In the middle of a bye week you don't expect much news to be filtering out of the "Montlake Bunker" but the coach and his assistants are trying to put out the fire created when they played Cody Bruns and Terrance Dailey last weekend.
You can slice that one up anyway you want it but Husky fans aren't buying into the lame explanation of why they did it. We can all count. We all know how many players you have left at your disposal. We know what the score was when you burned these kids redshirts. No amount of explaining is going to make that selfish move go away. Those type of decisions are exactly the reason that you consider firing the coach now rather than waiting.
UW could have and should have fired Willingham last December. It was deemed too politically risky to do that because Ty was not going to go easily after receiving support from Turner. In the end UW wanted to make sure that they wouldn't share in the same perception Notre Dame received when they fired Willingham. The decision to give him another year was popular in the local and national media.
UW gave Willingham the extra year to prove he could turn it around with all the rope he needed to hang himself on his own. They didn't put any restrictions on Willingham and they gave him the money to upgrade his staff if needed. UW has done everything in their power to let Ty be succesful doing it his own way. It hasn't worked and he is off to an 0-5 start which pretty much dooms his tenure.
There are two schools of thought on what to do now.
- Fire or announce Willingham's resignation after the Apple Cup. This allows the Woodword to build his list of viable coaching candidates in private. This keeps the focus on squarely on Willingham rather than who will be the next head coach. Emmert and Woodward want to avoid chaos.
- Fire Willingham now. That isn't going to happen now short of a player revolt. In a perfect world you would fire him or ask for his resignation heading into the bye week. At the very least you put restrictions on what he can and can't do the rest of the season. UW isn't going to do that. They are going to continue to let Ty make all the decisions for the remainder of the season.
You can make a real good case for each but Washington wants to sever it's relationship with Willingham on the best of terms. They want to mitigate the chances of any distractions or backlash. That is the game plan they put in place in December and they are staying on course.
The Huskies are 0-5, but if by some chance they win the next 6-7 games Willingham will get a well deserved extension. Scott Woodward said it best, "Miracles happen."
If you are a Seattle native you have probably been reading Bud Withers in the Seattle Times, or PI for many years. Bud has an excellent article today on the decline of Husky football which feature some quotes from Todd Turner which really explain a lot of the things that happened during his tenure. As most of you expected the comment is another in a long line of clueless Todd Turner quotes.
Meanwhile, Turner offers a telling comment in the context of scheduling:
"Hindsight is real easy," he said. "If I'd known [the program] was going to be like it was, we'd have made a lot of changes. "That was not where we were headed. Our goal was to win championships and compete at the highest level. You'd hope when the coach had been here four seasons, you'd be ready to play those teams."
Former UW softball coach Theresa Wilson has re-emerged as the pitching coach at Arizona after abrubtly quitting her job at Texas Tech. Molly Yanity of the PI had the unusual headline of calling her "Disgraced Ex Husky Softball coach" . Somebody must have objected because the byline of the story changed today in the archives.
Husky football assistants have been putting trying to put the fire out about the rumor of freshman playing against their will in last weeks Arizona game. The bottomline is that they all were eager to help the team in anyway according to the coaches.
The Huskies coaching staff is not in desperation mode, he stressed. They have no plans to throw immature or ill-prepared kids into Pac-10 games just to save their jobs, he said.
I tend to disagree on that one. there is no way half the freshman who have played this season were ready for the rigors of BCS football. That just happens to be the reason most of them have ended up injured. They may be talented but they aren't physically able to avoid injury. Hopefully none of these kids has an injury which will threaten their careers.
Dan Raley of the PI catches up with Harrison Wood in "Where they are now?"
I remember watching Harrison Wood play and he was an excellent receiver on some teams that weren't very good before Sixkiller arrived and gave Owens his last great seasons as a Husky coach.
The former Washington Huskies football standout, 62, suffers from symptoms of dementia. How his world turned cloudy is not exactly clear. It could have been caused by a head injury in a freeway rollover accident, drug use or personal trauma, or simply nature cruelly taking its course. No matter the cause, a vibrant and athletic man has been replaced by someone else.