WSU NOTEBOOK
MIKE LEACH
MIKE LEACH
Cougfan.com Senior Correspondent
Posted May 6, 2013


PULLMAN -- Matt Hayes of SportingNews.com published his rankings of all 125 Football Bowl Subdivision head coaches. Where did Mike Leach land on his list? Plus, there's lots of updates on Cougars past and present in football, baseball and basketball.

Leach came in 33rd on Hayes' list. Three Pac-12 coaches ranked ahead of Leach: Stanford’s David Shaw at No. 7, Mike Riley of Oregon State at No. 14 and Jim Mora of UCLA at No. 28. UW coach Steve Sarkisian was ranked 51st.

Colorful WSU linebacker Darryl Monroe told the Pac-12 Networks that his relationship with Leach is “very interesting and intriguing. At the same time, Coach Leach is just a very wise guy.

“He’s a great person. He is a character. It’s just always fun to be around him, especially when he’s in a good mood.

“When he’s in a bad mood, you kind of just want to watch yourself around him. But he’s a great guy. He always makes me laugh.”

The Pullman Police Department has decided to pursue assault charges against the unidentified Idaho football player who severely injured former WSU wide receiver Mansel Simmons in a fight in Pullman on March 26.

Both men claimed they were fighting in self-defense. Simmons has since announced that his head injuries will prevent him from continuing to play football. Police spokesperson Chris Tennant said Monday that the Whitman County Prosecutor’s Office will determine if charges will be filed in the case.

Tennant said conflicting reports of eyewitnesses – some of whom the police accuse of lying – and other police matters caused a delay in preparing the case for the prosecutor’s office.

WSU has offered a medical hardship scholarship to Simmons.

Former WSU defensive lineman Brandon Rankin is tied for fourth in the Indoor Football League with four quarterback sacks (in eight games).

Rankin plays for the Tri-Cities Fever in the IFL, a minor league in arena ball.

Two other former Cougar players -- Patrick Afif (offensive line) and Jeffrey Solomon (wide receiver) -- play for the Spokane Shock in the Arena Football League. Spokane was ranked No. 1 in the AFL after a 5-0 start, but has since lost two straight.

Former WSU defensive end-outside linebacker Jordan Pu’u-Robinson has been moved to tight end at Hawaii. Pu’u-Robinson transferred to Hawaii last year to be closer to family. The NCAA reversed its original decision in late September and allowed Pu’u-Robinson to play without sitting out the standard redshirt year for transfers, but surgery on a broken finger limited him to just two games.

New Akron linebacker C.J. Mizell missed spring practice due to academic ineligibility. Mizell was another player who left WSU after the 2011 season after a stormy career at WSU. He was kicked off the team by Leach following his arrest on misdemeanor charges of assault and trespassing at a fraternity party.

The WSU women’s rugby team, dominant all season, crushed Winona (Minn.) State 60-5 Saturday to win the Division II national college championship.

The rugby “club” team operates outside the athletic department and receives little school funding. The Cougars move up to Division I next year.

WSU’s fading post-season baseball hopes likely expired when the Cougars were swept by No. 6 Oregon in Pullman over the weekend.

The Cougars (20-23 overall, 7-14 Pac-12) have lost 10 of 12. Last in the league in fielding, the Cougars made three errors in Sunday’s 4-3 loss in 11 innings.

“We dropped three routine balls and it cost us the game,” coach Donnie Marbut said. "The difference between Oregon and us is they don't make mistakes and we don't play clean baseball."

Nick Tanielu, hampered by a knee injury that Marbut says will require surgery, saw limited duty in his first action in weeks. The redshirt freshman is batting .409, but does not figure to have enough plate appearances to qualify for the Pac-12 batting title.

Stephan Scott-Ellis, a senior from Tacoma, defends his Pac-12 long jump title Saturday at the conference meet in Los Angeles.

The meet concludes Sunday. Scott-Ellis, fifth at the NCAA Championships last year, hopes to improve on that All-American performance when the national meet comes to Eugene’s famed Hayward Field on June 5-8.

Rosie Adzasu, a rookie pro out of WSU, made the All-Finnish League second team and the All-Defensive first team in women’s basketball.

The diminutive point guard led the league with 4.5 steals per game for Kerava. She was second in assists (4.7) and ninth in points (16.9).

Taylor Rochestie, another pro point guard from Washington State, finished up his season in Italy on Sunday.

He averaged 10.4 points and 2.6 assists for last-place Angelico Biella (6-24). Rochestie played in 16 games after leaving a team in Spain.

Former WSU baseball pitcher Matt Way, released in spring training by the Arizona Diamondbacks, has rejoined the Long Island (N.Y.) Ducks of the independent Atlantic League.

Way (1-0, 3.00 in three starts) starred for the Ducks late last season and in the playoffs after being acquired following a strong season with Laredo (Texas) in the independent American Association. Way had been released by Philadelphia in spring training after missing the 2011 season with injuries.

Independent teams do not have major league affiliations. Former Cougar Jesse Hoorelbeke, one of the top home run hitters in independent leagues history, appears to be done after an 11-year pro career (all in the minors, including a brief stint in Triple-A).

All-time WSU home runs leader Derek Jones, rebounding from a dismal pro debut last year at Tri-City in the Northwest League, is hitting .323 with four homers and 19 RBIs in 24 games with the Asheville (N.C.) Tourists. Asheville is the Class A South Atlantic League affiliate of the Colorado Rockies.

Alex Burg, released in spring training after three seasons in the San Francisco Giants farm system, signed with Miami and is awaiting assignment.


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