Seen & Heard on Planet Coug 7/9

HOW CLOSE IS WSU baseball coach Donnie Marbut to signing a long-term contract with the Cougs? And what does the Pac-10's expansion to 12 mean for WSU's regular football home games at Qwest Field?

"It should be forthcoming here pretty quick," Bill Moos, WSU athletic director, told CF.C this week when asked about plans to sign Marbut to a long-term extension.

Moos said an offer had been made and a follow-up meeting is imminent.

"He (Donnie) knows that he's appreciated and that we want him for the long term," said Moos.

Marbut has guided the Cougars to back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances -- and figures to be loaded for bear next season.

One of the Cougars' big guns -- sophomore pitcher Adam Conley -- is in North Carolina right now trying out for Team USA, which will play a series of games later this summer against all-star teams from Japan and other Asian countries. Conley is one of 39 invitees vying for 22 roster spots. The pride of Olympia, he made 29 appearances for WSU in 2010, one shy of the school single-season record. He was 5-4 with a team-leading 3.33 ERA and his 12 saves tied the Cougar single-season record.

By the way, the old saying "Once a Coug, always a Coug," was alive and well in June when Conley, Marbut and the Cougs won their opening game of the NCAA tourney in nailbiting fashion over Kansas State. Justin Felker of the WSU Foundation was at the game and said he received a text message "about 15 seconds after the final out." It was from WSU and L.A. Dodger legend Ron Cey. "How 'bout them Cougs!" he crowed.

TURNING TO FOOTBALL, MOOS said the idea of bringing Oregon or Oregon State to Qwest Field to play the Cougars, perhaps as soon as 2011, was gaining steam until the Pac-10 expansion process put everything on hold.

"We've been in discussions with the people at Qwest. We were ready to make a move -- but then the conference expanded so we've got to take a time out here for a couple months," said Moos.

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Moos said realignment issues in the new Pac-10, er 12, are the reason for the hold up. Foremost among those issues: will the league be split into divisions and, if so, which teams will be playing in which? That has to be squared away before finalizing a Qwest game against a Pac-10 opponent.

The Pac-10 is adding Colorado and Utah and some media sources have said a split arrival -- 2011 for Utah and 2012 for Colorado -- might be in the cards.

"Our schedule is going to change with the league expanding. So we've just got to step back for a minute and see how we're going to develop the conference in regards to divisions -- if we do that," said Moos.

MOOS RECENTLY RETURNED from the Cougar Fishing Legends trip in northern British Columbia and had nothing but praise for the experience, and for its future prospects.

"I can only see this event growing in future years. I'm certainly looking forward to going back next year, that's for sure. It was a lot of fun ... It gave me an opportunity to discuss my vision, and where I think we can and should go," said Moos.

The fishing trip was pulled together by CouGreat Ryan Leaf.

THE TREND IN this era of football recruiting for earlier and earlier verbal commitments -- especially in regard to quarterbacks -- hasn't completely held to form at WSU. The verbal Paul Wulff just secured from LaHabra, Calif., QB Cody Clements, offers the latest evidence.

When Arkleon Hall verbally committed to WSU in March of 2004, it appeared the tide toward early QB verbals was set. Turns out, every Cougar QB verbal since Hall has come later on the calendar, with most falling in the June-August range.

THE WENATCHEE NORTH ROTARY CLUB has been dispensing sports awards for 40 years but there has never been a two-time recipient of its high school male athlete of the year honor. Until now.

Jacob Sealby, who along with his twin brother Lucas Sealby will be a preferred walk-on at Washington State this fall, just took home the award for a second straight year after a head-turning senior year in football, wrestling and track. For more in the Wenatchee World, click here .

JACK THOMPSON, ONE OF the great goodwill ambassadors for Washington State University, is forever known as the record-shattering Throwin' Samoan. But many people don't realize that Jack grew up in White Center, a very modest neighborhood in southwest Seattle.

Neither Jack nor any of his siblings have forgotten their humble roots in this part of the city that some might call "the other side of the tracks." This summer, for the sixth straight year, Jack and his sister Pat teamed up to offer the youngsters of White Center a series of free sports camps. Pat is executive director of a community service foundation in White Center that spearheads the effort. Through Jack, who plays a big role in the football portion of the camp, financial assistance comes in part from the NFL Players Association.

"The camps have become a mainstay in the neighborhood, and we hear kids talk about them all year," said Pat, who sent along some photo gallery links:
Jack Thompson Sports Camps 2010
Jack Thompson Sports Camps 2009

SPEAKING OF COUGAR FOOTBALL legends, Marcus Trufant and his wife were spotted window shopping in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood the other day. From the looks of things, Marcus' off-season was anything but relaxing. He's clearly been hitting the weights, as illustrated by biceps the size of Douglas firs. Marcus said the back injury that foiled much of his 2009 season with the Seahawks is completely healed.

MARSHALL LOBBESTAEL, Kevin Kooyman and Andrew Roxas are writing weekly diaries on this summer. In doing so, they're continuing a proud Cougar football tradition that began in the summer of 2004 when Scott Davis and Cody Boyd first tackled the keyboard for CF.C. Kooyman is in his second summer of sharing insights with Cougfans. Only two other Cougs -- Mkristo Bruce in 2005 and '06, and Mike Graise in 2007 and '08 -- hold such a distinction.

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