Wazzu Closing In On Deal For New "Hard Knocks"-Style HBO Show
A small camera crew from HBO at Washington State's scrimmage on Saturday was a reminder that the school is being "considered for inclusion in a new documentary series this season," according to Dale Grummert of the MOSCOW-PULLMAN DAILY NEWS. A WSU spokesperson said that "no official agreement has been reached, but HBO's presence at practice for a second consecutive day is another indication a deal could be forthcoming." Someone running the WSU Twitter feed "alluded to the possible arrangement" on Saturday. However, a source said that the tweeter "wasn't making an official announcement and wasn't privy to the status of negotiations between the school and network." A report last week noted WSU, along with Alabama, Arizona State and Penn State, "had been selected for the HBO series." No school has "made an official announcement," but that "hasn't prevented HBO from shooting preliminary footage" at both WSU and ASU. WSU coach Mike Leach on Saturday was followed with a "microphone on a hand-held boom pole" (MOSCOW-PULLMAN DAILY NEWS, 8/19). In Spokane, Theo Lawson reported it is "expected that the show will return to the Palouse for one week during the regular season, presumably coinciding with a WSU home game." Leach "figures to be a major focal point" on the show (Spokane SPOKESMAN-REVIEW, 8/18).
JUST THE RIGHT FIT: ESPN's Trey Wingo said, "There's only one reason for this to be, and it's the right reason, Mike Leach." ESPN's Mike Golic said Leach and a microphone is "pure gold." ESPN's Mike Golic Jr.: "We're all going to be there for the personal side of Mike Leach, the one that talks about subjects that have nothing to do with football, but you have that blend of people that come there and want to watch a college football team and Mike Leach has been part of this wildly fascinating tree of air raid offenses and coaches." He added, "I'm very genuinely interested in learning more about an offense that seems to be leaking more and more into every aspect of the college and professional game now" ("Golic & Wingo," ESPN Radio, 8/19).
WHO BENEFITS? THE BIG LEAD's Geoff Magliocchetti wondered if this HBO show is "really the right thing to do" for WSU. Magliocchetti: "Who is the true beneficiary of Washington State's HBO project?" Players "already rake in revenue for both WSU and the NCAA, yet are barred from partaking in that tally themselves." A "relationship with HBO to showcase events that would otherwise be confidential doesn't send the right message in the continued refusal to at least reimburse players for their image usage." When their every move is "set to be documented by HBO's relentless lenses, it's hard not to sympathize or feel a sense of exploitation" (THEBIGLEAD.com, 8/17).