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Cougar baseball opens new season with a dud

WSU Athletics Communications

Good morning Coug fans. I don’t know where you’re all reading from, but it’s about 25 degrees this morning where I’m at. In other words, it’s about as far from baseball season as one can get.

But it is baseball season, in fact. The Washington State baseball team opened the 2018 season yesterday with an 8-1 loss to U.C. Riverside at the Husker Classic in Tempe, Ariz. Not exactly the way you’d like to start year three of the Marty Lees era, but hey, it’s a long season.

The bats couldn’t muster more than one run on six hits, and the bullpen ruined a great game by starting pitcher Isaac Mullins, who pitched five innings and gave up one earned run, five hits and struck out seven.

U.C. Riverside scored twice in the first inning. One of those runs was unearned thanks to a Dillon Plew error. A six-run seventh inning for U.C. Riverside ended any chance of a WSU comeback. Well that, and the eight runners left on base, I guess.

The Cougs are back at it today at 11 a.m. PST against Nebraska.


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Washington State coaching staff lost 6 top assistants since January -
It’s extreme turnover without a head coaching change.


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The WSU women got down early and never could make up lost ground.

College Football Attendance

Two weeks ago, I touched on the pros and cons of watching games live in person, on TV or in a bar. Now comes news that attendance at college football games was down an average of 1,409 fans per game, the largest drop since 1983.

Now, there’s a caveat here that not all stadiums and programs are created equal. Still, with all the talk about declining attendance and TV ratings for the NFL, it’s worth noticing.

We can parse through the stats all we want, but why the big drop?

Here’s a brief thread from SB Nation’s Matt Brown:

Television is a major factor, for sure. It’s why Boise State plays so many games on Fridays—so they can get more exposure on TV. It’s why you flip to ESPN on a Tuesday or Wednesday and see some random MAC game played in a nearly empty stadium. The TV revenue trumps the need to fill the stadium with fans and create a fun atmosphere.

Attendance is why Big Ten fans threw a fit when Friday night games were proposed—because it would force fans to choose between the high school game and the college game (high school football is huge in a number of Big Ten markets, particularly Ohio and Pennsylvania).

Every time the Pac-12 releases its schedule, I immediately look for any Thursday night home games for WSU. Those are tough on attendance at a school where getting to the stadium is already difficult enough for 75 percent of your in-person audience. Friday night games generally aren’t much better, though at least the next day isn’t a work day, and this past season we were fortunate it was a huge game against USC.

Plus, fan behavior is much different these days. Television sets make viewings much more enjoyable, what with HD and all. Ticket prices, night games, slow traffic and possibly the weather are also factors.

And I don’t think anything will change anytime soon. The NCAA has already climbed into bed with the TV networks, for better or worse.

College football heads in wrong direction with largest attendance drop in 34 years -
The FBS and individual conferences received some worrying figures at the end of the 2017 season.