NCAA Basketball

The aftermath of being fleeced by Gonzaga: Three steps to recovery

Washington State University athletic director Bill Moos has become known as the savior of Cougar athletics, thanks to his hiring of Mike Leach and the facility improvements for football, but that reputation is rapidly coming under fire after the three-year contract with Gonzaga was leaked. Most Cougar fans were not happy with losing a home game for an expected neutral site game, and now that it’s been confirmed that the game in the Spokane Arena is a home game for the Bulldogs (and therefore WSU will get exactly $0 for the game)…many Cougar faithful are irate.

It’s ridiculous that a Pac-12 school is submitting to a WCC school, and the fact that it’s one of the Cougs’ biggest basketball rivals is even more ridiculous. Especially when you realize that all Washington State is getting out of this is a promise of good seats for alum and being allowed to bring the spirit squad…no, I’m not kidding:

“I didn’t think we could close the deal and I thought we were in jeopardy of losing the rivalry,’ Moos said. ‘So I conceded, and I appreciated their dilemma. I conceded that with the stipulation that we could bring our spirit squads and band, and that we get some good tickets for our fans.”

In other words, Moos got fleeced by Gonzaga athletic director Mike Roth and men’s basketball coach Mark Few.

The fact that the Cougars got fleeced is quite agitating, and disappointing. Now Cougar faithful need to begin to move on from the pain…and we at Sports with Neil and friends have a list of three things that can be done by Cougs everywhere to get over Gonzaga’s power play:

1) Stop going to Gonzaga games

The Bulldogs’ run of success since the late ’90s has led to a massive increase in the number of Gonzaga fan base, and many of those new Zag fans are Washington State alum. Now would be a good time for those Cougs to cut all ties to the private school up north and come back down to Pullman for games. It will only make the eventual ending of this rivalry easier on both parties.

2) End the rivalry series 

While losing a heated in-state rivalry will suck, but it won’t be the first time that Gonzaga has seen its in-state rivalries come to an end. The Washington Huskies dropped the Bulldogs from their schedule after the 2006 season, and the two schools haven’t played since. According to Bulldog faithful, it’s the Huskies fault that the series ended…and if you ask Washington fans, Few made the contract negotiations so toxic that the Huskies were forced they weren’t going to take his shtick for very long.

Now, we reportedly have Few making negotiations toxic again…but this time, his tactic worked. Washington State needs to show Gonzaga the same kind of strength that Washington did — did I really just type that?…yes, yes I did…yuck — and end the series at the conclusion of the current contract.

3) See if St. Mary’s is interested in a neutral site game

Gonzaga’s biggest conference rival is St. Mary’s, and I’m guessing that the Gaels might be interested in playing a neutral site (50/50 split of the gate revenue) game in Seattle or Spokane. It would fill the good to pretty good mid-major slot in the Cougs schedule, and help increase the revenue produced by both teams…not to mention the fact that I doubt St. Mary’s men’s basketball head coach Randy Bennett isn’t nearly as smug as Few.

So long Gonzaga….don’t hope the door doesn’t hit you in the arse on the way out.

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