Zags vs. Huskies by Law? - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Zags vs. Huskies by Law?

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Gonzaga and Washington haven't played since Dec. 9, 2006, can a new bill force the two to rekindle a rivalry? Gonzaga and Washington haven't played since Dec. 9, 2006, can a new bill force the two to rekindle a rivalry?

by Senator Baumgartner 

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Sen. Michael Baumgartner, R-Spokane, is proposing rekindling the once-legendary hardwood rivalry between Spokane’s Gonzaga University and Seattle’s University of Washington by law. Baumgartner’s legislation, Senate Bill 6583, would require the men’s basketball programs at the two schools to face off at least once each regular season – something that has not happened since 2007.

“I think it’s in the best interest of the state for the Legislature to take action by reigniting the competitive spirit embodied in the rivalry between Gonzaga and UW,” said Baumgartner, who represents the 6th Legislative District. “Fans of both schools loved this rivalry before UW abruptly ended it, and I think it’s about time we get it going again!”

Baumgartner noted that the Kansas State Legislature recently adopted a similar proposal to help two of its universities restore a traditional rivalry game. If the Legislature adopts SB 6583, Gonzaga and UW will be required by state law to compete each year during the regular season. The annual series pitting UW and Gonzaga had been played most recently from 1998 through 2007; while Gonzaga won eight of those 10 meetings, UW holds the all-time series edge over Gonzaga by a margin of 29-13.

“Kansas University thinks it’s “too good” to play Wichita State University and hasn’t played them since 1993. The reality is that KU has been too scared and doesn’t want to share the limelight, which is why the Kansas legislators had to step in,” Baumgartner added. “The UW vs. Gonzaga rivalry was enjoyed by the entire state. UW has a solid basketball program, but if the Huskies are too scared to play GU of its own choosing I think the Legislature ought to pass a law to help give them some courage.”

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