I came across this NY Times article a while back and I've been marinating on it thinking about WSU's current plight. Take a read as it's a fantastic article that runs through the current situation at Oregon. We are FAR from having to address this sort of identity question at WSU. After all, we are appallingly behind in facilities and we probably have a decade of work before we get to the point of Oregon….if we ever do.
Nevertheless, it got me thinking about the concept of "culture change" at WSU. I've listened to Moos enough since he's been hired and talked to enough internal people to understand that this is a central topic Moos wants to address. The idea is to bring a championship mindset to the athletic department and the football program. He believes that a football only facility will be the literal, physical, and symbolic embodiment of that mindset. He knows that there will have to be some staff changes that go along with it and that will help as well.
I'm all for it. I believe we are reaching a flash point with the university leadership, faculty, alums, students, and the conference that performance and financial support for WSU Athletics must climb higher or we face dire consequences. We are just waiting for that spark and I believe that is what Bill Moos will provide. I think you are going to see fundamental changes in our scheduling, hiring, and facilities that are going to require our fans to turn into stakeholders (donors) at some level.
However, I can't help but notice that as we go on this ride we need to be cognizant of the downside. It's obvious to me that the torrent of issues at Oregon have arisen after Bill Moos left. Is it because he provided the proper balance between university and sports? Is it simply timing and there was nothing that Moos did differently to keep the program from exploding into the symbol for college football entitlement? What plans will he have in place to assure that balance is maintained at WSU?
Honestly, I can't wait to have this problem. I just hope we handle it better than Oregon has over the past couple of seasons..