The results of a review commissioned by the Pac-12 Conference on the Washington State football program were released Tuesday. The report showed no evidence of physical or mental abuse of players. Former Cougar receiver Marquess Wilson made several allegations against coach Mike Leach and his staff when he left the program in November.
Sticking with football, Arizona State fans received a piece of good news on Tuesday when reigning Pat Tillman Defensive Player of the Year Will Sutton announced he will be returning to Tempe for his senior season. Sutton ranked third in the nation in sacks last season at 1.08 per game. The Sun Devils will return 15 other starters for coach Todd Graham’s second campaign after going 8-5 and winning the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl in his first season with the program.
Other Pac-12 teams weren’t so lucky to hang onto their draft-eligible juniors: California cornerback Steve Williams joined receiver Keenan Allen in a bolt from Berkeley to the NFL Draft per Jeff Faraudo of the Bay Area News Group. Williams was the Golden Bears’ third-leading tackler and ranked fifth in the conference in passes defended.
Not to be outdone by his rival, Stanford cornerback Terrence Brown came to the same conclusion. Brown was the Cardinal’s fifth-leading tackler and will join tight end Zach Ertz and receiver Levine Toilolo in their quest for the NFL.
Colorado offensive lineman David Bakhtiari joined the fun on Tuesday when the school issued a release announcing his decision to go pro. The Denver Post’s John Henderson has more. Bakhtiari started 33 games in Boulder, including 11 last season. He missed the loss to Oregon in late October with a sprained knee.
ESPN’s college football guru Mark Schlabach already has a way-too-early top 25 for next season, and the Oregon Ducks are No. 2 on the list. Five other Pac-12 teams made the cut. The boys over at ESPN’s Pac-12 blog break it down.
After spending most of the season in the top 25, Jim Mora’s Bruins finished the season unranked.
USC coach Lane Kiffin watched Alabama’s repeat championship victory from his office with the LA Times’ T.J. Simers. Kiffin promises Trojan fans his team will be “get back to playing tough USC football.”
A pair of former Arizona Wildcats – center Kyle Quinn and two-wayer Taimi Tutogi – will travel directly from Friday’s Casino del Sol All-Star Game in Tucson to the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl on Jan. 17 in Carson, Calif., according to the Daily Star’s Daniel Berk.
Two Olympic sports updates out of Corvallis: Cliff Kirkpatrick of the Corvallis Gazette-Times reports the Beaver gymnasts are trying to shake a rough start to their season. Also, mark your calendars for March 23 when Oregon State shows off its sparking new Whyte Track and Field Center for the first time since 1988.
Utah’s close losses to Arizona State and Arizona have been well documented, but coach Larry Krystkowiak isn’t a believer in moral victories, according to Dirk Facer of the Deseret News. The Utes – specifically freshman forward Jordan Loveridge – also drew high praise from Arizona coach Sean Miller in Facer’s notebook. Fans will be seeing black for Thursday’s game against UCLA.
California hoops coach Mike Montgomery discussed the Washington Huskies on Tuesday’s weekly Pac-12 coaches teleconference per the Seattle Times’ Percy Allen. Cal and Washington square off tonight at 8 p.m. PT in Berkeley.