Moos provides wide-ranging insight

BILL MOOS SAYS he's willing to man a bulldozer to further alter the ever-changing landscape of college athletics. Moos, Washington State's athletic director, said Monday that discussions regarding the pending basketball scheduling agreements between the Pac-12 and Big Ten conferences have included talk about men's basketball doubleheaders involving WSU and Washington.

Moos said the Cougars and Huskies might play back-to-back days of hoops doubleheaders with Big Ten teams at Seattle's KeyArena, the Spokane Arena and/or WSU's Beasley Coliseum.

"I really think the Big Ten is every bit as much, if not more interested in this concept," Moos said on his weekly radio show.

Moos touched on a variety of other subjects, including:

-- Football scheduling: Moos said he is fighting to keep nine conference games in football – some people in the Pac-12 want to drop one league game to allow more scheduling flexibility. Moos also wants to bring one Big Ten team to Pullman every year as part of a home-and-home pact.

"Wouldn't it be great to see the likes of Notre Dame and Penn State, or Nebraska, Illinois, Purdue on our campus?"

Moos said he's making it a priority to "really have an attractive schedule that is going to encourage the Spokane market and the Tri-Cities market to buy season tickets."

-- Hoops swoon: Moos said the fact that just two Pac-12 teams (Colorado and California) are playing in the NCAA men's basketball tournament "really is a profound statement on the disrespect for the Pac-12" in a sport the league often excelled in during the Pac-8 and Pac-10 days.

Moos said he believes the fact that all Pac-12 men's basketball games will be televised next year (many on the new Pac-12 network) will benefit the league in recruiting and the "perception" of the league.

"We've been sliding the wrong way," Moos said. "A lot of it has been losing players to the NBA and losing players to other schools. In today's world, there's a lot of young players that expect to be getting a lot of minutes … they're all about themselves. They're about the name on the back of the jersey and not the name on the front, and they get up and leave (transfer)."

-- CBI views: Moos said the 68-team NCAA men's tournament has "too many teams." Still, he's all for WSU playing in the College Basketball Invitational, a 16-team event that rates well behind the NCAA tourney and the 32-team National Invitation Tournament.

"This is an opportunity for our team to develop," Moos said. "It's a young team. Our seniors wanted to play as well, so I think it's important that we do it."

Moos toyed with the idea of paying the $70,000 fee for a first-round home game, but decided it would be best to wait until students return from spring break next week before bidding for a home game.

Moos said he would be interested in playing at home in Monday's quarterfinals against the winner of Wednesday's game between North Dakota State and Wyoming. First, the 15-16 Cougars must win Tuesday night at 20-13 San Francisco (7 p.m., HDNet).

"We've got to bring our ‘A' game," Moos said, "because that's a fine enough team in a tough conference."

The Dons finished fifth in the West Coast Conference. Moos said ESPN Radio broadcasters "were kind of bashing" the Pac-12 on Monday morning, saying the WCC was a better conference in men's basketball this season. San Francisco split with Gonzaga this season. The Cougars lost a hard-fought season opener at Gonzaga, 89-81.

"They (the Dons) could really take it to us, so we need to be prepared and ready," Moos said.

Meanwhile, Gonzaga coach Mark Few said Sunday there is "no question" WCC teams Saint Mary's, Gonzaga and Brigham Young are better than any Pac-12 teams this season.

-- Policy development: Moos said he supports new football coach Mike Leach's no-second-chance policy on drug use. Moos said the athletic department developed a stronger drug policy last year after what he termed the "embarrassing problem" on the men's basketball team. Three starters were cited last season for marijuana possession.

Moos said coaches have the option to enforce a stronger drug policy on their team than the department-wide policy.

-- Buses arranged: Booster buses from Pullman, Seattle and the Tri-Cities will be provided for the final spring football scrimmage, the Crimson and Gray game, on April 21 at Spokane's Albi Stadium.

The Crimson and Gray Game drew several thousand people last year after Moos pushed for the scrimmage to be pushed from Pullman to Spokane.

-- Tourneys move: Citing poor attendance and a general lack of interest in Los Angeles, Moos said he backs moving the conference basketball tournaments to Las Vegas (men) and Seattle (women), starting next year.

"Seattle will do great," Moos said.

The Las Vegas move is expected to be made official Tuesday at a press conference scheduled for the MGM Grand hotel, where the men's tourney will be held.

Moos said the variety of activities available to fans makes Las Vegas an attractive site. He spoke out against critics of college sports events in gambling towns.

"We've got to get over it," Moos said. "If you're going to gamble, you're going to gamble."

-- No softball: Moos, responding to a caller on his radio show, said he would "love to have" women's fastpitch softball added at WSU "in a perfect world."

Moos said he's giving more priority to current programs and the need to raise more donor money to support the smallest athletic department budget in the Pac-12.

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