THE AFTERNOON PAPER: Discipline issues still at the fore with football

I haven't put together a links post in a couple of days, and I've got a ton of stuff built up in the SB Nation Clipper queue today.

Let's lead off with football for once, since, you know ... it's almost football season.

 

Created by OnePlusYou

 

Now if we could, you know, actually talk about football when it comes to the football team.

Howie Stalwick at Cougfan.com checks in with Jim Sterk to find out just what the esteemed AD thinks about the job his football coach is doing in the wake of even more transgressions with the law on the part of his players.

"I think Paul has made significant progress and the team has as far as what they’re doing -- their attitude, how they’re conducting themselves," Sterk said. ... "There’s been a couple screw-ups. I don’t want to minimize it. But they’ve been a heck of a lot better than in my previous nine years."

Wait a minute. Nine years? I was under the impression the players running afoul of the law or the university was a relatively new phenomenon. Perhaps there was more going on behind the scenes than we knew. Which is why it shouldn't be surprising that Ted Miller tells his general Pac-10 readers that it's unlikely that Sterk goes in a different direction at the end of the year, even if the Cougs suffer another abysmal season:

So let's say the Cougars win one, two or three games and end up in the conference basement. Does that mean fans should start calling for Wulff's head?

No.

It's impossible to judge a coach on two seasons. And Sterk, who strikes me as a measured decision-maker, knows that and isn't going to panic. Wulff inherited a program that had lost its direction. Or, to be more direct: He inherited a program devoid of talent and leadership.

At the very least, the changes Wulff has instituted are resulting in some good rhetoric around the program. In his Cougfan.com diary, Kenny Alfred dedicates the first portion to talking about the "covenants" the players developed to hold each other accountable.

These four covenants are things that the entire team is unifying with and working to fully attain on a day-to-day basis. And in all honesty, with these four concepts now firmly in place, things have gotten leaps and bounds better both on and off the field than they were before. As new players who are incredibly eager to learn and accept the system that we’re putting in place arrive, we will only become a stronger and better football team.

Then, in his CF.C diary, Kevin Kooyman talks about the difference in strength training since Wulff and strength coach Daren Lovat have made. 

It's all well and good, but we heard a lot of talk before last year about the culture change that Wulff was bringing, and it didn't really show up on the field. When I was in high school, we had similar off-field measures to ensure our success in the coming seasons. We went 0-8, and won exactly three games in my entire high school career. We'll see just how much of a change has been made under Wulff when things start to go south this year.

Other links this afternoon:

  • The WSU Football Blog gives a quick hit-and-run review of NCAA Football '10. Sounds like I'll probably stick with 09 and save my 70 bucks. 
  • No matter how much the national media seems to perpetually hate WSU, we can always count on Andy Katz to have our back. Most interesting? Ken Bone's direct comments about Brock Motum: "We'll need him immediately. I'm hoping that he's gained confidence, that he can compete at a high level and be successful."
  • The WSU basketball alumni association had its meeting at the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, as the Lakers and Thunder played each other on Monday. Kyle Weaver showed the younger Cougs how it's done, with 10 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and 3 blocks in 36 minutes for the Thunder, while Taylor Rochestie had 5 points and Aron Baynes had zero points and four rebounds. Let me just state the obvious: By averaging more fouls than rebounds and more turnovers than points, Aron Baynes is not helping his cause to get on an NBA roster.
  • Howie Stalwick talks to Klay Thompson about just what winning gold means. I don't think I'm giving anything away by telling you that it was an honor.
  • Mark Rypien is a really good golfer.
  • The WSU athletic department received an A grade on the Gender Equity Scorecard -- one of only two such grades given to BCS schools. (Penn State was the other.) Pretty cool if you ask me.
  • Arizona is starting its own sports TV network. Can you imagine Michigan or Ohio State or Florida or Oklahoma doing the same thing? Of course not -- they have a conference that already has ensured their games are on TV. Once again, screw you, Tom Hansen.
  • AllPac10.com is breaking down each of the Cougars' positions.
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