Huskies have their starter

After a long and tenuous fall camp, the Huskies have finally named their starting quarterback. Junior Isaiah Stanback was named the starter today by head coach Tyrone Willingham in a release by, Washington's official website for their athletic programs.

Willingham also noted that sophomore transfer Johnny DuRocher would not be eligible to play until the Huskies face Notre Dame on September 24th due to NCAA transfer rules.

"We had a very spirited competition for our starting quarterback position and I think that level of competition benefited the development of our entire team," Willingham announced. "The change in Johnny's current status on the team should not diminish the fact Isaiah has earned this opportunity to be our starter. He certainly demonstrated the traits and leadership we want to have in our quarterback. I am disappointed for Johnny, but at the same time his competition at the position certainly helped him and our team. The ruling on Johnny accelerated the announcement of the starting quarterback. It did not, however, change the decision."

DuRocher withdrew from the University of Oregon on September 20, 2004 and under NCAA bylaw 14.5.6, which covers transfers from a four-year college to a two-year college and then to the certifying institution, one "calendar year" must elapse between the official withdrawal from the original four-year school before the individual will be allowed to participate in an athletic contest.

"There was a general misunderstanding that Johnny needed to sit out an academic year where the rule states calendar year," Husky athletics director Todd Turner said. "Fortunately our compliance office caught the discrepancy this week and we were able to take the proper action to insure his eligibility will not be jeopardized. It is unfortunate that action did not take place earlier, but Johnny is very understanding of the situation. As he told Coach Willingham, 'A rule, is a rule.'

"We have a strong commitment to compliance and, even with a very conscientious and experienced staff, this demonstrates how complex the NCAA regulations are and how attuned you have to be not to miss anything. Even so, we will look closely at our eligibility certification process to make sure this does not happen again."

DuRocher was within NCAA compliance with his participation in spring and fall camps and Turner announced he will practice with the team until he is eligibility is no longer an issue.

"While it is unfortunate we will not have Johnny available for the first three games of the season, it is important that we comply with the rules regarding his transfer," Willingham said. "I take all responsibility for not realizing the rule was specific to a 'calendar year.' I want to commend Johnny for the way he is handling this. He told me he was glad to be able to compete for the starting spot this fall and felt his ability to compete for the quarterback position made all of our quarterbacks, and our team in general, better."

Willingham noted that while Stanback had led throughout fall camp with his performance, DuRocher had pulled much closer making the decision more difficult.

The new Husky head man stated that Stanback's leadership, knowledge of the system and his athleticism set him apart from the others and that even though this news accelerated his decision, he was leaning toward starting Stanback anyway.

At this point senior QB Casey Paus is the primary backup and will receive the second most amount of snaps until DuRocher returns. Willingham said DuRocher will be no lower than second when he regains his eligibility, hinting at his motto of performance dictates if you play or not.

Willingham noted that Paus had worked very hard over the summer on his delivery that has had a hitch in it over the course of his career. Willingham said he has the faith that if called upon, Paus would be able to run the team well.

Behind Paus will be either sophomore QB Carl Bonnell or senior walk-on QB Felix Sweetman and at this point, Willingham stated he was unsure whether or not Bonnell would be able to go with the injury to his thigh.

When asked how DuRocher took the news, Willingham replied stoically, "He took it like his coach took it." Top Stories