THE COUGAR BLOG: Aug. 2 to Sept. 9, 2015

A RUNNING LIST of news, notes, quips and quotes from in and around the Cougar Nation. Updated regularly.

SEPT. 9 9:22 PM
  • KENT TAKING PART IN COACHES vs. CANCER EVENTS
Washington State men’s basketball coach Ernie Kent will be one of the featured hosts at “Evening with Champions,” a Coaches vs Cancer event set for Sept. 26 at the new Davenport Grand hotel in downtown Spokane. Kent will also be in Coeur d'Alene on Sept. 23, where he'll be out on the course at Circling Raven Golf Club, visiting with each team competing in another Coaches vs Cancer event, the "Hope Classic."

Kent will be joined at the Spokane fund-raiser by Eastern Washington men’s basketball coach Jim Hayford and Gonzaga women’s basketball coach Lisa Fortier. Tania, the live hawk that appears at Seattle Seahawks home games, also will be on hand. Food, wine, silent and live auctions and dueling pianos entertainment will be offered. The cost is $200, with 100 percent of proceeds aimed at supporting cancer research and patient quality of life programs. To purchase tickets and for more information on both events: CLICK HERE. – Howie Stalwick

SEPT. 8 5:40 PM
  • MAYLE HEADED TO BIG D
The Dallas Cowboys signed former Washington State wide receiver Vince Mayle to their practice squad Monday. Mayle was one of the final players cut by the Cleveland Browns. Cleveland drafted Mayle in the fourth round after he caught a school-record 106 passes as a senior at WSU last year. – Howie Stalwick

SEPT. 8 4:39 PM
  • COUGS TAKE BIG TUMBLE IN USA TODAY
USA Today dropped Washington State down to 114th out of 128 FBS teams in its weekly re-ranking. The 30-point drop was the most of any school. Stanford fell 29 spots to No. 39 after losing to Northwestern.

SEPT. 8 1:41 PM
  • HOLD THE PHONE: VEGAS LIKING THE COUGS
Washington State was a 2-point underdog at Rutgers as of Tuesday afternoon, after opening earlier in the week as a 5 1/2-point underdog. The home field advantage is often worth about three points in a Las Vegas betting line.

SEPT. 7 4:00 PM
  • MAYLE WEIGHS OPTIONS
The Cleveland Browns, who cut WSU receiver Vince Mayle on Saturday, today filled out the final slots on their 10-man practice squad and Mayle wasn't in the mix. Browns coach Mike Pettine was quoted on espncleveland.com as saying the Browns had interest in signing Mayle to the practice squad but that Mayle was reviewing other options.

SEPT. 7 2:02 PM
  • GUNNAR EKLUND RESOLUTE
Offensive linemen are taught to control their emotions on the field, but WSU senior guard Gunnar Eklund made no attempt to mask his emotions after the loss to the underdog Vikings.

“All credit to them for playing well,” Eklund said, “but we can’t lose to this team. We can’t lose anymore. We can’t.”

Asked how seniors responded in the locker room after the game, Eklund firmly stated, “No more. It’s over. What just happened is over.

“No more,” he repeated. “We’re putting our foot down. We have to do what we have to do to win the game.” - Howie Stalwick

SEPT. 7 10:22 AM
  • JAKE RODGERS BLASTS MIKE LEACH
It was no secret in his hometown of Spokane that former Cougar offensive lineman Jake Rodgers was no fan of Mike Leach. After one season under Leach, Rodgers transferred to Eastern Washington and became an FCS All-American. Rodgers, who was cut yesterday by the Atlanta Falcons, shared his disdain for Leach with a tweet following the Cougars' loss to Portland State on Saturday:

"I've never publicly said mike leach was a bad head coach but this seems like as good of a time as any," he wrote.

SEPT. 6 2:31 PM
  • MAYLE CUT BY BROWNS, COOPER MAKES TEAM
Former WSU wideout Vince Mayle has been cut from the Browns. He may still wind up on Cleveland's practice squad if he clears waivers on Sunday. Xavier Cooper emerged over the course of the preseason and made the team. Cooper was a third-round selection. NFL teams must cut down to 53-man rosters on Sunday. Mayle was the big body guy (6-2, 225) for whom the Browns had high hopes but never fully rebounded from thumb surgery in May, cleveland.com beat writer Mary Kay Cabot wrote. The prevailing opinion around cyberspace was that Mayle, Cleveland's fourth-round pick, had a so-so preseason and camp.

SEPT. 6 1:02 PM
  • PISTORESE SUSPENDED
Former Washington State baseball star Joe Pistorese has been suspended 50 games for violating the minor league drug program. Pistorese tested positive for amphetamines, according to the Commissioner’s Office.

Pistorese, the Seattle Mariners’ 17th-round draft pick in June, was 6-0 with a 1.28 earned run average in 16 games (all in relief) with the Everett AquaSox of the short-season Class A Northwest League. Earlier this year, the senior left-hander led Washington State in wins and ERA (among starters) when he posted an 8-5 record and 2.41 ERA. – Howie Stalwick

SEPT. 5 9:35 AM
  • KLAY THOMPSON BRINGS NBA TROPHY WITH HIM TO PULLMAN
Klay Thompson brought NBA championship trophy with him to Pullman for the Cougs' football season opener vs. Portland State. He won't be only first-round draft pick at the game today. CouGreat safety Deone Bucannon, selected by Arizona with their first pick in the 2014 NFL draft, is on hand as well.




SEPT. 4 10:11 AM
  • STILL YET ANOTHER DIRECTV / PAC-12 NETS TEASE?
Remember all the breathless optimism flying around a week ago that DirecTV being added to the Pac-12 Networks at any moment was all but done? Three Pac-12 games have now been played, nine more will be in the books by Saturday and there's still been nothing but dead air on DirecTV. "Despite rumors that DIRECTV would add the channel yesterday in time for the start of the college football season, the company said last night no pact has been reached yet," tvpredictions.com reported Friday morning.

Over the past three years, there have been various reports a DTV-Pac-12 agreement was imminent but none have ever borne fruit. While this latest batch of optimism seemingly has the most grist behind it given the AT&T-DirecTV merger, this past week has proven that old standby once more: it's never done until it's done, and everything else is just chatter.

SEPT. 4 7:50 AM
  • MAYLE MAKES FINAL BID FOR ROSTER SPOT
Former Washington State wideout Vince Mayle caught two passes from QB Pat Devlin for 17 yards Thursday in Cleveland's final preseason game, a 24-0 loss at Chicago. He was targeted four times. The fourth-round draft pick is widely viewed by Cleveland media as on the outside looking in for a roster spot due to a disappointing training camp. Fellow Coug and Browns rookie Xavier Cooper, who has had an outstanding camp for Cleveland, posted two tackles in the game and was credited with one QB hit.

SEPT. 4 7:00 AM
  • A PROUD DAD AMONG US
Award-winning Cougfan.com columnist and former WSU All-American safety Paul Sorensen is a mighty proud pop these days. Oldest son Travis just began Naval Flight School in Pensacola following his graduation from WSU, and younger son Cody -- a standout safety at Idaho State -- is collecting all kinds of pre-season praise for his work on and off the field. He's been nominated for the All-State Good Hands Award and the National Football Foundation's Scholar Athlete Award. In addition, The Montana Standard just dubbed him No. 46 in its list of the top 100 players in the Big Sky Conference. Like his dad so many years ago, Cody is a big-time hitter.

SEPT. 3 1:12 PM
  • FORMER COUGARS: WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
One former Washington State starting linebacker is set to replace another when Akron starts Darryl Monroe at MIKE linebacker Saturday in the Zips’ season opener at No. 19 Oklahoma.

Monroe replaces C.J. Mizell. Monroe, who lost his starting job at midseason last year, has immediate eligibility as a fifth-year senior because he graduated from WSU.

Another transfer from WSU, sophomore Kevin Griffin, is listed as a starting safety for Cal Poly. The Mustangs open the season at Montana on Saturday. Another old Coug, Logan Mayes, is a starting defensive end at Cal Poly.

Jordan Dascalo, WSU’s punter as a freshman last year, now handles those duties for Eastern Washington. The Eagles debut Saturday at No. 7 Oregon.

Cornerback Daquawn Brown, WSU’s leading tackler last year, is redshirting at Fresno State. Brown was dismissed from the Cougars for an undisclosed violation of team rules.

Like Brown, running back Squally Canada must sit out this season after transferring from WSU to satisfy standard NCAA transfer rules for players moving from one Football Bowl Subdivision team to another. Canada, who redshirted as a freshman last year at Washington State, is now at Brigham Young.

No word on Sebastian LaRue's future plans, a former 4-star recruit who redshirted at WSU last season after starting out at Texas A&M. The Cougars brought LaRue in briefly as a wideout before moving him to the defensive backfield in last year's fall camp, but he was kicked off the team this spring for an undisclosed violation of team rules. – Howie Stalwick.

SEPT. 2 2:15 PM
  • COUGS TO PLAY HOME-AND-HOME WITH CENTRAL MICHIGAN
Washington State will be adding Central Michigan to its non-conference slate in 2019 and 2021, Cougars Athletic Director Bill Moos told the Seattle Times on Tuesday. WSU will travel to Kelly/Shorts Stadium in Mount Pleasant, Mich. for the game on Sept. 14, 2019, with Central Michigan in Pullman for the Sept. 4, 2021 tilt.

Sources tell CF.C the deal hasn't been signed yet (and hence there has been no official announcement through the university) but Moos is clearly confident the contract will be signed soon in mentioning it to the Times. Moos has a relationship with Central Michigan Athletic Director Dave Heeke, whom he he knew from their days as colleagues at Oregon, the Times notes. This will be the first meeting between WSU and Central Michigan.

SEPT. 2 1:02 PM
  • NJ COLUMNIST PICKS COUGS OVER RUTGERS
Longtime NJ.com columnist Steve Politi picks Washington State to knock of Rutgers in New Jersey on Sept. 12. “Rutgers survived at the Cougars a year ago, but they'll get revenge on the road,” Politi writes. “The Scarlet Knights didn't have an answer for Mike Leach's pass-happy offense last season and are just as unsettled in the secondary now, and this time, it's too soon to rely on the Rutgers offense to simply score more points. Washington State 41, Rutgers 31.”

SEPT. 1 11:O1 PM
  • 1997 COUGS SALUTED AS ONE OF PAC'S BEST EVER
In his series of lists commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Pac-12 Conference, Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News is out this week with his list of the greatest teams in conference history. Actually, it's the greatest teams in the "modern era," which he defines as beginning in 1965 (though he sets aside one slot, as he has done on all his lists, for an older entry).

WSU didn't place a team in Wilner's top 14, but the vaunted 1997 Cougars led by Ryan Leaf earned one of 13 spots on his honorable mention list. CLICK HERE for his full break down of the teams.

By the way, if you're wondering how any discussion of the greatest teams in conference lore could possibly exclude Lone Star Dietz' 1915 Washington State club (undefeated, outscored opponents 218-10, winner of the first of the continuous Rose Bowls, arguably the national champion) wonder no longer. The conference didn't form until the end of the 1915 season.

SEPT. 1 5:45 PM
  • PLENTY OF WSU-PSU TICKETS STILL AVAILABLE
Latest ticket numbers from WSU: For Saturday's game against FCS opponent Portland State, there are 8,000 tickets remaining. WSU also said they have sold 12,592 season tickets as of yesterday afternoon, with 11,000 student sports passes sold. Saturday's game kicks off in the early Pac-12 Networks window, with an 11 a.m. start.

SEPT. 1 3:30 PM
  • TV BROADCAST TEAM SET FOR WSU-PSU
Washington State kicks off the 2015 season this Saturday at 11 a.m. on the Pac-12 Networks. Handling the play by play is JB Long, with color man Evan Moore. The sideline reporter is Ashley Adamson. The pregame show which begins at 10 a.m., features host Anthony Herron and analysts Curtis Conway, Ronnie Lott and Nick Aliotti.

SEPT. 1 1:30 PM
  • KLAY THOMPSON COMING TO TOWN
Cougar legend and NBA world champion Klay Thompson will be returning to Pullman this weekend for the Portland State game. A special reception with him will be held Friday for Cougar Athletic Fund members.

AUGUST 31 7:15 PM
  • ATTENTION SPOKANE, WALLA WALLA AND TRI-CITIES COUGS
The Cougar Athletic Fund is making it easy to get to and from Pullman on game days. "Cougar Express" buses will be operating from Spokane, Walla Walla and the Tri-Cities for every home game. Food and beverages (including alcohol for those 21 and older) are allowed. For more details CLICK HERE

AUGUST 31 2:09 PM
  • TIA PRESLEY SIGNS WITH TOP PRO TEAM IN ISRAEL
Former Washington State women’s basketball guard Tia Presley has signed a contract to play professional basketball in Israel beginning this fall, WSU said in a release.. Presley will play for Maccabi Bnot Ashdod in the Ligat Ha’al, the top division of women’s basketball in the country. Presley will move to Israel in late September ahead of league competition beginning in late October. Presley was a three-time All-Pac-12 Conference selection. The Spokane native scored 1,541 points in her career, third-most in school history and had the fifth-highest career scoring average in school history (14.7 ppg). Other Cougs playing internationally in the pros include Jazmine Perkins (Bulgaria), Brandi Thomas (Spain), Sage Romberg (Spain), Ireti Amojo (Germany), and Rosetta Adzasu (Finland).

AUGUST 31 10:17 AM
  • AIR QUALITY GOOD IN PULLMAN LAST TWO DAYS
For the first time since smoke from the wildfires began affecting large parts of the state, the air quality in Pullman was rated in the "Good" category for two straight days. As of Monday morning at 9 a.m., the Air Quality Index in Pullman was 22. On Sunday, it was 20. Both fall into the AQI's top category of Good (0-50). The forecast for later today, however, is for the winds to blow more smoke into the area. WSU continues to plan to hold the season opener in Pullman on Saturday, conditions permitting.

AUGUST 30 10:00 AM
  • TRYING TO PREDICT COLLEGE QB RECRUITING
Maybe it's because of the high profile nature of the position but in recent years there sure have seemed to be a lot of highly rated QB recruits who never live up to their ranking -- and a lot of lower rated QBs on the star scale who wind up far surpassing expectations. For quarterbacks, the one thing to look for above all other criteria might be competitive temperament, according to this USA Today article: CLICK HERE

AUGUST 28 10:32 AM
  • IS 9/1 THE DAY FOR PAC-12 FANS WITH DIRECTV?
DirecTV is now testing high-definition and standard-definition signals for the Pac-12 Network on channel 612 for what could be preparations for a long-anticipated launch of the regional sports network on the satellite carrier, fiercecable.com reported. There has been no official word from DirecTV or the Pac-12 but some DirecTV users have reported seeing the channel on 612. The Pac-12 season gets underway on Sept. 3 with Washington State holding its opener on Sept. 5.

AUGUST 27 12:02 PM
  • GLEASON: DEAR NEW ORLEANS, NO WHITE FLAGS
ESPN has a story on the 10-year anniversary of Hurrican Katrina that features among others, prominently, CouGreat Steve Gleason.

"With the air conditioner off for filming, the only noise in Steve Gleason's home is the breathing machine that keeps him alive. That's as good a place as any to start a Katrina story, with the wires and plugs and tubes strapped to the back of his wheelchair, a life-support apparatus doing the heavy lifting for one of the most fervently alive people the city has ever known," the article begins.

Click HERE for the full story.

AUGUST 27 10:24 AM
  • ESPN: BEST CASE, WORST CASE FOR '15 COUGS
ESPN says the best case for Washington State this season is eight wins in a Pac-12 preview piece. The worst case, ESPN opines, is 2014 revisited. "Best case: As in Berkeley, the Cougars are able to unite offensive potency with a stronger defense; this leads to eight wins and a validation of Mike Leach's vision for the program. Worst case: Another three-win seasons raises a few eyebrows," wrote ESPN.

AUGUST 26 8:45 AM
  • ESPN POINTS TO WSU RECRUITING FLIPS
Washington State's 2015 recruiting class was marked by a number of late flips. WSU's class, once rated in the top 25, saw a number of late defections over the final three weeks. But ESPN also notes WSU flipped Gabe Marks (SMU), Tavares Martin (West Virginia) and Luke Falk (Cornell) -- three additions who could play a huge role in 2015 and lead the Cougs to a bowl game. For the complete article (subscription) CLICK HERE.

AUGUST 25 12:26 PM
  • TONI POLE WAIVED BY BENGALS
DT Toni Pole, who played only six snaps in Cincinnati's preseason game at Tampa Bay, was waived on Tuesday by the Bengals. Pole was an undrafted free agent out of Washington State who earned a contract from Cincy after a Bengals mini camp. At nose tackle, Pole had 14 tackles in 2014 as a senior, with 28 stops the year before. NFL teams have to trim their rosters to 75 players by Sept. 1, and then to 53 on Sept. 5. The Bengals are now at 82.

AUGUST 25 10:28 AM
  • WSU OPPONENT RUTGERS: HEAD COACH FLOOD UNDER INVESTIGATION
WSU plays at Rutgers in Week 2, but will Rutgers head coach Kyle Flood be there? Flood is under investigation from the university for a possible NCAA rules violation, according to NJ.com. NJ Advance Media cited two sources in reporting Flood could face a suspension or firing because of impermissible contact with a university faculty member regarding the status of one of his players.

The university’s office of general counsel is investigating the severity of the alleged violation, which, the sources said, is focused on an email Flood allegedly sent from a personal account to a faculty member at the university’s Mason Gross School of Arts regarding the status of Nadir Barnwell. The junior cornerback is reportedly in danger of being deemed academically ineligible.

The investigation is expected to be resolved “quickly.”

AUGUST 25 7:30 AM
  • TWEAK TURNS TERRIBLE FOR BRANDON GIBSON
The Boston Globe, dubbing him one of the Patriots' "stars of training camp and the exhibition season," reports that former Washington State receiver Brandon Gibson is out for the season after suffering a right knee injury on his eighth reception late in Saturday's preseason game at New Orleans. X-rays after the game prompted Gibson to tell reporters he would be all right. But then the severity was learned Monday when he was placed on season-ending injured reserve.

Gibson, an NFL veteran in his first season in New England, "had built a rapport with quarterbacks Tom Brady and Jimmy Garoppolo during camp. He made several highlight catches throughout camp and was especially adept at getting his feet down and inbounds on tough sideline throws," the Globe wrote. The newspaper quoted fellow Patriots receiver, Danny Amendola, who also played with Gibson in St. Louis, as saying, "there’s no doubt in my mind that he’ll get his knee back and rehab it and get out there as soon as he can. Brandon and I have formed a strong relationship over the past five or six years that we’ve been together. Obviously, my heart sank when I found out. He has a lot of support in our room. And we’ve got his back, so his spirits are high.’’

In 2013 with the Dolphins, Gibson -- one of the most productive wideouts in WSU history -- was off to a stellar season before going down with a season-ending injury in his left knee.

AUGUST 25 7:15 AM
  • STAY TUNED FOR TIA PRESLEY
Tia Presley, one of the great scorers in WSU women's basketball history, has landed a part-time job before she heads to Europe this fall to start her professional career. She's joining Cougfan.com. That's right, the All-Pac-12 guard is coming on board here to do several video reports for us previewing both the WSU men's and women's teams of 2015-16. Needless to say, we're thrilled about it.

AUGUST 25 7:00 AM
  • IS IT REALLY BOLD TO PICK FALK AS NCAA PASSING LEADER?
Todaysu.com, which is part of the Fanrag Network, came out the other day with its "5 bold predictions" for the Pac-12 in 2015. One of them was that WSU QB Luke Falk would lead the nation in passing. Which of course begs the question: is that really a bold prediction? In Mike Leach's Air Raid, both at WSU and Texas Tech, the QB always is among the nation's top passers if not the outright leader. Couple that fact with the comfort level in the system that Falk exhibited last season following Connor Halliday's injury and Todaysu.com prediction seems more basic than bold.

AUGUST 24 9:10 PM
  • FOR THE FIRST TIME IN A DECADE ...
Cougfan.com today implemented a small increase in the cost of premium membership. For an annual membership, the increase averages out to 83 cents per month and for a monthly membership the increase is $1 per month. This is CF.C's first price hike in a decade. The bottom line, though, is this: FOR ABOUT 25 CENTS A DAY, YOU CAN BECOME A COUGFAN.COM PREMIUM MEMBER AND REAP THE REWARDS. Click here to get in the know!

AUGUST 24 9:00 PM
  • KJR TO BROADCAST LIVE FROM PULLMAN
To honor Elson Floyd on the day of the memorial tribute to him while also talking some Cougar football, Sports Radio 950 KJR hosts Ian Furness and Jason Puckett -- both WSU grads -- will be bringing their show from Seattle to Pullman on Wednesday. They'll be broadcasting live from Martin Stadium from noon to 3 p.m. Mike Leach, Bill Moos and Jack Thompson are among their planned guests. CougsFirst! -- the organization that promotes Cougs doing business with Cougs -- will be the prime advertiser on the show. The memorial to President Floyd will begin that day at 3 p.m. in Beasley Coliseum.

AUGUST 24 2:10 PM
  • ESPN NAMES DAHL TO ALL-PAC-12 TEAM
WSU's Joe Dahl has been named to ESPN's 2015 All-Pac-12 preseason team. "The left tackle for an experienced WSU offensive line, Dahl allowed one just one sack and was named All-Pac-12 honorable mention as a junior," they wrote. For the full listing, CLICK HERE.

AUGUST 24 9:20 AM
  • LACY AND RAILEY HEADED OVERSEAS
DaVonte Lacy, one of the most prolific scorers in WSU basketball history and the all-time career 3-point leader, is going to play professional ball in Austria for the Gussing Knights, he tells Cougfan.com. Meanwhile, Lacy classmate Jordan Railey has signed with the pro team in Aleksandrovac, Serbia. Both Lacy and Railey played in the NBA Summer League last month, Lacy with Indiana and Railey with Philadelphia.

AUGUST 23 6:36 PM
  • SB NATION LIKES COUGS MORE THAN DAWGS
WSU is ranked No. 58 in SB Nation;s preseason poll of all 128 FBS teams. They place WSU in their fifth tier: "Top 40 is the goal (and that’s OK).” Oregon is the sole Pac-12 team in the top tier of six national title contenders. USC, UCLA and Stanford are all slotted in the second tier of those who could "easily be contenders with a couple of happy answers." Arizona is the only other Pac-12 team SB Nation puts into the category of potentially gaining a top-15 spot by the end of the season. They rank UW at No. 80, with the Huskies in "Tier 6: Mid-major up-and-comers and power-conference dead weight."

AUGUST 23 11:59 AM
  • GIBSON SHINES FOR PATS WHILE TUEL IS SOLID FOR JAGS
Former Cougar receiver Brandon Gibson continues to shine for the Patriots in preseason action. In the Patriots' 26-24 win at New Orleans on Saturday he caught a team-high 8 passes for 68 yards, though he appeared to tweak a leg on the last catch. He had 4 grabs for 29 yards a week ago in the preseason opener. Meanwhile, In New York, former Cougar QB Jeff Tuel saw his first preseason action for the Jags, completing 6 of 11 passes for 63 yards, no TDs and no INTs in relief of starter Blake Bortles. The Jags lost to the Giants 22-12. Tuel is locked in a battle with Stephen Morris for the No. 3 QB spot (likely practice squad) behind Bortles and Chad Henne.

AUGUST 22 10:28 AM
  • PAC-12 ANALYSTS: NEW COUGS AN UPGRADE FOR 2015
Analyst Nigel Burton on the Pac-12 Networks show in Pullman said WR Kyrin Priester is explosive, big, strong and reminds some of Michael Crabtree. Fellow analyst Yogi Roth said JC transfer Kirkland Parker provides an immediate upgrade at corner, and makes the Cougs better instantly. Burton said true freshman corner Darrien Molton might not be big but he is physical "and is going to play a lot this year." JC transfer safety Shalom Luani is "dynamic" said Roth. And true freshman WR Tavares Martin? "You're going to know that name," said Roth.

AUGUST 21 12:25 PM
  • BUSY SATURDAY ON TAP FOR BRANDON GIBSON
Saturday in New Orleans should be a busy night for former CouGreat wideout Brandon Gibson. The New England Patriots, who signed Gibson this offseason, are hurting for healthy bodies at receiver. By endzonescore.com's count, New England's healthy wideouts include Gibson and just two others with NFL experience, followed by a pool of undrafted rookie free agents. Gibson had been competing with Josh Boyce and Chris Harper for the Nos. 4 and 5 wide receivers spots, WEEI reported, though injuries may have changed things up. New England and New Orleans kick off Saturday at 4:30 pm (PT) in preseason action. The Patriots’ Week 1 matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers is less than three weeks away.

AUGUST 20 8:20 PM
  • COOPER COLLECTS TWO MORE SACKS
Washington State's Xavier Cooper had two tackles -- both of them third-quarter sacks of Buffalo's E.J. Manuel -- Thursday in Cleveland's 11-10 preseason loss to the Bills. Cooper, who posted one sack in the Browns' preseason opener a week ago, took down Manuel for 3- and 7-yard losses. Another Cougar and Browns rookie, receiver Vince Mayle, caught one pass for seven yards.

AUGUST 20 3:51 PM
  • OLD COUG GOES OUT ON TOP OF HIS GAME
Former Washington State offensive lineman Patrick Afif has been named to the All-Arena Football League second team. Afif, set to retire at 32, spent the last three years of his eight-year AFL career with the Spokane Shock. He turned pro in 2006 with the Shock in the old arenafootball2 league. He also played two games with Edmonton in the Canadian Football League in 2010. – Howie Stalwick.

AUGUST 20 12:48 PM
  • REPUTATION PRECEEDS PAC-12 REFS
Pac-12 football officiating has attracted so much criticism over the years that when you Google "Pac-12 refs" the search field autofills "are the worst." So notes ESPN's Kyle Bonagura in this story about the conference's efforts to step up the quality of its officiating. Bringing on David Coleman, who used to oversee the hiring and training of NFL officials, as VP of officiating is the most visible example of the conference's resolve to quit getting it wrong with the whistles.

AUGUST 20 8:21 AM
  • EATING THE XAVIER COOPER WAY
Cleveland Browns rookie Xavier Cooper was asked this week by ClevelandBrowns.com how he maintains his agility and cat-quick first step while weighing 300 pounds. The old Cougar didn't talk about running stairs or hot yoga.

"I just eat right and try to hydrate," he said. "I think the biggest thing to be quick and be 300 pounds and be so lean is your diet. You can’t eat a lot of fried foods, you can’t eat a lot of red meat because it’s going to slow you down, so I try to just focus on my diet. I eat a lot of stuff that’s going to help me on the field and help me play fast."

AUGUST 19 9:20 PM
  • ANOTHER SPOKANE PROSPECT HEADS SOUTH
For the second time in as many weeks, a Spokane prospect with an offer from the Cougs is heading south. Central Valley offensive lineman Scott Peck has verbally committed to Utah, reports Darnay Tripp of KREM-TV in Spokane. Last week, Gonzaga Prep defensive end Evan Weaver verbally committed to Cal.

AUGUST 19 5.59 PM
  • ICYMI: FASTER READING OF COUGFAN.COM ON YOUR iPHONE
We now have a free app for iPhone users that offers super-fast access to CF.C stories, videos and forum topics (plus app alerts on breaking news). You can download the app HERE.

It comes via our national network, so just follow the prompts to customize the app to WSU and CF.C. Features include a unified “stream” of current Coug stories and forum posts,; filter to display just your favorite forums; easy social sharing of stories & forum topics; and or a limited time, unrestricted access to premium stories & videos (but not premium forums unless you're logged in to your premium account).

More features are planned in subsequent versions, including filter stories by tags (e.g. football, basketball, recruiting …); ability to reply to/quote from individual forum posts; alerts from forum threads you follow; recruiting prospect rankings for college and high school sites; and antasy player rankings for NFL, and other info from the Scout Fantasy site

Download now right here -- and tell your friends!

Note for Android users: plans are in the works for an app but we're several months away.

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AUGUST 19 8:08 AM
  • USA TODAY DOESN'T LIKE THE 2015 COUGS
The national media has been consistent this offseason when it comes to the 2015 Cougars: they don't see much to like. USA Today in their preseason ranking out today of all 128 FBS teams slots the Cougars at No. 85, below such notables as No. 78 Middle Tennessee State and No. 79. Appalachian State.

Only Colorado (92) and Oregon State (98) were ranked lower from the Pac-12 than WSU by the newspaper. Washington was No. 72. Oregon is the top rated team in the newspaper's ranking, at No. 7. Meanwhile, Stanford (10), UCLA (12), USC (17) and Arizona (19) are the other Pac-12 teams in the top 25.

AUGUST 18 7:08 PM
  • STUDENT-ATHLETES HAVE MORE IN THE WALLET
Two recent changes in NCAA rules are resulting in major-college athletes receiving nearly $160 million a year in additional benefits, a USA TODAY Sports analysis has found. That figure is also certain to rise as more schools implement — or increase their distribution of — athletic scholarships that can cover not only the traditional tuition, room, board, books and fees but also incidental costs of attending college such as transportation and personal expenses.

AUGUST 18 3:07 PM
  • IT'S ALL IN THE NUMBER FOR DEONE
No matter how hard the world might try to get him in a different jersey number, former Washington State All-American safety Deone Bucannon always comes back to the No. 20 he wore at Vanden High in Fairfield, Calif. As a WSU freshman he earned defensive MVP honors wearing No. 10 but as soon as No. 20 became available he made the switch.

Last season he turned in a stellar NFL rookie season for the Arizona Cardinals wearing No. 36. But with running back Jonathan Dwyer's off-season departure from the club, Bucannon wasted no time reclaiming No. 20, which he wore in the Cards' preseason opener the other night against Kansas City.

AUGUST 18 9:26 AM
  • MOTUM HELPS AUSSIES QUALIFY FOR OLYMPICS
Former Washington State basketball star Brock Motum scored six points off the bench Tuesday to help Australia earn a berth in the 2016 Summer Olympics by completing a two-game sweep of New Zealand in the Oceania Championship. Motum, who was scoreless in Saturday’s victory in Melbourne, Australia, played 11 minutes in the 89-79 win at Wellington, New Zealand. Motum, a power forward who will play pro ball in Lithuania this season, added two rebounds and a blocked shot.

Another former WSU player, swingman Thomas Abercrombie, again started for New Zealand. He had eight points, three rebounds, three blocked shots and three assists in 34 minutes. New Zealand will play in a 12-team tournament next July that qualifies three teams for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. - Howie Stalwick

AUGUST 17 9:33 PM
  • FULLINGTON STILL HAS A CHANCE WITH CARDINALS
Old Cougar offensive lineman John Fullington was waived earlier this month by the Arizona Cardinals but there's an important distinction in how he was waived. It came the day after he injured a knee in practice so he was categorized as "waived/injured." That means he can be claimed off waivers by another team but if not he'll be placed on the Cards' injured reserved list -- unless the team reaches "an injury settlement that removes him completely from the roster," according to RevengeoftheBirds.com. Fullington was on the Cards' practice squad last season.

AUGUST 16 6:00 PM
  • TUEL WILL HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL NEW YORK
The live action portion of former Washington State quarterback Jeff Tuel's battle with Stephen Morris to be the Jacksonville Jaguars' No. 3 signal caller (i.e. the practice scout QB) behind Blake Bortles and Chad Henne will have to wait until the Jags' second preseason game (this coming Saturday against the Giants). In the Jags' opener this past Friday, a win over Pittsburgh, Bortles and Henne combined for 25 pass attempts before giving way to Morris who went 3-of-9 for 44 yards, no TDs and no INTs. Tuel didn't get in the game. The Jags' new assistant head coach, Doug Marrone, is Tuel's former head coach at Buffalo.

AUGUST 16 7:21 AM
  • SUNDAY SCRIMMAGE FOR COUGS
Washington State will hold its only scheduled scrimmage of fall camp today. Practice starts at 2:30 p.m. with the scrimmage expected to get underway 45 minutes. The scrimmage is open to the public. Sunday will be the ninth and final practice in Lewiston. The Cougs will take Monday off before resuming camp in Pullman on Tuesday with a 3:30 p.m. practice.

AUGUST 14 7:51 AM
  • MAYLE, COOPER MAKE NFL DEBUTS
Vince Mayle and Xavier Cooper, two Cougars entering their NFL rookie seasons with the Cleveland Browns, made their pro debuts last night in the Browns' first preseason game, a 20-17 loss to Washington. Mayle caught two passes for 28 yards, with one aerial from QB Connor Shaw covering 23 yards. Cooper registered one tackle and it was a sack of Kirk Cousins.

Two other old Cougars were in action last night as well. Marquiss Wilson, entering his third NFL season, caught one pass for 6 yards in Chicago's win over Miami. And Brandon Gibson, entering his seventh NFL season and first with the Patriots, had four catches for 29 yards.

AUGUST 13 11:56 AM
  • SENATORS GETTING INVOLVED IN DIRECTV/PAC-12 NETS
U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), and Dean Heller (R-Nevada) signed a letter aimed to the chairman of AT&T and the president of the Pac-12 Networks, directing the two sides to craft an agreement to get Pac-12 broadcasts on DirecTV, the Oregonian reports.

Wrote the Senators: "Beyond the burden and frustration placed on fans in our states who are not able to watch their favorite teams compete, we are also increasingly concerned about the potential long-term damage to our states' flagship universities, which count on the Pac-12 Networks to promote the university, its student-athletes and its athletics programs." You can read the full letter HERE.

AUGUST 13 8:26 AM
  • MIKE PRICE, DENNIS ERICKSON AMONG PAC'S ALL-TIME BEST
Mike Price, who led Washington State to two Rose Bowls in a span of six seasons, and former Washington State coach Dennis Erickson, the only man to win the conference's Coach of the Year award at three schools, each received a tip of the cap this week from longtime San Jose Mercury News writer Jon Wilner.

As part of his series on the 100th anniversary of the Pac-12, which started as the Pacific Coast Conference. Wilner put together his list of the conference's greatest coaches, with heavy emphasis on those from the modern era. Price was one of 13 who received honorable mention, while Erickson made the top six, coming in at No. 6. No. 1 was USC’s John McKay, followed by USC’s Pete Carroll, Washington’s Don James, Stanford’s Pop Warner, Oregon’s Chip Kelly and Erickson. Wilner based his rankings solely on a coach’s time in the Pac-12.

Erickson compiled a sub-.500 record (45-46) in conference games as head coach at WSU, Oregon State and Arizona State. However, his overall record at the three schools was 74-58-1, including 12-10-1 at Washington State in 1987-88. Erickson, who is currently the assistant head coach and running backs coach at Utah, led the 1988 Cougars to a 9-3 record, including a dramatic victory over No. 1 UCLA, the only football win in school history over a top-ranked team. - Howie Stalwick

AUGUST 13 7:35 AM
  • FALL CAMP CHAT ON CF.C AT 10 A.M.
CF.C is holding a fall camp chat at 10 a.m. for subscribers - comes and gert your questions answered by our man on the ground in Lewiston. Not a subscriber, what are you waiting for?!

FOR ABOUT 25 CENTS A DAY, BECOME A COUGFAN.COM PREMIUM MEMBER AND REAP THE REWARDS. CLICK HERE

AUGUST 11 6:25 PM
  • OLD COUG HEADED TO PAC-12 NETWORKS
Former Cougar basketballer Will DiIorio played against a number of NBA players this past weekend at the Seattle Pro Am tournament held at Seattle Pacific University. It was a bit of a swan song for him as he'll be hanging up the high tops and heading south later this month to begin an internship with the Pac-12 Networks. DiIorio played for the Cougs from 2010-2014.

AUGUST 11 2:54 PM
  • FASTER READING OF COUGFAN.COM ON YOUR iPHONE
We now have a free app for iPhone users that offers super-fast access to Cougfan.com stories, videos and forum topics (plus app alerts on breaking news). You can download the app HERE.

It comes via our national network, so just follow the prompts to customize the app to WSU and CF.C. Features include a unified “stream” of current Coug stories and forum posts,; filter to display just your favorite forums; easy social sharing of stories & forum topics; and or a limited time, unrestricted access to premium stories & videos (but not premium forums).

More features are planned in subsequent versions, including filter stories by tags (e.g. football, basketball, recruiting …); ability to reply to/quote from individual forum posts; alerts from forum threads you follow; recruiting prospect rankings for college and high school sites; and antasy player rankings for NFL, and other info from the Scout Fantasy site

Download now right here -- and tell your friends!

Note for Android users: plans are in the works for an app but we're several months away.

AUGUST 11 2:27 PM
  • MOTUM AND ABERCROMBIE TO SQUARE OFF
Former Washington State Cougars Brock Motum and Thomas Abercrombie are set to square off when the national basketball teams of Australia and New Zealand battle for a berth in the 2016 Olympic Games. Motum’s favored Australia team opens at home Saturday before heading to New Zealand for a Monday contest. If the teams split the two games, the aggregate score will determine which team advances to play in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in the Olympics next summer.

Motum and Abercrombie played in the top pro league in their respective homelands last season. Motum, who recently played for the Utah Jazz entry in the NBA Summer League, has signed to play in Lithuania in 2015-16. Former WSU center Aron Baynes, who recently left the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs to sign a free-agent contract with Detroit, is not playing for Australia. He was a key player on the Aussies at the 2012 Olympics and the 2014 World Cup. -- Howie Stalwick

AUGUST 11 12:17 PM
  • SI IS IN KLAY'S COURT
If Sports Illustrated has its way, Klay Thompson will be suiting up for the United States at the next Summer Olympics. On Tuesday, SI listed the 12 players the magazine believes would give the U.S. the best chance to win gold next year in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Thompson, the former Washington State standout, starred for Golden State’s NBA champions this past season and on the U.S. World Cup gold-medal team last summer.

SI gave Thompson the final roster spot. SI’s picks, in the order they are ranked: 1. LeBron James. 2. Anthony Davis. 3. Kevin Durant. 4. Stephen Curry. 5. Chris Paul. 6. James Harden. 7. Russell Westbrook. 8. Blake Griffin. 9. Draymond Green. 10. Kawhi Leonard. 11. DeMarcus Cousins. 12. Thompson.

Thompson is one of 34 players invited to a USA Basketball mini-camp for Olympic prospects. Workouts run Tuesday through Thursday in Las Vegas. -- Howie Stalwick

AUGUST 11 6:09 AM
  • WSU’S KOSTOURKOVA WRAPS UP INTERNATIONAL PLAY
Maria Kostourkova, an incoming freshman on the women’s basketball team, averaged a double-double in the FIBA U18 European tournament with 13.8 ppg and 11.6 rpg. The Sofia, Bulgaria native recorded six double-doubles in nine games and ranked in the top 10 in seven statistical categories, including first in offensive rebounds per game (5.2), second in total rebounds (11.6) and second in double-doubles (6).

With FIBA Europe play concluded for the summer, Kostourkova and fellow incoming international freshman, Borislava Hristova (Varna, Bulgaria), will be headed to Pullman for the start of fall classes (August 24). The Cougars hold an exhibition at Beasley against Lewis-Clark State on Nov. 8 before opening the regular season at home against UC Santa Barbara on Nov. 13.

AUGUST 10 2:35 PM
  • DERRICK LOW BACK IN PRO BALL
Former Washington State basketball star Derrick Low, who sat out last season, has signed with Timisoara in Romania’s top pro league. Low, 29, helped lead the Cougars to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament as a senior in 2007-08. As a pro, he’s played for teams in Australia, France, Lithuania, Israel, Ukraine and Turkey. – Howie Stalwick

AUGUST 10 9:01 AM
  • FORMER HUSKY QB HUARD PICKS WSU OVER UW
Asked this morning by his 710 ESPN Seattle radio co-host Mike Salk who wins more games this football season, Washington or Washington State, former UW QB Brock Huard didn't hesitate: the Cougars, Huard said, with six wins. Like WSU, the UW conducted its first two fall camp practices over the weekend.

AUGUST 9 2:43 PM
  • FURNEY'S KICKING ACADEMY HAS SESSION SCHEDULED AUG. 16
Former Washington State kicker Andrew Furney, who was released by the New York Jets the day before training camp opened in order to make room free agent WR Austin Hill, is holding the last of three instructional kicking sessions one week from today, on Aug. 16. For more information on the Furney Kicking Academy, CLICK HERE

AUGUST 8 2:01 PM
  • WSU WOMEN'S HOOPS NON CONFERENCE SCHEDULE
Washington State women’s basketball team will host four non conference games -- including Gonzaga on Dec. 8 -- plus an exhibition game, WSU SID said in a release. The Cougars will face seven opponents away from Pullman during their non conference slate. To see the complete non conference slate as well as the most current conference scheduling information, CLICK HERE.

AUGUST 7 11:40 AM
  • KLAY THOMPSON IN RED, WHITE & BLUE, BROTHER IN MLB
USA Basketball announced Thursday that former Washington State star Klay Thompson is one of 34 players invited to a mini-camp for prospective 2016 Olympics players Tuesday through Thursday in Las Vegas. The shooting guard averaged a career-high 21.7 points last season while helping Golden State capture the NBA championship. Prior to the season, Thompson played a vital role as the sixth man on the U.S. gold medal team at the World Cup. Meanwhile, Thompson's younger brother Trayce, an outfielder, recently was called up to the Major Leagues by the Chicago White Sox. – Howie Stalwick

AUGUST 6 9:33 PM
  • GLEASON FEST IS SATURDAY
The fourth annual Gleason Fest, a music festival that supports former Washington State football and baseball player Steve Gleason and his efforts to raise funds to fight ALS, will be held Saturday from 2-11 p.m. at the corner of Division and Main in downtown Spokane. Food and beverages will be available at the outdoors event, which features five bands. All ages are welcome. Admission is $20. Tickets, sponsorships and donations are available at www.gleasonfest.org. Tickets also may be purchased at the event.

Gleason, a Spokane native who played in the NFL, discovered he had the neurological malady ALS - amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease – in 2011. There is no known cure. Gleason has helped raise millions of dollars to aid ALS causes. – Howie Stalwick

AUGUST 6 7:13 PM
  • WSU'S SPRING PASSES AWAY
Former Washington State baseball player Jack Spring, who pitched in the major leagues against such baseball luminaries as Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Ted Williams and Mickey Mantle, died Sunday in his hometown of Spokane. He was 82.

Spring went 4-4 with a 2.35 ERA as a freshman at WSU in 1952, then signed with the Spokane Indians that summer. Spring compiled a 12-5 record with a 4.26 earned run average while playing for seven teams in eight major league seasons spread out from 1955-65. He retired after returning to the Indians in 1969 to play for future Hall of Fame manager Tommy Lasorda.

Spring enjoyed a long career as a teacher, baseball coach and athletic director at West Valley High School in suburban Spokane. He also managed in the Northwest League for two years. The West Valley baseball field was named after Spring last summer. A memorial service will be held at the high school at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 22. – Howie Stalwick

AUGUST 6 12:01 PM
  • WSU vs. OKLAHOMA IN DIAMOND HEAD CLASSIC
Washington State will face Oklahoma in its first game of the Diamond Head Classic on Dec. 22 at 8 p.m. PT (ESPNU) WSU SID announced Thursday. Oklahoma made it to the Sweet 16 this past season. The Cougars will take on either Northern Iowa or Hawaii on Dec. 23. After an off day, tournament play will wrap up on Christmas Day. The tournament field also includes Auburn, New Mexico, BYU and Harvard.

AUGUST 5 12:46 PM
  • COUGAR SOCCER PRACTICE UNDERWAY
Washington State's soccer team began its quest for a fifth straight NCAA postseason berth on Wednesday when it opened fall training. WSU landed outside the top 25 in the 2015 NSCAA preseason poll, in 30th with 20 votes. The Cougs are coming off a 10-5-4 season and return 16 letterwinners and six starters from '14.

Fifth-senior Beau Bremer led the Cougs last year in total points with three goals and four assists, while fourth-year senior Cara Wegner was the team’s leader in assists last season. Also back are fourth-year senior Kourtney Guetlein (tied for third in WSU history with 16 assists) and second-year sophomore defender Jordan Branch, who was named Pac-12 All-Freshman in '14.

Washington State will host an exhibition match against Eastern Washington on Aug. 16 at 7 p.m. at WSU’s Lower Soccer Field. The Cougars open the regular season on the road, Friday, Aug. 21 in a 7 p.m. match at Seattle.

AUGUST 4 8:26 AM
  • TRAVIS LONG SUFFERS SETBACK
Former Washington State football star Travis Long is expected to miss a second consecutive season with the Philadelphia Eagles due to a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. Long suffered the injury at practice Monday. Last year, he was injured in the final preseason game.

Long started all 47 games of his WSU career before tearing his right ACL at Arizona State and missing the season-ending Apple Cup against Washington in 2012. Signed by Philadelphia as an undrafted free agent, Long spent the 2013 NFL season on the Eagles’ practice squad. - Howie Stalwick

AUGUST 3 12:47 PM
  • SINGLE GAME TICKETS NOW ON SALE TO PUBLIC
Single home games tickets went on sale to the general public today. WSU plays host this season to Portland State, Wyoming, Oregon State, Stanford, ASU and Colorado. To purchase tickets or for more information, CLICK HERE.

AUGUST 3 12:14 PM
  • WSU BEAT WRITER DOESN'T SEE BOWL GAME
Spokesman-Review beat writer Jacob Thorpe predicts Washington State will stay home for the holidays this season. "The Cougars are one year away from becoming a bowl team," Thorpe wrote in an article Sunday. "They should beat Portland State, Wyoming, Oregon State and Colorado, but winning two more after that is going to be challenging." Thorpe also predicts WSU will upset a Top 25 team "but it’s just as likely that a team such as Colorado... is able to steal one from the Cougars."

AUGUST 3 12:03 PM
  • WSU-RUTGERS TICKETS BETWEEN $45-$100
Ticket prices for the Cougs' game at Rutgers on Sept. 12 will cost between $45-100, nj.com reported. Rutgers uses a dynamic pricing system, which adjusts prices based on demand and ticket scarcity.

AUGUST 2 6:34 PM
  • D.J. SHELTON JOINS ITALY'S TOP LEAGUE
Former Washington State forward D.J. Shelton, who made a strong pro debut in Belgium’s Scoore League last season, has moved up to Italy’s Serie A league, the top pro basketball league in Italy. Consultivest VL Pesaro (Italy) signed Shelton. He averaged 14.6 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.3 blocked shots per game for the Willebroek (Belgium) Kangoeroes. Shelton’s new team tied for last in the 16-team Serie A last season at 8-22. - Howie Stalwick

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