A Call to Arms for CouGreat Cogdill

COUGREAT GAIL COGDILL, who played football with so much heart out on the Palouse and later in the NFL, is counting on fellow Cougs and others to help him fix his heart.

Cogdill's wife, Dian, has set up an internet site to seek donations for stem cell treatment for her husband's ailing heart. Insurance won't cover the procedure, and Dian says Gail's age (75) makes a heart transplant or a mechanical heart less attractive options.

Cogdill, who starred for the Cougars from 1957-59, caught a WSU record 252 yards worth of passes against Northwestern --- a mark that stood for 33 years. He is a Lewis and Clark High graduate who still lives in the Spokane area.

Cogdill made an immediate impression in the NFL, earning the league's rookie of the year honor in 1960 following a season in which he caught 43 passes (12 game seasons back then). A pro bowl selection accompanied the award, his first of three pro bowl appearances (1960, 62, 63). He also earned second team all-NFL honors in 1962, 63, and 64. He played 11 years in the NFL, catching 334 passes for 5,696 yards and 34 touchdowns.

He also holds the distinction of being the first Cougar to appear in a Super Bowl, as a back-up receiver for the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III. Other trivial footnotes include appearing on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1962 and having a chapter devoted to him in George Plimpton's classic book "Paper Lion."

OVER IN LONDON, Aron Baynes' dreams of Olympics glory ended Wednesday when the United States eliminated Australia in a 119-86 quarterfinals blowout in London.

Baynes, a former Washington State center, came off the bench in all six games for the Aussies (3-3). He averaged 6.7 points and 3.2 rebounds per game while shooting 65.5 percent from the field (19 for 29). Baynes had four points and four rebounds against the Americans.

CLOSER TO HOME, former Coug WR Brandon Gibson, who started nine games at wide receiver for the St. Louis Rams last season, has looked sharp in training camp.

"He's someone I'm extremely comfortable with," quarterback Sam Bradford told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "Gibby's had a really good camp so far, too. He's playing at an extremely high level."

"Sam has trust in me," said Gibson, a fifth-year pro.

Rookie linebacker Alex Hoffman-Ellis, an undrafted free agent, is another Cougar on the Rams.

QB Aaron Garcia AND WR Chris Jackson were two of 25 players named to the Arena Football League's silver anniversary team.

Garcia, who played for WSU in 1989-90, was tabbed the third-best player in league history (the top two have yet to be announced). He just completed his record 17th season, passing for career highs of 4,985 yards and 118 touchdowns in 18 games with San Antonio. Garcia holds all major AFL career passing records and was twice named Offensive Player of the Year.

Jackson, who played at Washington State in 1996-97, was another two-time Offensive Player of the Year. He ranks second in league history with 325 touchdown catches, and his 1,004 total catches and 13,378 receiving yards rank third.

DO YOU REMEMBER Matt Way? He was WSU's ace pitcher in 2009 when the Cougars qualified for the NCAA baseball regionals for the first time in 19 years, and he's revived his pro career with the Laredo (Texas) Lemurs.

Released by Philadelphia in spring training after missing 1 1-2 seasons due to injuries, Way ranks among the wins and strikeout leaders in the independent (no major league affiliations) American Association. He's 7-5 with a 3.68 earned run average and 84 strikeouts in 95 1-3 innings.

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