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Yet Another Take on the UW and Its College Football Future

A legislator's letter stirs a reaction among players, parents and fans.
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Drew Stokesbary received his undergraduate degree from Duke, his law degree from Notre Dame.

He must have been way too busy studying to go to any athletic events at either of one of those schools that, in case he didn't notice, demand their competitive sporting levels to exceed anyone else from coast to coast, that maintain their excellence largely dependent on large sums of TV money.

Yet this Washington state legislator, who keeps a law office in Sumner, just outside of Tacoma, created a stir over the weekend by almost absentmindedly entering the discussion over, let's be honest, what boils down to the football fortunes of the University of Washington and Washington State University.

Stokesbary sent a letter, calling for these state schools basically to do nothing, but blindly stick together in the Pac-12 Conference and wish for the best.

Here's hoping this politician does a little more research in his law-making decisions and coming court cases.

Reaction to Stokesbary's unsolicited efforts was swift, with prospective and current Husky players, parents and fans voicing their opposition.

"Husky Nation, please respectfully reach out to @stokesbary and ask him to reconsider his stance on this," UW football recruit Landen Hatchett wrote online, which was matched by his brother Geirean, already a Montlake player.

Hatchett recently gave the Huskies his scholarship pledge, this after considering attractive offers from Texas A&M, Michigan, USC and Oregon.

He's hardly bound to his oral commitment. He still easily could reverse course and head to A&M and the SEC or, ironies of all ironies, head to the Big Ten with USC or the already well-established Michigan.

The fallout from Stokesbary's approach, comparable to thinking that a sinking ship taking on water somehow stays afloat, would be immense if put in place.

Local players from the Seattle-Tacoma regional already were going elsewhere in droves for their college football because they felt the competition was better outside of the state borders and the interest levels at those schools were far more devoted.

Hatchett was one of the few who planned to stay, though he's not tied to that at all. Read his tweet again and listen to the urgency in his words.

College football now is all about being competitive and progressive rather than upholding tradition and old relationships.

The Huskies always wanted to compete at the level of USC and UCLA on a regular basis and, then under the direction of Don James, they made it happen on a regular basis.

Without the Los Angeles schools, the Pac-12 product is watered down, inconsequential to winning championships, getting ranked or going to New Year's Day bowl games.

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Those rewards will be left to the members of the super conferences.

Stand pat, and the Huskies immediately become the new Boise State or Fresno State, no shame there, but not what the ongoing football mission in Seattle has been all about. The UW becomes regional rather than national in concept.

Husky Stadium becomes half full. Landon Hatchett goes East to play the college game somewhere else. The promising Kalen DeBoer eventually gets hired to coach a Big Ten team. The Rose Bowl drops its agreement with the Pac-12.

Here's hoping UW athletic director Jenn Cohen has her phone stuck in her ear all weekend and through the Fourth of July holiday. That she cuts a deal that assures college football stability.

The Husky program is at a crossroad like no other time in its 133-year history. Do you choose to compete with the nation's best or repeal decades of hard work spent trying to get there?

Do you look at that 1991 co-national championship trophy in the UW coaches offices and realize, no matter what you do next, it will be the only one you ever win?

A lot of people think the UW is a viable football entity and deserves better than the aforementioned fate, such as this expert

Drew Stokesbary is recommending mediocrity here. Maybe he should have a chat with the athletic directors at Duke or Notre Dame and see what they think about his letter. 

The UW either makes the right move or concedes all of the city's football fans to the Seahawks. 

For sure, Husky Stadium would have lots of prime seating available for those future games against Montana, San Diego State and Sacramento State. 

Stokesbary could have the pick of the tickets.

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