First off, hope you were able to follow the live chat with UW AD Scott Woodward. He answered a lot of questions about the renovation of Husky Stadium and other aspects of UW sports.
There are still a lot of issues to be determined, so there are some specific questions he can’t answer yet simply because there aren’t specific answers. But he did clear up some issues on the football operations building that I know some of you have asked on here. Specifically, the 70,000-square foot facility will include new meeting rooms, weight rooms, coaches offices, etc. And it is scheduled to be done along with the rest of the renovation, so opening for the 2013 season.
Also, he didn’t give a specific dollar figure for how much money is raised but said again that he is confident that they are well on their way to meeting their goals. Essentially, he said everything with the stadium renovation is on track with the usual caveat that there’s always the chance something unforseen could get in the way.
Woodward also said that contracts for all the assistants who were scheduled to see their deals run out in June are in the final stages of being completed (expect multi-year deals). Those could be announced soon (as will the two new graduate assistants).
But for all of what he said, I encourage you to check out the linked chat above.
IN OTHER NEWS. …
— Some of you have asked me about the schedule for Jake Locker at the NFL Combine. Here is the overall schedule, and Locker is part of Day Two arrival group, meaning he will meet with the media on Friday and have his workouts on Sunday (not sure the exact times for those yet, but if I do get those I will pass them along). Mason Foster falls in the Day 3 arrivals group, and Nate Williams in Day 4. Danny O’Neil, our NFL writer, is at the Combine and will have regular reports on his blog. I’ll also pass along what I can on the three UW players attending.
— I hope you saw my updates earlier on the Marques Tuiasosopo situation. My understanding is he will be either a graduate assistant or an intern. There have been some rules changes to how graduate assistantships are awarded in recent years and Tuiasosopo — since he has been out of college for more than 10 years — will apparently have to apply for a waiver (there have been some restrictions added in recent years to prevent what had been a trend to hire older former coaches as graduate assistants, which the NCAA felt was getting away from the purpose of GA’s). Apparently, that may not be a slam dunk, so it’s possible he ends up with a different title. All of this is why there may not be an official announcement from UCLA of his position for a little while.
— I’ve also been asked about the conjecture of Austin Seferian-Jenkins potentially playing basketball at UW as well as football. What has to be remembered is how hard this is to realistically pull off given the time demands involved of both sports (which are overlapping a bit more every year).
If the assumption is that UW again makes it to a bowl game next season, he almost certainly wouldn’t even have a chance to work out with the hoops team until early January (and that’s assuming he makes it through the season healthy and in good academic shape and all of that).
Since I’ve been covering UW full-time beginning in 1997, only two football players have tried it — Charles Frederick and Nate Robinson. Frederick was a top 50 national basketball recruit as well, and Robinson was maybe the greatest athletic talent in school history. Each did it for only a year before deciding to concentrate on one sport (Robinson obviously choosing basketball). Not saying it can’t be done, just that people should keep in perspective what a challenge it is and temper expectations accordingly. As one person told me, Seferian-Jenkins has an awful lot to get through first before he worries about playing basketball for the Huskies.
— Here’s a good overview of Arizona State’s QB situation now that Steven Threet has had to retire due to issues with concussions (though remember that UW does not play ASU the next two years).
— Stanford QB Andrew Luck has taken out a pretty big insurance policy after deciding to return for one more season.
— ESPN.com’s Ted Miller with a look at which Pac-12 teams did the best job getting and stopping explosive rushing plays (UW near the top at getting them, no real surprise with Locker and Chris Polk, and near the bottom stopping them, no real surprise given the struggles defending the run, especially early on.)
All for now.