-10 schools. Among the names named is former WSU QB Ryan Leaf. No UW players are mentioned as having taken any money. Larry Tripplett is named as a player the agent was interested in talking to but that he couldn’t sign.
This story is sure to cause shockwaves around the college football world and I’m sure there will be lots of follow-ups. But as the story notes, everything mentioned in the story is past the NCAA statute of limitations for penalties, so it doesn’t appear this would result in anything of that nature.
— Also breaking this morning is the news that UCLA has apparently suspended six starting players for its next game, Oct. 21 at Oregon (a Thursday nighter). The players have not yet been named and coach Rick Neuheisel would not comment on it during the conference call today. This is another story that will feature a lot of follow-ups as it develops. And man has the tenor of UCLA’s season changed for the worse in a week.
— As for Sarkisian, none of what he said on the conference call today would qualify as real news. Most interesting may be his elaboration of comments he made on his coaches show Monday night about Desmond Trufant. Sarkisian said again that he thinks “has been pressing” at times this season, and trying too hard to “be perfect” and do all that the coaches ask, and “shoulder the burden of everybody” at cornerback. He said his physical skills are apparent during practice but that he is struggling to carry that over to games. He said the coaches are trying to get him to a point where he can play more loose and play to the best of his abilities.
— Sarkisian was also asked a general question about the challenge of getting a team to play at its maximum level each week. He responded that “I think that’s one of the mysteries of sports, right?” And that if there were a magic button to push to make everyone play to their capability each week, then there would be no challenge to sports and the best players would simply win every week. “You are always looking for that right formular to recreate that same intensity, that same energy level and enthusiasm and, ultimately, that same execution. But ultimately somewhere in there it can get lost. If it didn’t, we’d have a bunch of undefeated teams.”
— He also said that the parity in the Pac-10, with so many teams seeming to be just about even in ability, makes it even more difficult to play to that same level each week.
— And here are the highlights of what OSU coach Mike Riley had to say during his press conference today from The Oregonian, including thoughts on how the team will replace the injured James Rodgers.
All for now.

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