Here is virtually the complete rundown of what Washington coach Steve Sarkisian and Stanford coach David Shaw said regarding an accusation that Stanford players faked injuries to slow the Huskies’ hurry-up offense during Stanford’s 31-28 victory on Saturday.
Sarkisian, speaking on KJR radio during his postgame show:
“Their defensive line coach [former Washington assistant Randy Hart] was telling them to sit down. I guess that’s how we play here at Stanford, so we’ll have to prepare for that next time. At some point, we’ll get repaid for it. That never serves a purpose for us, and we’ll never do that.”
Shaw, in response, on the Pac-12 teleconference on Tuesday:
“I must say we don’t fake injuries. We don’t condone it. We don’t teach it. We don’t allow it. I don’t care what Steve Sarkisian thinks he saw. We’ve never done it. We didn’t do it against Oregon, so why in the world would we do it against Washington. Not to mention that I think it’s unprofessional to call out an assistant coach by name on another team in the media. The only defensive line coach I know that’s ever instructed players to fake injuries works at Washington, not Stanford. [Shaw is referring to Tosh Lupoi, who was suspended for one game while at Cal after admitting he instructed players to fake injuries during a game. Lupoi is now a coach at Washington.] Now, that’s not calling anybody out. That’s just stating a fact. It’s been proven, It’s been admitted, and we all have moved on from that.
“The other thing I have to address is a comment that ‘I guess that’s how we play at Stanford.’ How we play at Stanford is averaging five and half penalties a game, one of the least penalized teams in the nation. How we play at Stanford has led to three BCS bowl games, a Pac-12, a Rose Bowl and Orange Bowl championship and 100 percent graduation rate. This is one of the most respected programs in the country. And I’m not going to put that on the line just to beat Washington. We play by the rules, do it with integrity. Our coaches and our players all believe in that. Not to mention we’ve done it in a way that I believe has been the right way as backed up by everyone here at Stanford. Not to mention we’ve beaten Washington five out of six times. But when they beat us [in 2012], I handled it, our players, our coaches handled it. We congratulated Washington for outplaying. We didn’t talk about the officiating. We didn’t talk about anything else that Washington did. They beat us, they outplayed us, and we took it and we moved on.
“Lastly, I believe all this talk about all these things and instant replay — which obviously the ball hit the ground, which I don’t know why it’s even a controversial call because the ball hit the ground — were taking away from two unbelievable performances. Ty Montgomery and Keith Price put on a show, and we should be talking about them, two of the guys we should be looking at, two of the better guys in the country at their position, and all this other stuff is taking away from that. Those two guys need to be praised and recognized for what they did. And both teams need to be looked at as two very good football teams that are both striving to be better.”
Asked whether he talked to the Pac-12 office about the issue, Shaw said:
“We’ve had some communication.”
Asked whether he has had a conversation with Sarkasian since he made his comments, Shaw said:
Asked why this issue has caused him to be so angry, Shaw said:
“I wouldn’t even call it anger. It’s my job to run this program, and I’ve been given strict guidelines by the president, the provost and my athletic director about how this program should be run with integrity, and when someone questions that, with all the effort we’ve gone through to build the respect we’ve built around the nation, to have that questioned by something that someone thought they saw is just wrong. And to — as I said, I think it’s unprofessional — to call out another assistant coach on another team by name, I think that’s wrong. And I’m going to defend my players. And that’s the other thing. Two of the guys that are quote, unquote, accused are two fifth-year senior captains, two of our best players, two guys I don’t want off the field for any stretch of time, let alone to fake injuries, and they come off the field. Shayne [Skov] had an MRI the other day on his knee that thankfully was negative. We’re going to try to have him ready for the game this week. He should be OK. Ben Gardner had an arm injury, not to mention some dehydration issues that were significant. And those are two of the — not only talking about on our team, you’re talking about two of the hardest-working kids in the country and especially in our conference. And to say that those guys are faking injuries to slow them down? That’s disrespectful to everything we believe in here, because I don’t believe you should fake injuries. I believe that’s wrong. I think it’s ridiculous. And people that have done that in the past, we here have laughed at because, in our opinion, you haven’t trained hard enough. If you have to resort to that, you haven’t trained hard enough. And it’s the reason we have recruited the way we have, to be as deep as we have, to handle those offenses. Now, with injured players on our defense, we still played — I mean guys that didn’t suit up — we still played 20 defensive players in the game. Twenty players. We played first- and second-string guys all the way through to keep our guys as fresh as we could. There’s no way we’re going to fake injuries. We built our team to not have to do that.”
Several minutes later, Sarkisian was asked to respond to Shaw’s comments. Skarkisian said,
“I don’t know exactly what was said. We just got off the practice field, getting ready to play the No. 2-ranked team in America. What I do know is what I said yesterday: We saw what we saw. We’ll leave it at that. I think two reasonable people can disagree on something and move forward, and that’s what we’ve done. We’re getting ready to play the Ducks.”