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February 15, 2009"The reality is, that over the past 20-plus years, the head coach at Eastern Washington has had to serve many roles in addition to coaching football, such as compliance, eligibility and academic advisor. My comments that this has been going on at Eastern Washington for the last two decades was intended to reflect the duties of the head coach having to wear more than one hat. Nothing else should be read into that."
- Wazzu head football coach Paul Wulff, clarifying his remarks but leaving out the part about which kinds of hats those would be - Fedora? Beret? Cowboy? Beanie propeller?
"You look at Washington State as a team coaches don't want to play."
- USC head men's hoop coach Tim Floyd - Wazzu's next opponent this week - forgetting that sometimes the Cougars' coaches are part of that group and don't want them to play like they play.
"We're very confident the village will be ready in time."
- International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge assuring that the Olympic village for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver will be finished on time now that they received $350 million from the city of Vancouver and they took those gold-plated faucets and towel-holders out of the bathrooms.
"I am sick and tired of hearing these Wall Street asswipes getting huge bonus packages from our bailout tax dollars. What a lot of these people did to all of us in the first place is just plain criminal. I have never been keen on executives getting golden parachutes. I'm more apt to give them a golden shower."
- Former Guns 'N Roses bassist Duff McKagan, in his first stab as Playboy.com's new financial columnist. The Lounge is not sure if McKagan - whose credentials include the fact that he once took business courses at Seattle University - is speaking about "us" in the regular middle-class American taxpayer sense or "us" in the pampered rock star sense of private jets, fancy hotel rooms and all the drugs and alcohol you can ingest.
Cougar fans and well-wishers winced when they were struck by the lash of the NCAA last week - suffering sanctions in football stemming from head coach Paul Wulff's stint as head football coach at Eastern Washington University in 2003-07. No violations have occurred while Wulff has been at Wazzu but as part of his NCAA punishment Wulff will be forced to miss the first three days of fall football camp, have to attend educational NCAA rule seminars at his own expense and be sent to his room with no dessert. But the big question in the Lounge was - what will the Unity Council have to say about all this? Not Wulff's player-populated group, we are talking about the Pac-10 head coaches Unity Council. They met last week, shortly after the sanctions were officially announced and the Lounge has the exclusive transcript of that meeting.
Tom Hansen [Pac-10 commissioner]: "Okay, the meeting will come to order. First order of business, who is in charge of my retirement gifts and how is that coming along? I want a full report on my desk tomorrow!"
Pac-10 executive secretary for making sure everything has a place and there is a place for every thing: "Sir, tomorrow is President's Day holiday, many people will not be working."
Hansen: Damn those presidents! Whose idea was it to combine those holidays anyway!? That reminds me - whose lame-brained idea was it to try to nominate Rice as my replacement when they should have been working on my retirement gift going-away package!? I want names, I want accountability!"
Pac-10 executive secretary for things: "But that is not how we do things, sir."
Hansen: "Damn, that's right, I keep forgetting. I guess I was just trying to get ready for the real world out there. Sorry, Pete, I know you were completely in the dark about that Reggie Bush thing and it's just those incompetent internet yahoos out there trying to get you because they're jealous. I know you don't know about things that go on in your football program, my mistake. Okay, next order of business, I would like my retirement gift package to consist of "
Pac-10 executive secretary for things [interrupting]: "No sir "
Hansen: Oh, alright, third order of business is some NCAA twaddle about extra ball boys or janitors on a practice field or something involving Wulff at Wazzu - what do the coaches of the council have to say about it?
Jim Harbaugh [Stanford]: "The NCAA? You want me to send the Tree after 'em, Paul?"
Hansen: Nope, out of order, Jim. Rookies first. Sarkisian?
Steve Sarkisian [Washington]: "Huh? I wasn't paying attention. Were we talking about NCAA rules?"
Hansen: [sighs] "Never mind. Neuheisel?"
Rick Neuheisel [UCLA] - "I'm sorry, Tom, between ensuring there is a new dynasty in town, setting up helicopter rentals and working out my Big Dance bracket, I don't have time for the NCAA and their silly rules."
Hansen: "Put me down for four conference teams in the pool this year, I don't think we will get a fifth one in, what, with me retiring and getting a nice gift package and all "
Pac-10 executive secretary for things: "Sir .stay focused."
Hansen: "Party pooper. Okay, who's next? Erickson?
Dennis Erickson [Arizona State]: "I taught Paul everything he doesn't know about NCAA rules."
Hansen: "Fine, that's just fine, Denny. Next? Stoops?
Mike Stoops [Arizona, frothing at the mouth]: F!@#ing NCAA!! I'll tell you what I think of them!! I'll take Brand's lower lip and..."
Hansen: "Okay, okay, settle down there Mike, we get the picture. Go have a cookie and a nice glass of milk. Next?"
Mike Riley [Oregon State]: "Well, I don't understand what everyone is so upset about. The NCAA was just trying to get their third-string rules committee some playing time. I know it was late in process and it was already a blowout since it was just EWU - but they have to get some work in and I can't fault them for throwing the fourth quarter violations."
Hansen: "Thanks Mike, have you considered running for commissioner? I think you would be a fine commissioner. Have you already got my gift?"
Pac-10 executive secretary for things: "Sir "
Hansen: "Oh, alright. Next?"
Jeff Tedford [California]: "NCAA? Can they help me get rid of the Hayward Fault and get my stadium built?"
Hansen: "No, afraid not, Jeff. But if it makes you feel any better, we have a bowl full of lovely Andes mints in our reception area at the office over in the Creek."
Pac-10 executive secretary for things; "You ate all those, sir, because you thought they were a retirement gift for you."
Pete Carroll [USC]: What kind of question is that!? The NCAA let us have Reggie and O.J.! I think the NCAA is great!"
Hansen: "Okay, and I think we all know how you feel, Mike."
Mike Bellotti [Oregon]: "The NCAA and the BCS are cancers!!"
Meanwhile, back at NCAA HQ, they spent most of the time last week ignoring USC while honing those pesky taunting rules and making sure their Big Dance cash cow stays on budget.
In unrelated news, Chinese man He Pingping is officially the World's Shortest Man [at two feet and five inches] and, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, has never used his fame to gain a recruiting advantage.
"How can this happen to WSU and not USC?" asks The Man From Next Tuesday, asks about last week's NCAA sanctions involving Wulff.
First, let us be clear, TMFNT - this "happened" to EWU and Wulff and not WSU. Now, with that clear, the Lounge clientele is embroiled in a hotly contested debate on the subject with one faction, calling themselves the Union, taking the stance that the sanctions are minor in nature, were not committed at WSU and were the result of EWU's athletic department resources [or lack thereof] than Wulff. The other faction, the Confederacy, takes the view that Wulff should have known the rules no matter what the situation was in the athletic department or president's office and, additionally, want states' rights over federal supremacy and to keep their cotton plantations humming along with slave labor. Then there is a third, independent faction, the Idealists, who wonder how USC continues to escape the NCAA lashings unscathed? The Lounge has no answer for that question - at least none that verify that the NCAA consists entirely of stoats and weasels whenever the letters "USC" are mentioned - but for the situation involving WSU and Wulff, there should be a middle ground. Having been on the EWU campus within the last 20 years of which Wulff mentions, we can attest to the atmosphere not being conducive to the most stringent NCAA-rulebook following, however, that does not mean Wulff could not conduct his little football corner of the world differently. Just because everybody else is doing it - or, in this case, not doing it - is not an excuse. With the benefit of a rearview mirror, Wulff should have ran his program at EWU with the notion that anything that happened during its operation was, ultimately, his responsibility. That is difficult to do on a campus like EWU where the sports programs are generally accessible and open and Wulff cannot be expected to know every minutiae of the NCAA rulebook just like when something goes wrong with the car and people are not expected to know every detail of their automobile manual residing in their glove department. But it is their responsibility. Still, that is what mechanics are for and the NCAA should remember that and reduce EWU's penalties on appeal.
"Well, that takes care of the Big Dance," groans The Archduke of Guacamole after watching the Cougars' inexplicable loss to Oregon State last week in men's hoop.
Well, not completely, your excellency - there is always the chance that they could run the table at the Pac-10 tournament and take that automatic berth. Stop your laughing right this minute. It can happen and you know how? Because it is not a home game. The Cougars have had this weird penchant for winning on the road in conference play - of their five wins, three have come on the road. The Lounge clientele has long been a critic of the Pac-10 tournament because it unfairly gives an annual non-travel advantage to USC and UCLA but with the way things are going for Wazzu this year, that may work out to their favor. Barring that pathway to the Big Dance, the loss to Oregon State clinches their NCAA exclusion this year but they are still alive for NIT eligibility. Of course, one more 10-minute scoring drought like the one they had against the Beavers - and 13 minutes without making a field goal outside the key - will take care of that tournament too. If Wazzu is to have any chance - any chance whatsoever - to make post-season play next month, they will have to get double-digit point production in every game from seniors Taylor Rochestie and Aron Baynes to go along with that of freshman Klay Thompson. Double-digits from those two. Every remaining game. If not, then the season will be over quicker than the NCAA jumps on football taunting rules.
As the days go by and we get farther away from the 2008 football season while we await the onset of March Madness, the summer dead period where college sports goes to Pluto, our solar system's ninth planet - yeah, you heard that, right, screw you astronomers! - gets closer and we are forced to think of entertainment alternatives. This is where the WhattheBuckShow comes into play. This week's topic is Miley Cyrus and her apparent secret desire to be Asian, but it is veritable revolving door of fun every week from Octo-Mom to the Grammys to Michael Phelps to whatever is coming up for the Oscars next week.
Meanwhile, the Lounge Scientists have discovered that subliminal messages affect the brains of humans when they are making decisions. A recent experiment involved asking human subjects to look at video images for two seconds each while performing a unrelated number task and then asking the subjects to recall, a mere minute later, what image they remember seeing after being shown a group of similar images. Those who indicated they had "guessed" at the similarities were astonishingly accurate.
"They were 70 to 80% accurate, it would be only 50% if it was chance," says Lounge Scientist #70 or 80, Joel Voss, a researcher at Northwestern University, who reputedly guessed, subliminally, that his experiment would be successful.
Which conclusively shows that the NCAA is subliminally thinking about USC while they are giving the hammer to EWU.
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