The plain truth about Cougs vs. Dawgs

IF YOU RELIED solely on KJR Radio in Seattle or Saturday's Seattle Times, you'd be left with the impression that Washington State's spirited student body is getting hyper-amped for tonight's game with the Huskies simply because it's the Huskies. Talk about misleading.

Our friends in the Seattle media reported, accurately, that Cougar head man Ken Bone took out an ad in the Daily Evergreen asking students to be classy in their jeering of the Dawgs. What the Times and KJR's finest failed to report is why.

Talk about being apologists for the ol' hometown team.

Journalism 101 screams for a simple question to be asked and answered: why?

Why would this game between the Cougs and Dawgs be any different than any of the others in Pullman since the Bennett Renaissance supercharged the rivalry?

Why would Coach Bone be so concerned about the behavior of WSU students for this one game?

The answer, while straight forward, apparently is one the Seattle Times and KJR don't want to touch on: THERE'S AN ALLEGED SEX OFFENDER PLAYING FOR THE HUSKIES!

It was all over the news earlier this month. A UW basketball player has been accused of raping a 16-year-old he met on line. The father of the teenager who says she was raped is outraged the player is still being allowed to take the court.

Why the Times' Percy Allen and KJR's Mike Gastineau would dance around this matter when talking about Bone's unique advertisement is mind numbing.

The player hasn't been charged or arrested so his name has remained out of the news. But his identity is no secret on the grapevine. And that grapevine extends to Pullman, where the age-old college tradition of mercilessly berating whatever personal chinks your opponent may have in his armor is alive and well.

Gonzaga -- that bastion of Jesuit enlightenment -- took it to a whole new low against WSU a year ago. In the 1980s, a standout Oregon State player with a severe acne problem was verbally brutalized in every arena.

It happens. In fact, why do you think Dick Bennett once gave Husky students a one-finger salute?

Ken Bone knows what students are capable of. But he doesn't want tonight's game to turn into an over-the-top ugly fest around an issue -- sexual assault -- that is both morally repugnant but also very dangerous fire when the accused person is innocent.

That's why the coach took out his ad the other day asking Cougar fans to cheer -- and jeer -- long and loud, but not in too brutal a way.

Why Allen on Saturday and Gastineau on Friday chose to ignore the reason behind the ad is just plain strange, even if you are a Husky apologist as so many of Seattle's media folks are.

AS FOR THE GAME ITSELF, tipoff is at 7:06 p.m. tonight with FSN handling the TV coverage. The Cougs are three-point underdogs to the Pac-10's top team. WSU, tied for fourth in the league, is 14-6 overall and 4-4 in conference play. Washington is 15-4 and 7-1.

Klay Thompson leads the Cougars and the league this season with 22.2 points per game. He is No. 9 nationally in scoring. Thompson also ranks in the league's top-five in 3-point field goals made, free throw percentage, 3-point field goal percentage, assists and steals.

The Huskies have won the last four meetings with t6he Cougs, as no current Cougar has defeated UW (Abe Lodwick and Charlie Enquist redshirted in 2007-08 when the Cougs swept the series). Prior to UW's win streak, WSU had won seven-straight over the Dawgs, including three games at Beasley Coliseum. Last year UW swept the season series with a 59-52 victory at Pullman Feb. 27 and a 92-64 win at Seattle Jan. 30.

Cougfan Top Stories