Team Neuheisel speaks

Lawyers representing suspended UW football coach Rick Neuheisel told the media today that they hope to meet with Athletic Director Barbara Hedges tomorrow to ask the Washington athletic director to change her mind about terminating Neuheisel's contract.

The hired Neuheisel big gun is Jerry Crawford, a lawyer from Des Moines, Iowa, that specializes in NCAA cases. He is joined by Bob Sulkin, Neuheisel's Seattle trial lawyer. The two of them said today that Neuheisel still wishes to be the Huskies' coach on Aug. 30 at Ohio State.

Neuheisel's legal counsel said that the reasons behind firing Neuheisel were not accurate, "and we look forward to meeting with AD Hedges to change her mind."

Sulkin told reporters from the Seattle Times, "I am confident that once all the facts come out, Rick Neuheisel will be vindicated."

Neuheisel's contract is being terminated because of violating the NCAA policy on gambling (bylaw 10.3) and for dishonesty regarding his initial response to NCAA inquiries as well as his misrepresentation to Hedges regarding his interview with the San Franciso 49ers.

Neuheisel's legal counsel was careful to state that they have not filed an appeal, and are more interested in just slowing things down in the termination process. They will attempt to get the school to lift their client's suspension.

"We believe that it is time for everyone involved to take a deep breath and step back from the edge of the cliff we are poised upon," Crawford told the Seattle Times. "(Rick) is ready to go back to work and beat Ohio State."

Neuheisel is currently on suspension with pay and has until June 26 to appeal. If the school agrees to buy him out per his clause of $3.1 Million, he waves all legal rights to sue the school. So far it has not come to that, but if Neuheisel's legal eagles cannot change Athletic Director Barbara Hedges' and Interim President Lee Huntsman's minds, expect a settlement of some sort.

Barbara Hedges met today with the team's assistant football coaches to discuss the coaching situation. The school had no word on there was any announcements regarding naming an interim head coach.

Offensive coordinator Keith Gilbertson is widely considered the leading candidate, and many feel that it is already a done deal.

So let the bargaining begin. I spoke with five people that were at the press conference today and none felt that there was any way that the school and Neuheisel would mend fences, but rather that it would end in a negotiated settlement between coach and school, somewhere between zero and $3.1 Million, which is pretty much where we are now.

It would be the strangest thing if Neuheisel is returned to full status, but this has been the strangest story. So I won't believe anything until this thing is entirely done. Sound like good advice to you? Top Stories