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Originally published July 20, 2010 at 7:11 PM | Page modified July 20, 2010 at 8:52 PM

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Washington dismisses Kavario Middleton from football team

The Washington Huskies on Tuesday dismissed tight end Kavario Middleton from the football team for what it called an unspecified violation of team rules. Sources confirmed to The Seattle Times that Middleton failed a recent drug test.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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Less than three weeks before the start of practice, the Washington Huskies on Tuesday dismissed tight end Kavario Middleton from the team for a violation of team rules.

Washington officials would not be more specific, but sources confirmed to The Seattle Times that Middleton failed a recent drug test. That followed what the sources said were a number of issues related to Middleton's attitude and effort. UW cannot randomly test athletes but can test specific athletes if it has reasonable suspicion.

Huskies coach Steve Sarkisian and other UW administrators would not comment.

The junior from Lakes High School in Lakewood, a Parade All-American in 2007, started 11 of 12 games last season and caught 26 passes, more than any Washington tight end since Kevin Ware in 2002.

But he had been surpassed by junior Chris Izbicki atop the depth chart at the end of spring practice, and would have been locked in a tight battle to start when fall camp begins Aug. 9.

Lakes High coach Dave Miller would not comment on the specifics of Middleton's dismissal but said he supported the actions of Sarkisian and said that Middleton had been given a number of chances.

"I think Sark gave him every opportunity to improve and grow, and it got to the point where he had to make this choice for what is best for the team and what is hopefully best for Kavario in the long run," Miller said. "Hopefully now he will have the opportunity to take the right Y in the road and start growing and making better choices."

With Middleton gone, Izbicki will ascend to the starting role, but UW will suddenly be thin at a position that appeared to be a position of strength. Other than Izbicki, UW has no one listed as a tight end who has seen game action. Third-teamer Dorson Boyce, who saw a little action last season, was switched to fullback in the spring.

The third-teamer in the spring was redshirt freshman Marlion Barnett. Also listed at tight end is incoming freshman Michael Hartvigson of Bothell and walk-on Marek Domanski.

Willingham: "I'm retired"

Former Washington coach Tyrone Willingham told a North Carolina newspaper over the weekend that he doesn't foresee coaching again.

"I'm retired," Willingham told the Jacksonville (N.C.) Daily News at a youth football camp in his hometown.

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"I've done 30 years of collegiate and professional coaching," he said. "That's not a bad career. I think I've had failures. I think I've had successes. I think I've been places that most people will never go in life with my career. It's a good career."

Willingham, 56, also said he had no desire to pursue other positions in athletics, such as being an athletic director.

Willingham lives in San Jose and has has had little contact with UW since being fired as Washington's coach in October 2008, and finishing the season. The school's financial obligation to him ended after it paid him a one-time $1 million buyout shortly after his departure. However, Willingham reportedly still received money from Notre Dame, the school he coached before coming to UW, through the 2009 season. He was paid $650,000 last year.

Willingham was 11-37 in four years at UW, including 0-12 in 2008, the worst record in school history.

Three vie to renovate stadium

A school spokesman said Tuesday that UW has received three proposals from developers interested in renovating Husky Stadium.

Those proposals will be considered by the 11-person Husky Stadium Advisory Committee on Friday.

In a significant step, the athletic department last week received permission from the Board of Regents to select a proposal without the need for Regents approval. The department's presentation to the Board of Regents noted that the contract could be awarded by July 30 and finalized in the fall.

All other details, such as how much it will cost and when construction might begin or be completed, won't be finalized until the developer is selected.

Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or bcondotta@seattletimes.com

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