Dawgbytes - 10/20

While the news of the day on the University of Washington campus revolved around the football program, Head Coach Keith Gilbertson had little to do with it. The NCAA decision to slap additional penalties, as well as the 'Failure to Monitor' tag for gambling issues and boat rides on the program, brought to a close a series of events that also resulted in the termination of Rick Neuheisel and the retirement of Barbara Hedges.

"I hope that it's over, and if it's over I'm glad it's over," Gilbertson said Wednesday. "I'm glad there's some resolution for Rick. Hopefully he can find a coaching job. That's quite a penalty, not being able to coach for two football seasons."

Neuheisel still has a lawsuit pending with the University for wrongful termination.

The penalty issued by the NCAA Wednesday that will have the biggest direct effect on the football program is the reduction of official visits allowed. Typically a college has 56 visits it can use during any one recruiting season. That number will now be 48 for the next two years, meaning the Huskies will have less opportunity to attract players needed to bring the struggling program back to prominence.

"I think sixteen visits over two years is a significant penalty for what we did," said Gilbertson. "I was never quite sure in my mind - was it was because the boat trip wasn't totally legal, or was it because it wasn't monitored by the administration, or was it because we had an alum on the boat or was it because we didn't charge them enough? We heard all those things. There were 44 athletes and the total cost difference was one-hundred and thirty-two dollars. So we're losing sixteen visits because of three dollars a guy? No. Is it because we had an alum who was driving the boat who was a Tyee member and the Athletic Director didn't know about it? I don't know. All I'm saying is that sixteen visits over two years is a significant penalty."

The loss of boat usage during recruiting visits the next two years isn't going to cause Gilbertson to lose sleep. "I don't think it's much of a factor," he said. "To be honest, I don't think one player decided to come to Washington because of a boat ride from one part of Lake Washington to another.

"There's quite a few other things that need to be resolved before recruiting thing is a smooth landscape." That's where the loss of visits kicks in.

"We are in a situation - the way our season is going - this would be a year where we would like to have a lot of visits and visit a lot of kids to make sure our class is complete."

With recruiting just a thought at this point, Gilbertson is more interested in how his current team will play against the number-one team in the country Saturday. One piece of the puzzle has been solved - Isaiah Stanback was named the quarterback starter for the Huskies' game versus USC. "I was 99 percent sure anyways. I think he deserves it based on how he competed last week," said Gilbertson. "Hopefully he can go in and make some plays."

With the depth chart showing as many 'OR's as players this week, who will backup the athletic Stanback? "I'm really not sure where Carl (Bonnell) is at," said Gilbertson. "I know he's not totally well, but even if he was Isaiah would still be the starter. If we had to go with a backup based on last week, Casey (Paus) would be the backup."

Even though the Huskies now have 64 players they can take with them to in-conference away games (up from 60 a year ago), fourth-string QB Felix Sweetman will not travel. But that doesn't mean there won't be a bunch of new names on the charter flight to Los Angeles.

"Last year at the end of the year, when you could travel 60 guys we could still only find around 53 that could go," Gilbertson said. "It was a big problem at the end of last year."

Charles Frederick has not done anything up to Wednesday's practice, and Gilbertson expected that if the senior receiver did participate, it would be sparingly . "He hasn't done anything so far," Gilbertson said, all but keeping Frederick home for weekend to rest an aggrevated hamstring.

Another receiver, Quintin Daniels, is also out for Saturday's game, but has not had his knee scoped yet as expected. "They are going to do another diagnostic test on him tomorrow (Thursday)," said Gilbertson.

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