Cougars begin fall football without head coach - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Washington State - Football

Cougars begin fall football without head coach

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WSU opened fall practice on Sunday with a helmets-only practice (Photo: SWX) WSU opened fall practice on Sunday with a helmets-only practice (Photo: SWX)

PULLMAN, Wash. - Let the games begin.  Or the practices anyway.  The Washington State Cougars began fall football practices on Sunday, welcoming players for a helmets-only session before getting down to full-contact business by the end of the week.

Cougars head coach Paul Wulff was not allowed to attend Sunday's opening practice because of sanctions placed on him by the NCAA.  Wulff was penalized for violations committed while coaching at Eastern Washington University last year.  He'll also miss practices on Monday and Tuesday.

Head coach or not, players for Washington State are eager to forget about last year's 2-win season and get down to the business of rebuilding a struggling program.

"We got a lot of dirty memories," said running back Dwight Tardy in a red Cougar jersey - without pads - after practice on Sunday.  "We have a clean slate, get rid of those memories and start brand new.  We got a lot of new guys, we got a new program moving in the right direction and so it's very important for us to leave those memories behind and start new."

"We're starting fresh, completely, day one, and start having fun again like football's supposed to be," added defensive end Andy Mattingly.

Washington State's practice on Monday will again be helmets-only.  Tuesday and Wednesday will be with shoulder pads.  The first practice with full pads will be on Thursday (Aug. 13). 

Wednesday and Thursday's practices will be split squad, with the gray team practicing at 9 a.m. and the crimson team practicing at 2:30 p.m.  On Friday, the two teams combine to begin two-a-days, with practices at 9 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.

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