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HCA: Details released on 2019 Crimson and Gray game in Pullman

The annual spring game will have a few new features, including admission.

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

As I’m sure the majority of you are aware, the Washington State Cougars’ annual Crimson and Gray spring football game has been moved from Spokane to Pullman. The athletic department filled in the rest of the details on Thursday.

The biggest change? There will now be a small admission fee for the game, which will be on April 20 at 1 p.m. It’ll cost you $5 to get into general admission, while CAF members and premium season ticket holders will have the opportunity to pay $10 to sit in the club area. The release doesn’t say it, but I presume the attraction of sitting in the club area is that will be where the booze is located.

All proceeds from ticket sales will go to the ASWSU Coug Health Fund; the school had previously announced that the game would be part of a weekend focusing on mental health on campus. Student entry will be free.

Additionally, parking will be free, RV passes will be available for purchase, and the game “will feature many of the same amenities of a fall football weekend in Pullman (including) Cougville on Rogers Field prior to the game, concessions, videoboard presentation, along with the WSU Cougar Marching Band and cheer squad.”

See you there?


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Oh, what could have been

Just a reminder that Houston Cougars hired former WSU coach Kelvin Sampson the same year the Washington State Cougars hired former Oregon coach Ernie Kent.

Both Sampson and Kent are in their early 60s. Both spent an appreciable amount of time outside college basketball after being fired from their previous jobs. But while Kent was bloviating part time on a television network almost nobody gets or watches, Sampson spent his time learning from the best minds in the NBA.

Sampson learned the value of analytics, which back at Oklahoma he didn’t think were worth a wooden nickel. Now he pays his video coordinator, K.C. Beard, more than $100,000 and demands advanced statistics be delivered to him at halftime so he can prepare his message to the team. “He’s a savant,” Sampson said.

At halftime on Thursday, Sampson learned Houston was on pace for less than 60 possessions, and he prefers the Cougars to play 70 to 73 per game. Houston, in turn, came out faster in the second half and turned a three-point lead to 17.

“One of the ways to use your depth is to play with speed,” he said. “I’m a lot more amenable to playing fast now than before. When I was at Oklahoma I always felt like I had to control the game because we didn’t have great scorers. So, I had to figure a way to win. Where everybody wanted to be cosmetic and aesthetically pleasing, we could’ve done that but I don’t think we could’ve won.”

Sampson often gets asked by college coaches during summer recruiting what he took from his NBA experiences.

“I wish they all could take a sabbatical,” he said. “Maybe not a six-year sabbatical. I wish they could take a year to realize what they don’t know. That helped me so much to become a better coach.”

The Houston Cougars ranked No. 214 by adjusted efficiency margin in Sampson’s first season; the Washington State Cougars ranked No. 186.

Five years later, the Houston Cougars are 24-1 and ranked No. 9 by the AP; the Washington State Cougars are 10-14 and cruising toward their fifth consecutive losing season under Kent.

Oh, and, Sampson’s initial contract was worth $300,000 less annually than Kent’s. However, Sampson got a raise and he and Kent now make the same amount.


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