Oh man, oh man. The Dawgs are going under the knife for awhile, as reports have surfaced that they are under investigation for illegal (improper) benefits to recruits. This may not look like it on the surface, but it’s real big.
Chief Dawgs recruiter Tosh Lupoi (a rising name in the recruiting game) is the specific coach in question, for now, but after the story broke Wednesday and the rumors on Sark and the rest of the Husky coaching staff started flying. This is definitely going to become a majorly big deal and Cougars everywhere couldn’t be happier. The shift of power just locked itself into hyper-drive as Mike Leach and the Cougs continue to do all the right things.
To the Huskies’ credit, Chris Petersen is now in charge and can restore faith in the health of the program faster than probably most other coaches would. But this isn’t going to go away, these types of violations never do, without penalty anyway. Who knows how deep this runs? And right now, Leach can sell the crap out of WSU being a place where you don’t have to worry about that crap slowing down the program for any amount of time.
So first USC, then Oregon and now Washington with the possibility of heading full circle back to USC with Sark being a common denominator for two of those schools. He can say all he wants to about trying to run the program clean while he was there, but I think a lot of eye-rolls will be the reaction right now to those statements. Is there really any possible way that at two separate institutions he bolts just before the mudslide begins?
Interestingly enough, the head coaches left all 3 schools just before the filter began. Makes you wonder, doesn’t it? What exactly did they know, or was it pure coincidence that stuff started leaking right after they left? No, I didn’t seriously just ask that.
Think about the North right now. Cal is glued on the bottom of the stack at the moment, Stanford has the academic hurdles (though clearly that’s slowing them down as much as you or I could slow a rumbling train by standing in front of it). Oregon is fighting leadership and other battles, Oregon State has never been a powerhouse in recruiting and Washington, who was just starting to take over the recruiting game… well, that happened with some added benefits apparently.
At any rate, Washington State’s rise is apparent and if I’m a recruit on the fence right now between UW and WSU, I’m staying away from the city and all those issues that are about to arise to focus on my ball in Pullman. Probably look for this next year or year and a half to really be “advantage WSU” in the recruiting game right now. Would be nice to take advantage and even a couple recruits that wouldn’t have previously considered the Cougars could accelerate the program even more than it was previously going to be.
Makes you appreciate a clean group of coaches that does things like send a starter home from the bowl trip for academic short-comings. This is going to get pretty interesting as we keep an eye across the state.