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Originally published Sunday, June 29, 2008 at 12:00 AM

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Huskies cut ties with Hasty and Murchison

J. R. Hasty never made as much noise on the football field at the University of Washington as was expected after a standout career at Bellevue...

Seattle Times staff reporter

J.R. Hasty never made as much noise on the football field at the University of Washington as was expected after a standout career at Bellevue High.

So fittingly, his Huskies career ended on Saturday with nary a whimper.

The school made no official announcement that Hasty, a junior running back, had finally been cut loose for good, simply releasing an updated roster on its Web site that didn't include his name. The name of senior cornerback Jordan Murchison, who battled legal trouble last season and played sparingly, was also absent from the roster. A school spokesman later confirmed that neither will play for the Huskies again. Both were recently told by UW coach Tyrone Willingham that they were not having their scholarships renewed for the 2008 season.

Hasty, who scored a state-record 50 touchdowns as a senior at Bellevue in 2004, said he was told by Willingham that "he kind of just didn't really trust me, I guess."

His career ends with just 18 yards on six carries, all last season.

Hasty had been unofficially suspended since midway through spring football for undisclosed disciplinary reasons. He was suspended for the beginning of spring practice for what he said was missing some offseason conditioning drills. He returned for a couple of practices before again being suspended.

Hasty said Willingham told him then that the coach wanted more time to think about whether he should be allowed back on the team. Hasty said he wanted to return but got the final word a few weeks ago.

"It's pretty frustrating coming in thinking you are the top guy and they take it from you," he said. "That hurts real bad. And from my own state [school], that kills me."

Hasty was considered the plum of Willingham's first recruiting class at UW in 2005. He impressed coaches with his play early on as a true freshman and he made trips to away games at UCLA and Oregon as Willingham debated whether to play him before it was decided he would redshirt.

But the following year he struggled during spring practice after adding weight in an attempt to get stronger. He then was declared academically ineligible that summer and missed the 2006 season.

Hasty said he thinks that's when UW coaches may have started to lose faith in him.

"It kind of seemed like that a little bit," he said. "It just didn't work out for whatever reason."

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Hasty struggled with an ankle injury during fall camp in 2007 and didn't make a run at the starting running-back job. After not playing against Oregon Oct. 20, he briefly quit the team, saying he didn't feel like he was getting a fair shot, but decided to return after talks with Willingham and his parents — his father is James Hasty, a former WSU safety and longtime NFL player.

A school spokesman said Hasty and Murchison were academically eligible. Hasty said he would like to continue playing and may pursue a lower-division school, where he would be immediately eligible and would have two years left.

Murchison, a transfer from City College of San Francisco, was slated to contend for a starting cornerback job heading into last season before it was learned he was wanted on assault charges. It was also discovered he had been arrested for domestic violence. He was suspended for five games before he was reinstated when his legal issues were resolved.

A school spokesman said Willingham would have no comment on the departures.

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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