Moos provides clarity on Casto's situation

WASHINGTON STATE ATHLETIC director Bill Moos told KJR 950-AM hosts Ian Furness and Jason Puckett on Thursday afternoon that he, not men's basketball coach Ken Bone, levied the initial suspension against junior center DeAngelo Casto.

There was some speculation that Bone delivered the suspension and Moos overruled him, but the latter said that was not the case. Casto was cited for marijuana possession hours after Monday night's win against Oklahoma State in the second round of the NIT.

Moos, who also said he levied previous suspensions against sophomore point guard Reggie Moore and junior wing Klay Thompson, said he wants to be consistent when he punishes athletes.

He compared Casto's situation to Moore, who was suspended for the Cougars' 61-58 win Jan. 15 at Stanford. Moore was cited for possession of marijuana and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia in December, but Bone said he was "still dealing with the issue" when his player was charged Jan. 5.

Casto's lawyer, Tim Esser, contends the search of his client's apartment violated his Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable searches.

"We had some unique circumstances," said Moos, who did not rule out disciplining Casto at a latter date as details emerge. "It certainly was interesting how the officer came to arrive at the fact that there was smoking of marijuana at DeAngelo's apartment."

MOOS HAS TAKEN some criticism that he only lifted Casto's suspension because of the significance of the game. Casto scored 11 points and had eight rebounds as the Cougars defeated Northwestern, 69-66, in overtime to advance to the NIT semifinals Tuesday against Wichita State at Madison Square Garden in New York.

But Moos denied those accusations, pointing at Thompson's suspension against UCLA in the regular-season finale on March 5 at Friel Court. WSU lost that game, 58-54, in overtime to finish with a 9-9 record in conference play. Thompson was arrested after police found marijuana in his vehicle hours after he guided the Cougars to a 85-77 win March 3 against USC.

"If we had our top scorer, we probably would have won that game and would be in the NCAA Tournament," Moos said. "This was not a win-at-all-costs deal."

He said Thompson's situation was different than the other two because it was more "cut-and-dried." Moos said it also is important to give players the "benefit of the doubt." Casto pleaded not guilty to the charges.

COINCIDENTALLY, MOOS SAID he met met Pullman police chief Gary Jenkins, who was hired in July 2010, in the afternoon before Casto's arrest. Moos was hesitant to criticize PPD, but said he feels it is imperative that both that unit and the university need to have a good working relationship.

Puckett noted that all three players cited by PPD are ethnic minorities.

"I'm not going to say there's (racial) profiling," Moos said.

He said marijuana and drugs have been problems at every campus he has been on. Moos, who previously served as athletic director at Montana and Oregon, said it is important that his department and its coaches continue to educate athletes about the dangers and potential ramifications of using drugs.

NOTABLE NOTES:
  • Moos was asked if the marijuana arrests reflected negatively on Bone. He noted that two of the three players, Casto and Thompson, were recruited by previous coach Tony Bennett, but that does not clear current coaches from any responsibility.

    He praised Bone's character and noted that UCLA coach Ben Howland, who is Moos' friend, lauded the second-year WSU coach for his strategy against the Bruins.

    "Ken Bone can coach," Moos said. "He makes fabulous game plans and adjustments."

    He said he was not happy about losses at Oregon and last-place Arizona State during the regular season, but liked winning both regular-season games against NCAA participant Washington. Moos said he also is analyzing Bone's recruiting and ways he can assist his staff.

  • The financial benefits to participating in the NIT are negligible, Moos said. He added that much of the revenue goes toward paying for travel. But there are benefits. Consider that teams such as ASU, Oregon State and Stanford each finished playing two weeks ago. Since then, the Cougars have played three games and have been able to practice.

    "This is more practice, reps and exposure for our program," Moos said.

    NOTABLE:

    The NIT Final Four shapes up this way:
  • Tuesday, March 29, ESPN2 4:00 pm PT(Wichita State vs. Washington State; 6:00 pm PT Alabama vs. Colorado.
  • Thursday, March 31, ESPN2 4:00 pm PT, Championship Game

  • Cougfan Top Stories