Washington State has a notorious reputation for being soft, or being a whipping boy in the Pac-10/Pac-12 Conference over the years. They’ve had years of glory, as most smaller schools do, but they’ve never really sustained success over any period of time longer than a few years.
Athletic director Bill Moos has a vision of change for Washington State University and it begins with people buying into the program. That’s not just limited to his athletes though, it extends to the fans as well. That’s probably the major difference between Bill Moos and all other AD’s before him at the University in Pullman.
Last year, after the hire of Mike Leach and his staff and throughout some rough patches in the football season, there were several angry and ignorant people that claim to be “fans” of the University that straight-up emailed Moos. There were threats made, claims of failure in background checks and more. Christian Caple, a UW reporter who covered the Cougars till about mid-season has the story.
The names of the most vitriolic senders were to be placed in a file with others who will not be allowed to purchase bowl-game tickets from the school in the future.
After one fan predicted in an email that “this will go down as one of the biggest disasters in coaching history and Leach will NEVER be a head coach again,” Moos forwarded the message to a colleague, along with his own acronym: NBT, short for “no bowl tickets.”
Moos’ message was clear: If you’re not with us now, you won’t be with us when we start winning.
Moos has said he responded to every email and gives an 85-90% ratio of those who aren’t part of the Cougar Athletic Fund, which is Washington State’s version of the booster club.
To me this is about holding people accountable for their actions. There is speculation that he needs to be careful with keeping a list of such magnitude at the position he holds, for legal purposes. While that’s a valid point I think (would hope) there is enough background with the angry/hateful emails to support Moos’ claims and actions.
Nick Saban does similar things at Alabama, having the athletic office deny reservations to “fair-weather” students, if they don’t stay throughout the games and such. He’s not even the athletic director but he definitely runs the football program without reproach. Something tells me hateful emails would be frowned upon with similar results there, but people in Alabama are too scared of him to make such a mistake.
I answer all of those emails, then I send them to the Cougar Athletic Fund to see what their gift history is, and what their ticket purchase history is,” Moos said via telephone Monday as he drove back to Pullman from his ranch outside of Spokane. “Pretty amazing — about 85-90 percent of them are not members of the CAF.”
“I’ve got a no-bowl ticket file, and I want people on board and believing in what we’re doing, and trusting how we’re going about it. If they don’t want to be on the train, the train’s already pulled out of the station.”