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WSU is begging you to stay away from Pullman this fall

Also, updates from Wednesday’s football practice, and lots of links!

NCAA Football: Montana State at Washington State
Seriously, don’t do this.
James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Real quick before we start with today’s news: We’re up to $1,814 raised in the first few days of our UNIT3D for Hilinski’s Hope campaign! If you haven’t yet bought this year’s edition of the t-shirt or hoodie (I’m hearing the black one is proving quite popular), will you go do that now?

Remember: $10 from every UNIT3D item purchase goes to the foundation, as does $2 from each Butte Brand item. I bought a hoodie and four t-shirts to outfit the family, which means $50 is going to H3H to fight for the mental health of college athletes all over the country — and prevent another tragedy like Tyler’s.

And if you just really don’t need another shirt and you’d just like to donate directly, here’s a link for that. If you do that, will you shoot me an email at cougcenter@gmail.com so we can add it to the total?

The campaign is a short one, ending on Sunday at 11:59 p.m. Let’s do this!


If you were planning on tripping to Pullman this fall to celebrate the return of the Washington State Cougars in their COVID-truncated football schedule — even though you can’t actually get into the games in Martin Stadium — the school and city have a clear message for you.

Don’t come. Stay home.

“We understand how much our fans look forward to returning to Pullman for home games, but due to the ongoing public health crisis, we are asking them to cheer from the safety of their homes with members of their own household,” said WSU President Kirk Schulz, via news release. “The best way to help keep our Cougs playing this season is for our fans to stay home.”

No fans are allowed in the stadium, and the announcement notes that even Schulz will be watching from the president’s residence with his wife, Noel. And while WSU obviously can’t keep you from driving down the hill and into town, the school is taking a number of measures to discourage you from doing so:

Campus parking lots will be closed to tailgating on game day weekends. No camping or portable structures such as canopies will be allowed on campus, including in parking lots. Recreational vehicles will be turned away from campus.

The Compton Union Building, traditionally a popular gathering spot during home football games, will be closed.

If you were thinking, “Hey, maybe I can stand on the stairs next to the CUB or on top of the library to catch a glimpse of the game,” the school is planning on installing “screening and other measures to obstruct viewing from outside the stadium to discourage congregating.” No public watch parties will be hosted on campus.

Besides: Whitman County is one of the COVID hot spots in Washington. You’ll be doing your own community a favor by staying away, rather than unwittingly carrying the virus back home.

One thing I’ve heard from fans is that part of the reason they want to come back is to support the businesses they normally would support while in town for a football weekend. That’s not specifically addressed in the release, although there is this:

Staying home doesn’t mean Coug Nation will be silent. A variety of options for fan engagement on game days are being planned so Cougs and Coug supporters can safely cheer on the team together. WSU’s first game is Nov. 7. Watch for broadcast times, channels and more details coming soon.

If that’s one of your concerns, it might be worth tagging @WSU_Cougar_Pres on Twitter to let him know how important it is to have a plan for funneling money toward Pullman businesses so that they’re still around when we (crossing fingers) have a 2021 season where we can attend games.

Post-practice videos

Coach Nick Rolovich began his interview by praising the mental fortitude of the defense, which he says has a knack for hanging in there in tough circumstances.

Also:

  • It’s been tough to create team chemistry in this environment — a lot of the fun stuff they would normally do, they either can’t or just don’t have time for right now.
  • QB battle update: “They all do some good things. You see them getting better at things. It’s hard to really say. Their effort and want to is all there. As a group, I think they took a step last week. There’s still a lot of stuff to continually judge before we get to gameday.”
  • The young guys and new guys are getting tons of looks, and the emphasis with them has been on resiliency and preparedness.
  • They’ll start preparing specifically for the Oregon State Beavers shortly after this weekend.
  • He’s appreciated the willingness of the wide receivers to dive in and buy into the new system.
  • Like a lot of coaches, Rolovich has a leadership council — “guys who coaches thought ... had some influence, but also did things the right way.” He noted he includes freshmen to give them a voice, but also so they can learn from older leaders. He wants it to be a player-run program. Among the older players on the council are Jahad Woods, Liam Ryan, and Max Borghi.
  • The COVID testing process is running smoothly, even if the schedule of testing has been difficult for everyone — they have to be out of bed and up on campus to be tested at 6:15 a.m. to get the negative test before the afternoon’s practice.

LINKS

Washington State preseason notes (Oct. 21): Willie Taylor III is on the move again, thriving at new 'Edge' position | SWX Right Now - Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA
Willie Taylor III finds himself at a new position for Washington State this fall. It’s probably best he doesn’t get too comfortable.

Former Washington State star Klay Thompson agrees to virtual hangout with dying Warriors fan | SWX Right Now - Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA
Klay Thompson took a break from his main priority this offseason – rehabilitating a torn ACL – to fulfill the last wish of a Golden State Warriors fan facing Stage 4 breast cancer.

The Pac-12 is also getting in the Friday kickoff act, with eight games across ESPN and Fox networks

Kyle Whittingham hopes Utes get all their games in, but with the virus, ‘I’m not sure that’s realistic' - The Salt Lake Tribune

Canzano: Mario Cristobal’s contract extension is unfinished business for Oregon Ducks | Sports | bendbulletin.com
University of Oregon football coach Mario Cristobal is under contract through 2024. That’s a lot of runway. He’s not in limbo. He hasn’t raised the issue. Neither has his employer.

Mario Cristobal’s contract and going the distance in recruiting: Oregon mailbag – The Athletic
How far are recruits traveling to play for the Ducks? Why isn't the Pac-12 Network broadcasting football games this fall?

USC Training Camp Stories Stay Consistent
Every year players get bigger, teams discover unity.

Oregon Ducks defensive star Kayvon Thibodeaux seeking 2020 perfection
Oregon's preseason All-American wants to be a dominant every-down player after leading the ream in sacks and tackles for loss as a freshman