Ahead of Washington State's clash with Arizona State on Saturday, the Pac-12 fined Cougars head coach Mike Leach $10,000 and reprimanded him for accusing the Sun Devils of signal-stealing.
According to ESPN.com's Kyle Bonagura, Leach said the following regarding Arizona State on Monday: "I think they still steal signs, and we'll have to keep an eye on that. That is a very unsavory practice they have, so we'll have to do what we can to defend against it."
Saturday's game is a pivotal one for Washington State, as it is currently tied atop the Pac-12 North standings with Washington at 3-0 in the conference.
Per Bonagura, Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott explained the reasoning behind Leach's punishment:
Conference rules prohibit Pac-12 member institutions from disparaging each other and discrediting other institutions. Information or accusations relative to rule violations must be handled by institutions filing those concerns with the conference office through a formal process, and institutions must refrain from discussing those concerns publicly.
The Cougars experienced their first winning season since 2003 last year when they went 9-4, and Leach has them in position to vie for their first Pac-12 championship since 2002.
Washington State defeated Arizona State 38-24 last season after losing 10 of their previous 11 meetings.
The Cougars finally have momentum on their side in the rivalry, and while Leach may have been trying to use gamesmanship to his advantage, he could have given the Sun Devils some bulletin-board material before a huge game instead.
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