Bud Withers of The Seattle Times was in Pullman over the weekend and put together a little "state of the department" story on WSU and its athletics director Bill Moos for this morning's edition of the paper. Most of it rehashes a lot of what we already know with fresh quotes, but there was one little nugget in there.
WSU will make a one-time trip to Auburn in 2013, which I don't recall seeing anywhere else before this morning.
Personally, I'm not really fired up about this. Withers uses the note as part of an anecdote to describe Moos' elevated expectations for the football program -- he expects the Cougars to win the game -- but the first thing I thought was this: Wasn't the new Pac-12 deal supposed to end these sorts of "body bag" payday games?
I know, I know ... Moos isn't looking at it as a body bag game. (At least not publicly.) But it's a one-way trip, so there's really not any other way for the casual fan to interpret it. Just interesting, I guess.
The other thing of note in the story is that the regents are meeting this week to either approve or reject the beginning of Phase III.
"If we get that approval, we'll move forward very fast," he said. "It'd all have to line up right, but we could conceivably be in the new seats by the 2012 season, and most probably be in the football-operations building six months later."
Moos is talking a 38,000- to 40,000-seat stadium, and club and loge seats, plus possibly 17 luxury suites. He was never persuaded that the north side was the right place for the renovation as conceived under Sterk.
He sees a combined price tag of about $70 million. The Cougars have raised $17 million, and he said, "Ideally, we'd like to raise another $15-to-$20 million" - a better base from which to finance the rest through bonds.
"If we're fortunate enough to get it approved," Moos said, "then we can come back in with a new energy to attract more donors."
My understanding is that this is basically a rubber stamp meeting. If that's not the case, someone closer to the situation can let me know, but I can't imagine Moos submitting something like this without some assurances it will be approved. The craziest thing is that this could potentially be the last year in Martin Stadium as currently constructed -- a crazy aggressive timetable that further suggests all the pieces are in place to get started once the regents sign off.
Last thing. WSU officially confirmed Chris Tormey's hiring as the linebackers coach. You can read the school's release if you're interested. As we said earlier, this is a brilliant move for Wulff.