When the football season ended, WSU’s top three receivers were Lincoln Victor, Josh Kelly and Kyle Williams. Victor graduated, and Kelly transferred to Texas Tech, leaving Williams as the lone returner.
Then on Wednesday, a report from Pete Nakos of On3 Sports, an outlet I only learned of recently that seems to do a decent job tracking what’s happening in the transfer portal, said Williams “is expected to enter the transfer portal,” citing sources.
That would have meant WSU would once again be looking to re-stock its wide receiver corps. The Spokesman-Review and CougFan.com jumped on the report and ran with it. But then....plot twist!
Williams himself quote tweeted CougFan to let everyone know he’s staying in Pullman for one more season:
So, what happened? Well, a follow-up from CougFan indicated the Cougar Collective, the NIL outfit, came through in the clutch and was able to secure Williams’ commitment to stay in Pullman. What that all entailed is not officially known.
So the main headline should be Williams will return, giving WSU a proven threat at wide receiver entering the 2024 season. Whew. Crisis averted.
But the drama surrounding the ordeal wasn’t over. Did Williams enter the transfer portal? Was he planning to, until the Cougar Collective stepped in? Only he knows that.
WSU Head Coach Jake Dickert took to Twitter, or X, or whatever you want to call it, to call out—not by name—CougFan and The Spokesman-Review in a now-deleted tweet that we’ve screen captured:
(Side note: I don’t think players need to request to enter the portal.)
This tweet prompted CougFan’s follow-up, in which the story indicated that nobody from WSU—Dickert or Williams—said anything publicly about the On3 report for a long time, and that Dickert has CougFan’s co-founder’s phone number and could have reached out privately (I presume CougFan’s co-founder also has Dickert’s number, which makes me wonder why he didn’t reach out to Dickert to confirm the On3 report).
The Spokesman-Review also came out with a story on Thursday saying it “erroneously reported” Williams’ was planning to transfer, citing the On3 report. The S-R has taken its original report off of its website—a retraction, if you will.
Why CougFan and The S-R didn’t work to confirm the On3 report is a great question!
There was also a weird Twitter/X moment where Jim Moore, a former columnist for the defunct Seattle Post-Intelligencer and a current radio personality in Seattle, rambles on about how Dickert should apologize for the whole ordeal. It’s a true eye roller.
After deleting his original tweet, Dickert came out with a softer tone:
I want to clarify my comments were never about any one media outlet, I was trying to support our players and program.— Jake Dickert (@CoachDickert) December 29, 2023
Not the first time this year Dickert has had to walk back public comments!
This whole ordeal was just so dumb. It’s possible Williams was planning on entering the transfer portal before the Cougar Collective stepped up. It’s also not too much to ask the two outlets that cover WSU football the most to work to confirm reports.
And let’s not forget that there’s a young football player at the center of it all. Williams was taken care of and he’ll be back on the field for WSU this upcoming spring and next fall.