Bill Moos asked about Bone's future

SPOKANE -- Washington State athletic director Bill Moos, who has long maintained that he makes decisions about hiring and firing coaches only at the end of the season, said Monday his policy applies to basketball coach Ken Bone. Bone has come under considerable fire from fans this season.

"That'll be decided at the end of the season," Moos told Cougfan when asked about Bone's future following Moos' weekly radio show at The Swinging Doors restaurant and lounge.

He noted the impact of Reggie Moore's absence on the Cougars' fortunes this season, and pointed out that Bone has some intriguing talent coming through the pipeline.

"At the end of the day, I'm the one responsible for making those decisions, and it's never easy," said Moos, who throughout his career has deferred questions about coaches to after the season.

Bone is owed $2.55 million -- $850,000 per season -- on the three remaining years on the seven-year contract he signed with former Cougars AD Jim Sterk in 2009.

Asked if money alone would impact his analysis of Bone and the program, Moos said, "No."

Bone has drawn heavy criticism from fans this season in particular. Bone has yet to post a losing record at WSU and has guided the Cougars to post-season tournaments two straight years, but his current team is 11-13.

Washington State is tied for last in the Pac-12 Conference at 2-9. Attendance and general fan enthusiasm have been modest.

Greg Rankich, a WSU alum who made the largest-ever one-time donation ($3 million) to Cougar athletics in 2011 to help fund upgrades to Martin Stadium, regularly criticizes Bone on Twitter. His messages often end with #FireBone.

Moos said he was unaware of Rankich's Twitter messages.

"I don't let those things sway me too much," Moos said with a laugh.

Bone, highly successful as a head coach at Seattle Pacific and Portland State before coming to WSU, owns a 68-59 record in four years with the Cougars. His conference record is 24-41, peaking with a 9-9 mark and sixth-place finish in 2010-11.

WSU's current four-game skid is the longest active losing streak in the league.

"I wish we had more wins," Moos said. "I wish we had a true point guard."

Moore, a senior point guard and three-year starter, was kicked off the team prior to the season. Natural shooting guards Mike Ladd and Royce Woolridge, who had little point guard experience, have split time at the point.

Ikenna Iroegbu, a point guard at nationally respected prep power Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va., has signed a letter of intent with the Cougars for next season. Que Johnson, a highly touted wing player, is being counted on for next season after being ruled academically ineligible this season by the NCAA.

"He's got some pretty good players coming in," Moos said of Bone.

Moore was one of three WSU basketball starters cited by police for marijuana possession during the 2010-11 season, when the Cougars played in the NIT Final Four. There has been considerable speculation that marijuana use led to Moore's dismissal.

"I'm not going to say it," Moos said. "He violated our rules and policies. He knew what they were."

The Cougars have seven conference games left, so they will again fail to post a winning league record. WSU's only winning conference records in the past 18 seasons came in 2006-07 (13-5) and 2007-08 (11-7) under Tony Bennett, who left for Virginia after the 2008-09 season.

Cougfan Top Stories