Letters to the Publisher

How about them Dawgs? Lorenzo Romar has the Washington hoops team playing as well as they've been playing in a decade, and it's been fun to watch. Watching the hoops message board have over 130 people on it after the win at Arizona was a treat. Times have changed, that's for sure.

From Ryan
Dear Dawgman
I have been hearing a lot on how good Louis Rankin is and I was wondering if it was true. Also, will the huskies have a running back that carries the load or will the carries be split between the three backs?

A: Believe the hype surrounding Rankin. He's the best combination of size and speed in the backfield. He has a redshirt season under his belt now so he'll know the offense. He's also strong. The workload will be split between three backs, with the carries being 50% to whoever has the hot hand, 35% to the next guy, and then 15% to the other guy. It will be a nice mix and should prevent any dings and injuries.
From Christopher Davison
Dear Dawgman:
Can you go explain the grayshirt process more? Does that mean a player receives a scholarship but can't play until the following year's class? Also, does that mean they loose that year of eligibility? What's to stop a school like SC from loading up with grayshirts the year they win a championship?

A: Grayshirting means you've convinced a player to defer enrollment until a quarter or two later than what is outlined on their LOI they've signed with the school. They do not lose a year of eligibility, in fact their eligibility gets moved back so they count against the following year's class. USC could load up on grayshirts, as anyone could, but keep in mind you can only have 85 total football players on scholarship in any one season, and you can only bring in 25 max in one year. Anyone that is grayshirted counts against the 25 for the next season, so you are always juggling the numbers.
From The Face
Dear Dawgman:
What do you think the Huskies' chances are at an NCAA Tournament bid? Is it more likely to be looking at the NIT, or nothing at all?

A: If the Huskies can win out and finish second in the Pac-10 tournament, they'll go to the NCAA tournament. The NIT is a certainty if they don't make the NCAA tourney, unless something unforeseen happens.
From Steve Bowman
Dear Dawgman:
Last year you were a bit optimistic with 12 - 0. I would have taken 9 - 3 hands down at the beginning of the season. This year you're thrilled with 8 - 3. What am I missing? The SOFT Ricky boys and coaches are mostly gone. In 2004, the Dawgs lose to Rubbers (USC), Fresno St. and the Cougars or someone else in the PAC-10. Who else is that tough? Once you get past the Cougs and the Rubbers, the conference is not that good. Were does the 4th lose come from and why? 7 - 4 sucks with a reasonable schedule, which we have. Also, what does the NCAA ruling (lack of institutional control) hold for us?

A: My 12-0 prediction was based on Cozzetto turning around the running game, Snow toughening up the defense, and experience at QB, OL, and DL. I underestimated the turmoil that Neuheisel's departure and subsequent backlash against his former coaching staff would have. That environment was too much to overcome, and team chemistry was all but toast. This year chemistry will be much improved but I still think they'll be doing well to win 8 games with the lack of depth on the OL and a brand new quarterback. Washington could easily lose 7 of their games next year if they suffer injuries up front and don't come to play. Gilby has his work cut out for him, as does new OL coach Charlie Dickey. As for the LOIC charge, I think the UW fighting it will make a huge difference. The school is not just going to bend over and take it, Dick Thompson is going to fight it, thank GOD. Where was he in 1993?
From Brian Latham
Dear Dawgman:
Hey what is the status with Eric Shyne, is he done for good? What about Fred Baisy? What is the status with Jeramiah Pharms...is he in prison?

A: Shyne is done for good at Washington. Baisy is doing well in JC and is now a DL that should be pretty heavily recruited. Pharms has turned his life around and is no longer in trouble with the law. He, his wife, and their children live in California.
From Big Top Dawg in Tennessee
Dear Dawgman:
This is not a question but a statement. I read a comment about the Pac - 10 not doing so well as in for we only had two teams that had 10 win records and one only in a BCS bowl, from one of the dawg fans on the Internet. If a person does the math for instance like the SEC and Big 12 they play 8 conference games just like the PAC - 10 does, those two conference's do not play 3 of their conference foes, but the PAC - 10 we only duck 1 of our foes. What I am getting at is those two conferences will have a better percentage of getting 2 or 3 maybe in BCS Bowl game. This did turn out to be question after all, am I wrong or correct?

A: : I agree, those conferences will have a better opportunity because I feel the Pac-10 has much more depth than those conferences, so the likelihood of teams knocking each other out of the BCS in the Pac-10 is much greater.
From Bob
Dear Dawgman:
So why did Meyers leave after only 3 weeks on the job? Especially after saying how much he missed Montlake after leaving the year before.

A: Myers left because he is close to Dirk Koetter, ASU's coach, and they manufactured a position for him to get him more money. Myers also was totally paying lip service to us when he said that he was a die-hard Husky. When Gilby found out he was taking another job, he went ballistic and felt very let down by Myer's decision to bolt on the program the way he did.
From Lee Thorstein
Dear Dawgman:
I heard a comment from a HUSKY insider that claimed Cody Pickett had right shoulder problems all season and never told anyone! I for one thought he stunk all season and was still making freshman mistakes in game 12 of his senior year! Do you think Gilby duped us all and kept that a secret?

A: Pickett's shoulder was fine. It was his pectoral muscle that was torn, and yes, injuries like that are ALWAYS kept under wraps for the safety of the athlete. You would be an idiot to advertise to the opposing team (and media) that your starting quarterback is sore, as they'll tee off on him. Cody had a difficult year and cost himself some money, but I'd take him as my quarterback any day. He was heads and tails better than any other quarterback on the Husky roster, even when injured, last year. And that kid is a competitor.
From L Borden
Dear Dawgman:
Dawgman I have wanted to ask these questions for a long time and I think now is the time. Did the Godfather Don James resign or was he forced out by Hedges? Also in the December issue of Sports Washington Lincoln Kennedy talks about not having anything to do with UW until a certain someone is gone, was he talking about Hedges? And was their really that much friction on the team at that time, and who and what caused it? In Vegas we don't get much information on UW. Thanks for your great question and answer column.

A: Don James resigned because former UW President Bill Gerberding went along with an additional year of bowl ban. It was added to the sanctions after what James had said would be acceptable. James wanted that 2nd year tack-on fought, but neither Gerberding nor Hedges fought it, so James resigned just as he told them he would if they weren't going to fight it. The person Kennedy was referring to was indeed Hedges. The friction among the team came after the sanctions were imposed and James resigned.
From Dawg4Life
Dear Dawgman:
I've enjoyed your site from day 1. Thanks for providing dawg fans with outstanding information. My question: If at all possible, would you tell us the bottom-line truth why Brent Myers left UW for ASU. Will the dawgs still be as much of an option team in 2004 as Gilby has indicated (now that Myers is gone)? Any detailed information on this subject is appreciated.

A: Myers left because he is close to ASU's Dirk Koetter, and they created the position of "offensive running game coordinator" for him to get him more coin. Washington will definitely be an option team, or at least provide 6-8 option looks per game. It makes sense with the athletes they have at quarterback, and it gives the offensive line a little more transition time, as the ball gets outside quicker.
From Scott
Dear Dawgman:
Whatever your projection is for next season will probably bode well for just the opposite result! (wink) GO DAWGS!

A: Smart man! Tough to argue with your logic, Scott. But just for fun, I'll say 8 wins is a good season in 2004.
From William Dougherty
Dear Dawgman:
We hear so much about this years recruiting class it's almost as if there was no recruiting class last year. Will any of last year's class emerge in time for fall? You've been a little sparse in coverage lately. Besides those old bucks on the message boards, there are a more than a few of us who are eagerly waiting September and can't get enough real news. Keep up the good work.

A: Thanks for your feedback William. The guys to watch from last year's class are TB Louis Rankin, S Chris Hemphill, and DT Jordan Reffett. Those three look to be ready to contribute in 2004. Sorry for the sparse coverage of football, but it's their off-season and they are mostly lifting weights and running right now. On the other hand, hopefully you've enjoyed our coverage of hoops. What a year so far!!!
From Lenora Lee
Dear Dawgman:
The one thing I could not stand last year was Gilby's offensive scheme. That is a short drop throw it so quick and hope our receiver catches it. That is just a piece of an offense, but it seemed like they depended on it way too much. Was I the only one who saw that.

A: The short drop is intended to allow the quarterback to make a quick read based on the defensive scheme. It is almost always an audible from the quarterback to the "hot" receiver when a certain defense presents itself. Next year I don't believe they will throw as often, so you won't see it as much.
From Parks
Dear Dawgman:
Great site. I love your in-depth analysis on the team and especially on the up + coming players, not just the starters. However got one question. The roster (not counting the 2004 class) as of Feb 10 is listed at 65 scholarship players.

3-QB Paus, Stanback, + Bonnell, 4-TB Singleton, James, Sampson, + Rankin, 2-FB Tui + Sims, 9-WR Frederick, Robbins, Williams, Shackelford, Daniels, Whithorne, Chambers, Russo, + Smith, 6-TE Toledo, Lyon, Lasee (moved from DE), Bandel, Benn, + Crutchley ,10-OL Barnes, Brooks, Meadow, Sa'au, Vanneman, Walker, Daniels, Garcia, Macklin, Berglund (Dicks recently called it quits due to injury) , 10-DL Hopoi, Eriks, Heater (recently moved from TE), Milsten, Mateaki, Ala, Reffett, Tyler, Afoa, + Alailefaleula, 8-LB Galloway, Lobendahn, Mapu, White, Bomar, Hemphill, Lewis, + Trew, 11-DB Johnson, Cunningham, Newell, Benjamin, Fountaine, Taylor, Wallace, Simpson, Moss, Ellis, + Bradley, 2-K Douglas + Braunstein.

We have 23 new recruits (21 H.S. + 2 JC's) That's 88 scholarships. Am I missing anybody or any changes from the names above? What's the scholarship status of Kava + McLaughlin. What class does Bradley belong to? Any Greyshirts out there or any of the new recruits going to Greyshirt? Finally, who isn't coming back for the 2004 season? Keep up with the great reporting!

A: It would be 88 if all of the athletes you list above make it back. I think you will see at least two of the high school incoming athletes grayshirt. I won't say who they'll be yet, because I don't want to single anyone out for academics. I would say that at least one athlete from the ones you list as returning will not return, that would be playing the percentages. Kava and McLaughlin are on missions for the LDS Church and will both be recruitable athletes when they return to the states. Bradley will count against the class of 2004.
From Hellen
Dear Dawgman:
How is your business doing? Someone started a rumor on another board that you were no longer involved and that Heckman had taken over your spot on Dawgman. Is this true? I like the way you run your site, particularly the way you welcome opinions other than your own on your boards. I would greatly miss that.

A: Oh Lord! Don't believe everything you read on the internet. Nope, not true, question your source big time there, particularly ask if they had an agenda when they told you this nugget of info. We have made Chris Fetters a partner now (well deserved), but Jim Heckman is not involved in Dawgman.com in any way other than he is the CEO of TheInsiders.com, which hosts our site. I'm still own Dawgman.com and now also own SW magazine, and I'm still having a ball at this. Our membership numbers are at an all-time high. With over 6000 registered for our message boards, that cyber community is the place to be if you are a Dawg fan. We also have now doubled the number of paying subscribers since we left Rivals, at which time we had our 800 original subscribers Kim and I had as a solo act plus the 1000+ additional subscribers we picked up during the Rivals.com days (Side note to you 800 original Dawgtalers – your names were never given to Rivals or SW, per Kim's and my original promise to you – we kept your names private and separate per our insistence with the network). The steady increase is certainly not because of me or my involvement, but my point is, why would I want to divest myself from that? It's the fans that visit and participate here, Dick Baird's involvement (and growing role as a result of the new coaching staff), Chris Fetters' relationship with the UW SID and AD, HS coaches, HS athletes, and the local media, Derek Johnson's ability to write provoking content….those are the reasons to keep you coming back but we never lose sight of the fact that it's really you the fan that makes Dawgman.com what it is – the best internet Husky experience you'll find anywhere. The numbers back it up and comments like yours do as well. Hope this helps. If I sound like a proud papa, it's because I am (grin).

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