I write this with a somewhat heavy heart:
Paul Wulff no longer is Washington State's football coach.
A 9-40 career record is proof positive that something should have been done, but I think many Wazzu fans might have been so tired of the "Will he stay or will he go?" tango that they would have been OK with Wulff getting one more year. If Wulff finished his contract on a crummy note, then the obligation to keep him would be done, and the Cougs could start fresh. There would be no hard feelings because Wulff didn't keep up his end of the bargain to win more games.
Instead, I'm worried the Cougs got rid of the one guy who was committed, heck or high water, to staying at WSU and riding out the tough times. After watching Mike Price hightail it out of Pullman and Tony Bennett get lured away by the bright lights of Charlottesville, Va., Cougar Nation might be understandably reluctant to trust a big-name coach or someone who could be called away by an SEC or Big 12 school in a few years. It might not seem healthy to fear that possibility, but that's the kind of treatment WSU fans have come to expect over the past few years. Wulff was the one coach from whom I didn't get the "ready to jump ship" vibe, and athletic director Bill Moos just cut him loose to who knows where.
After so many losses, I thought it would be easy to say goodbye to Wulff. It's not so easy after all.
On another note, Moos said a "lack of butts in the seats" was a factor in Wulff's firing. Eloquently put, sir. I made it to two games this year, Colorado on the road and Stanford at home. I don't know about you, but I don't really get fired up until conference play, when WSU faces teams that are worth their salt (or are supposed to be because they're in a BCS conference). If the Cougs want to compete in the Pac-12 year after year, they need to put traditionally tougher teams on their nonconference schedule, not just those who pad their "W" column or, worse, make them look really bad because they barely win. (See Sept. 11, 2010: WSU beats Montana State 23-22.) Something to think about in later years.