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Cougar Football takes the day off, the links do not

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The season previews continue to roll in, and there is even some WSU-related basketball news.

William Mancebo

Good morning Cougar fans, and welcome to the last full week without Cougar Football. I feel giddy just writing that. After conducting a Friday night practice back home in Pullman, the Cougs took Saturday off. I don't know what the players did with their precious day of rest, but I'm sure the coaches, and more likely their wives, had a nice little Saturday planned. Practice resumes at 2:30 on Sunday in Pullman.

We begin with a basketball story, where the Seattle Times conducted an investigation into Steve Ballmer's involvement with the Lakeside High School basketball program. A good chunk of the piece details former WSU signee Tramaine Isabell's time at the school, and his relationship with a wealthy supporter of Lakeside athletics. It is a very interesting piece, and made me wonder whether the details raised in the story led to the split between Ernie Kent and Isabell.

Over at the Spokesman Review, Jacob Thorpe has begun his annual series of position previews, beginning with the kickers and continuing Sunday with the quarterbacks. The kicker situation brought to mind another instance when a revered senior departed, and was replaced by a new left-footer. When legendary WSU kicker Jason Hanson left after 1991, Aaron Price, son of Mike, took over kicking duties. While he didn't make anyone forget Hanson, he ended up 13/18 in 1992, good for the 7th-best season, percentage-wise in WSU history. In just two seasons he made 30 field goals, which places him 6th at WSU, just ahead of the legendary Tony "The Toe" Truant. While there is no chance that any of us will ever forget Andrew Furney, for a variety of reasons, hopefully the left-footed Erik Powell will be an able fill-in.

Football

WSU pass offense begins, ends with Halliday - Spokesman.com - Aug. 16, 2014

As long as Connor Halliday stays healthy the Cougars should have all they need to accomplish coach Mike Leach’s objectives in the passing game this season.

Coug kicking game has new lineup - Spokesman.com - Aug. 16, 2014

After two seasons of stability in the kicking game Washington State enters 2014 unsure how its specialists will perform, or even who they will be.

Mailbag: Shelf life of Alabama's dynasty, Week 1 surprises and more | FOX Sports on MSN

Picking out an unexpected bloodbath is a more difficult task for the simple reason that Vegas is already predicting a whole bunch of them. But how about Washington State over Rutgers that first Thursday?

Rutgers Football: Good Luck to Goodwin - On the Banks

Here's some insight into the situation at defensive back for Rutgers. My favorite part was the comment by dbull79, who thought Rutgers was an 8-win team before this move. High comedy indeed.

Basketball

With Ballmer’s aid, elite school pushed limits of prep-sports rules | Local News | The Seattle Times

Padden “took an interest in me,” Isabell said. The player began living at Padden’s home — a $6 million mansion on Lake Washington that includes nearly 6,000 square feet of space.

Beer

18 Overrated Beers

Shiner Bock isn't only the most overrated beer around, it may be the most overrated beverage ever. Shiner makes a few good beers, but Shiner Bock is straight garbage.

Non-Sports

Summer Jobs Are Slowly Disappearing | FiveThirtyEight

In the 1970s, more than half of teens ages 16 to 19 — and nearly two-thirds of boys in that age range — worked in the summer, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In 2014, less than a third did so.