Moos on Tuel, facilities' boon to recruiting

SPOKANE -- What are the chances that Friday's Apple Cup rivalry game with the Washington Huskies is the final game of Jeff Tuel's career at Washington State? WSU Athletics Director Bill Moos put a number on it at the Spokane Cougar Club luncheon Monday.

Moos told the Cougar Club crowd on Monday that WSU has been cleared by the Pac-12 to seek an additional year of eligibility for the senior quarterback. But the NCAA is the final arbiter.

"We're trying to get him a fifth year," Moos said in response to a question. "We've now applied to the NCAA. I won't kid you, there are no guarantees. I'd put our chances of success at 20 percent. I've been in this business for a lot of years and the one thing that still makes me angry is all the bureaucracy."

Moos lauded Jeff Tuel for his commitment and contributions to the program.

"He's a kid who probably should have redshirted as a freshman, but got pressed into service," he said. "If you add it all up, he should really be coming to the end of his sophomore year for all the games he's played in."

Moos then paused.

"Make it a 30-percent chance," he grinned. "I tend to be conservative."

At the same time, even if the NCAA did rule in his favor, Tuel has steadfastly maintained, and did so again Saturday after the ASU game, that he has not made up his mind on whether to return if given the opportunity.

MONDAY'S FEATURED SPEAKER was the Cougars' Director of Football Operations, Antonio Huffman, but when questions were offered about the new football operations building, Moos stepped to the microphone.

Construction on the $61 million facility is set to begin Nov. 26, three days after Friday's Apple Cup.

"This was approved by a unanimous vote by the Board of Regents and that's big," Moos said. "This facility is at the very core of the blueprint for Cougar Football. Wow factor? It's got all of it."

Moos said the ground floor, which will house the program's locker rooms, will extend underneath Rogers Field. Other floors will house training facilities, weight rooms, meeting rooms, a training table as well as offices and meeting rooms for coaches and staff.

"We have a place where former Cougar players can all come back and have a beer and a bite of lunch on my dime before every home game," Moos said. "It's the Grey W Varsity Club and I want those alums back on campus."

The facility will be a boon to recruiting, Moos and Huffman agreed.

"This is the kind of thing the kids want to be part of," Huffman said. "It's the latest thing. It's state-of-the-art and it's got all kinds of stuff the players will want."

"I'm sure Coach Leach and the assistant coaches have been talking about this to our recruits," Moos added. "I'm sure they didn't tell anyone that it was a guarantee, but I have a feeling they told them that Bill Moos said there was a high likelihood."

Moos said coach Mike Leach flew to Phoenix ahead of his team to see the team's highly-touted quarterback recruit play on Friday, although he couldn't mention Phoenix Brophy Prep's Tyler Bruggman by name.

Bruggman was quoted recently by both CF.C and the Arizona Republic that he was steadfast in his verbal commitment to play at Washington State.

Without mentioning Bruggman by name, Moos said with the facility, the Cougs will be able to attract more of those types of players.

HUFFMAN SAID preparations for this year's Apple Cup game are on an accelerated schedule.

"With the game on Friday, we're going to have our regular Tuesday practice this afternoon and everything else is moved up a day," he said. "We'll take the team to stay in a hotel in Lewiston the night before the game and we're going to out there and get it done.

"I'm sure at some point during the game we're going to have to calm some of these players down. They all understand what this game is all about. They know about the bragging rights. They know what's on the line. It's about how you want to be remembered."

Huffman said he's made arrangements for the team to have a genuine Thanksgiving Day meal together this week.

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