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Monday, December 06, 2004 - Page updated at 11:54 A.M.
By Bob Condotta
As the Washington men's basketball team easily dispatched Eastern Washington yesterday, savvy fans might have started looking in the direction of Huskies athletic director Todd Turner and wondered where he was as his seat sat empty for much of the second half.
Alas, Turner was simply trying to keep tabs on the announcements of BCS bowls, watching as the bids were unveiled on TV. When Cal was left out of the BCS, Turner estimated it cost UW about $150,000, which would have been the school's share of the money the Pac-10 would have received for getting two teams in the BCS.
"It hurts," Turner said.
It likely won't be enough of a hit to put a crimp in UW's search for a new coach, however, which is expected to enter a critical state this week.
Turner, as he has done throughout the search, would not discuss specific prospects yesterday.
But he seemed to confirm that the Huskies are ready to make a run at California's Jeff Tedford and maybe Pittsburgh's Walt Harris and Louisville's Bobby Petrino this week.
"We're moving into a much more active phase now that people's regular seasons are done all across the country," Turner said. "There were several this weekend that were important."
Tedford has been considered UW's top target all along. But Cal is apparently ready to put up a stiff fight to keep him away from UW, Notre Dame or anyone else.
Cal athletic director Sandy Barbour told reporters after the Bears' game against Southern Mississippi on Saturday that the school is working on a contract extension with Tedford and said, "We'll get it taken care of."
Also, two ESPN analysts said yesterday that the decision to leave Cal out of the BCS could make Tedford more amenable to leaving.
The Huskies may pursue the likes of Petrino and Harris whose seasons also ended Saturday if they can't land Tedford.
Petrino has emerged as a hot candidate for a number of jobs after leading Louisville to a 10-1 record this season. He is 19-5 in two seasons at Louisville.
Harris is 52-43 in eight seasons at Pitt and led the Panthers to the Fiesta Bowl this season.
Former Notre Dame coach Tyrone Willingham is also still thought to be in the mix.
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