Mike Leach uses new locker room to light fire

PULLMAN—Mike Leach decided enough was enough after the Nevada loss. Following a disappointing performance in Reno to start the season 0-2, Leach told the players to pack it up - they'd be returning to their old haunt in Bohler until earning the right to reside in WSU's new locker room in the $61 million Cougar Football Complex. Their time in the old locker room turned out to be a short stay.

Three sources with knowledge of the situation who asked not to be identified tell CF.C that Leach had the players clean out their lockers in the newly renovated WSU facilities and move their stuff back into the old locker room. But there was no angry tirade from Leach, nor was it a lengthy move or required at an extreme time. The Cougar players simply had to gather up their stuff and make the trip back to their old lockers, which took about 10 minutes, according to one of the sources.

A source said the old locker room isn't worn down or anything like that, but any luxury factor it held had disappeared. The couches were gone, and it was obviously undergoing some remodeling, too. To top it off, tables and and other items for Portland State's use on Saturday were stored in it as well.

The Cougs regained the privilege to return to the new locker room a few days later, after they handily defeated Portland State, 59-21. Since then, WSU has played No. 2 Oregon down to the very last strand on the wire and stormed back on Saturday night to top Utah on the road, 28-27.

Whether the move to the old locker room caused the Cougs to renew their focus, or if it was something else, there will probably be some differing opinions on that. But one of the sources did say the players did not enjoy being back in the old locker room - not after coming from the new one stacked with couches, new carpet and other freshly installed crimson amenities.

At the start of the Portland State practice week, the Cougs also notably began rolling around in the sand pit before practicing. The Leach Beach, as it is often called, serves as a reminder that nothing should be an excuse to not giving great effort, one of the sources source said. Rather, just put forth the effort and make the play.

And Washington State could be about to get on a roll and make a lot more plays if the last three games against PSU, Oregon and Utah are any indicator.

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