All Sorts of Cougar News

Off-season news surrounding the Cougs seems to come in waves. Well, there’s plenty to pass along on this otherwise unremarkable Tuesday.

First, another edition of Buzzin’ The Palouse on Cougfan. This week covers not one, but two drafts: the MLB draft (four Cougars taken), and the upcoming NBA draft (with Kyle and Derrick working out for multiple teams). I also touch on the golf course, stadium renovation(s) and the continued success of Cougar rowing.

Next, we head over to WSU Football Blog, who attended the Columbia River Dinner and went home with shots of the newly rendered proposal for the Phase III designs of Martin Stadium. These are very different from what we’ve seen in the past, and if this is the one we ultimately go with it’s going to have a major impact on the stadium’s future. I’m sold.

Finally, and this truly is wonderful news, Tom Hansen is retiring as Pac-10 commissioner. Of course, he can’t be fired (that would be silly) so he will finish out the upcoming academic year. I thought about devoting a whole post to this, but I really can’t say it any better than Nuss over on WSU Hoops. I echo the sentiment that it is time for the Pac-10 to move forward, with a new commissioner that can take the conference into the new millenium. I’m all for experienced leadership, but 26 years of Tom Hansen?

That’s why I’d like to throw my name in the ring. That’s right, Grady Clapp for Pacific-10 conference commissioner. The timing could not be better, as I am well on track to complete my professional degree in Spring of 2009, and could take over the conference the following summer. What will you get with a Stadium Way-led conference?

-A guarantee that every football game for all ten teams will be televised
-A rotating conference basketball championship with sites including Seattle, Portland, San Jose, Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Las Vegas.
-Addition of two teams (to be named later – possibly BYU and Utah) to the conference and the introduction of a conference championship game for football (also with rotating sites)
-Retooling of all television contracts with an emphasis on prime-time slots with both ESPN and FSN. This would include getting a national network on board to televise major games (c’mon NBC, you need more than Notre Dame football, and you’re even beginning to lose that).
-Joining the more competent, other conference comissioners and vote “yes” for the plus-one proposal
-Lead the way toward a college football playoff (see my proposal here)
-Until a playoff is instated, retool the Pac-10’s bowl tie-ins
-Create a Pac-10 television network
-And more…

Progressive ideas, yes. But ones that are necessary and would improve the profile of the conference. What is sad about the conference under Hansen is that all of these ideas would have been considered “radical” by the Pac-10. And yet every single idea I mention has already been done by at least one, and usually a few, of the other major conferences. For most commissioners, these thoughts are common sense (with the exception of the football playoff).

It’s time for the Pac-10 to wake up. We have more football teams than USC. More basketball teams than UCLA. Yet to the average east coaster we’re a one-trick pony with very little to offer outside of Southern California. It’s time to change the national perspective of our conference. It’s time to rebuild the Pac-10. The retirement of Hansen is the first step.


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