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Leach weighs in on Luani’s arrest

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The Cougar head man hinted that the case may not be as straight forward as it appears

NCAA Football: Stanford at Washington State James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

The first scrimmage between less experienced players (AKA Thursday night football) of the 2016 season was played Thursday, but the most interesting thing to come out of the session wasn’t something that a freshman player did to stand out. Instead, it was Head Coach Mike Leach’s statement on the arrest of safety Shalom Luani.

Luani was arrested and charged with 2nd degree felony assault Wednesday after allegedly breaking a man’s nose outside of Dominoes. The safety posted on his Facebook page Thursday that there are two sides to the story, and Leach seemed to agree while talking to reporters after practice.

"We’ll just wait out the fact finding process," Leach said. "The initial fact finding sounds like he got jumped by three people but we’ll wait til it unfolds and see where it's at and we’re not gonna allow it to be a distraction for us."

The statement is clearly in opposition with the initial reports that Luani got angry, and then threw down with a fellow pizza parlor patron. But even if Leach believes this other version of the story now he’s still keeping the key defender off the field. The Spokesman-Review’s Jacob Thorpe reported Thursday that Luani has been held out of practice since the arrest in an apparent suspension.

In other news, football practice was held yesterday and there were some notable developments that Leach also talked about. Receiver CJ Dimry was back on the field making plays after he had gone missing for awhile. Additionally, freshman center Frederick Mauigoa came in ahead of the curve for an offensive lineman and has impressed the coaches. Finally, Eric Mele talked punting and kicking for a couple minutes for all you special teams fanatics.

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Football:

Mike Leach adds intrigue to Shalom Luani arrest | The Spokesman-Review
Mike Leach added some intrigue to the controversy surrounding the recent arrest of star Washington State football player Shalom Luani after practice on Thursday, indicating that the football player charged with second-degree assault may have in fact been the victim.

Guide to the 2016 Heisman Trophy candidates. | Sports on Earth
While the Heisman Trophy race is never easy to predict, the candidates for the 2016 college football season seem easier to identify than usual, given the amount of proven talent that returns. That just makes predicting the winner as tough as ever.

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No explosive offense can be complete without a stellar number one receiver, and that’s what the Cougars have in Marks, a redshirt senior.

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Kicker Eric Powell has earned the most stripes on WSU’s special teams | The Spokesman-Review
When Eric Mele got his first shot at a premier assistant coaching gig, he militarized Washington State’s special teams.

C.J. Dimry dominates first Thursday Night Football of 2016 | The Spokesman-Review
At 6-foot-5, 201-pounds wide receiver C.J. Dimry presents a matchup issue for almost any defensive back. So what chance do the true freshmen have?

Soccer:

Overland’s Goal Clinches 1-0 Victory over No. 13 Santa Clara - WSUCougars.com | Washington State University Athletics
With the win the Cougars even their early-season record at 1-1-0 while Santa Clara (2-1-0) suffered its first defeat of the season after opening 2016 with back-to-back wins over No. 11 USC and No. 18 California.