That screaming sound that you heard in the distance last night before you went to bed was coming from the message board over at Dawgman after Josh Garnett announced to the world that he had eliminated Washington from consideration.
His reasoning was very simple. He felt that Michigan, Stanford, and Notre Dame have superior football programs and that he also wanted to get out of state to try something different.
Garnett never made an official visit to Washington even though he had been to numerous games and practices over the years. Most of us tend to think legacies should be an automatic but that hasn't been the case at Washington. One reason for that is probably the disconnected way the athletic department has made former players feel since the late 1990's.
Relations have improved slightly over the past three years under Woody and Sark but there is still a lot of fence that needs mending out there. Just for example members of the 1991 national championship team felt recently slighted about the way they were treated earlier this season when they were brought together for a 20th anniversary celebration.
Cheap and brief were the two words most commonly used to describe the event by the participants I spoke with after it was concluded. When that type of impression is repeatedly being made it erodes loyalty among the athletic alumni.
It is hard to say if this had anything to do with Josh's decision to go elsewhere but I can tell you that former scholarship athletes are treated dramatically better at Michigan and Notre Dame. All it takes is a simple visit during any weekend of the season to see proof of that.
Last nights announcement capped an overall crappy recruiting week for the Washington football program. The proverbial crap started hitting the fan the minute that former Husky Jim Mora was hired as coach of the UCLA Bruins. He immediately poached Sarks top recruiter in SOCAL CB coach Demetrice Martin.
Martin didn't waste anytime going to work for Mora and the Bruins. He immediately invited everyone he had been recruiting to Washington to join him at UCLA for the weekend which resulted in the Huskies losing at least one DB commit.
As we enter the holiday dead period the Huskies don't have a single commitment from a HS corner despite this being possibly the greatest area of need on the team. UW is still in on quite a few highly rated CB's but the majority of those relationships were cultivated by Coach Martin which means a number of those athletes have now cooled on Washington.
The need on the offensive line is just as great. The loss of Josh Garnett and Walker Williams (Wisconsin) will be felt by this class. Zach Banner will decide between Washington, Oklahoma, and Southern California and if he doesn't stay home it is going to raise quite a few eyebrows.
How many of you watched the Huskies get blown out by the South Dakota State Jackrabbits at home yesterday? (I could have sworn I was watching Duke). Individually this is a very talented Washington basketball team. Unfortunately these guys haven't learned to play together yet and at times it looks like they don't really care.
There are two reasons for that. Number would be that the team has eight freshmen on the roster and they obviously need some time to jell together as a team. Number two would be that Coach Romar's style is to basically toss his talent on the court and let them play. Sometimes it works pretty well and other times (like this entire season) it doesn't.
Romar is a great recruiter and role model. He is the sole reason that Washington basketball has emerged from doormat status to being an annual conference championship contender and NCAA tournament participant. That being said he needs some serious help on the bench to take this program to the next level.