Can WSU get 15 practices in? Wrong question

WASHINGTON STATE has released a bowl practice schedule for the coming week. With recruiting having been the major focus the past two weeks-plus, and with finals week now underway and the Sun Bowl being played on Dec. 26, will the Cougars be able to get in all 15 allowed practices? Well, first of all, there is no rule that says bowl teams get only 15 practices.

It gets repeated every year, but there is no specific limit on bowl game practices.

What does apply: the standard NCAA rules that put a cap on practice and other athletic activities at a maximum of four hours per day and 20 hours per week. But ESPN reports that once a school's term ends and finals are in the books, those caps no longer apply. So the later the bowl game, the more practices can be held.

With finals starting today at Washington State, WSU will not practice again until Thursday.

The Cougs will also practice Friday and Saturday before taking Sunday off.  On Monday Dec. 21, the Cougs will fly to El Paso and will get a short practice in that night. WSU has not released practice info beyond that.

According to WSU SID, the Cougs have held four bowl practices. Add in the four to come this week and the total moves to eight.

If WSU practices each day from Dec. 21-25 in El Paso, WSU would get in 13 bowl practices before the Sun Bowl on Dec. 26.

A later bowl, such as the Holiday Bowl on Dec. 30, would have allowed for more practice sessions (in addition to allowing more time for some of the Cougar walking wounded to heal up).  But woulda, coulda, shoulda, and spilt milk.

Any extra practices earned from a bowl trip, with the majority focused on the youth that will play a larger role next season, are invaluable.

Cougar fans will be hoping Mike Leach and Co. will have squeezed every last bit of benefit from them by the time the Sun Bowl gets underway the day after Christmas (TV: CBS, 11 am).

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