A view from the Commissioner's side

So OK, what are we to make of the latest loop-de-loop in the sinuous roller coaster that is the Rick Neuheisel regime at the University of Washington?

Well, I'll let you in on a little secret. I've been commissioning a friendly little NCAA hoops pool for 15 years now. It's patently successful, highly entertaining, completely non-profit, and totally home-spun. Three company directors take part in it yearly, so as long as it is kept it in it's proper, legal place – always at home and away from the office – I'm pretty secure in it's continued success (at least until the State of Washington outlaws non-profit office pools).

We'll leave the monetary stuff aside, but I can assure you it's a small order of McDonald's fries, compared to the Met Grill numbers being thrown around in the wake of the current subject at hand.

But I mention this tiny tidbit, because yearly I contact the previous years' participants to clue them in when next years' tourney rolls around. And twice over the years, I had a person decline their invitation to re-up, because that particular year they were fortunate enough to become affiliated with a college sport – one was hired as a women's referee, and the other an assistant baseball coach.

In both instances, they informed me that they would no longer be playing because of their new standing – and that it would be against NCAA rules to participate.

And so I find it especially enlightening for Rick Neuheisel to claim, "not in my wildest dreams did I think I would be jeopardizing my job status" by participating in the ol' neighborhood pool. Especially when I know of two innocuous college sports associates who EXACTLY knew the rules governing office pools when they gained their employment, and opted to discontinue their participation – no matter that it was a little Pa Kettle pool.

Hey, I'm not saying whether or not coach Neuheisel knew that his participation in a "friendly pool" could render him jobless.

But from true experience, it is obvious to me that he SHOULD have known - as did my two erstwhile former participants, who stood to lose MUCH less than he did, but knew the rule and followed it.

That's what I believe the NCAA will say, too - before handing down a rather lengthy suspension, considering past misdeeds. That is, if Washington chooses to wait around for the NCAA balpeen to fall.

And unfortunately for Rick Neuheisel, I don't think the Husky football program will be leaving their thumb exposed to the hammer any longer.

It's just a matter of time and verbiage.

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