Six months after being involved in two assaults of Seahawks fans in post-Super Bowl revelry, and two days after returning to the field with his Washington Huskies teammates, Cyler Miles stood before cameras and apologized.
“I messed up big time,” the sophomore quarterback said after Wednesday’s practice at Husky Stadium, “and I’m willing to face the consequences.”
Miles fielded five questions in his first media interview since his involvement in the assaults of Seahawks fans on Feb. 2, incidents that led to his one-game suspension and resulted in the transfer of starting wide receiver Damore’ea Stringfellow.
“I highly regret it,” Miles said in his opening remarks, “and I’m just very excited to get back on the team and do my best to put this past me and start working with my guys again.”
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Miles was not charged, because of what the King County prosecutors office said was a lack of evidence. Stringfellow was charged and in April pleaded guilty to three gross misdemeanor charges.
In the first incident on Feb. 2, Stringfellow and Miles, both holding or wearing Denver Broncos gear, were at a celebratory bonfire near campus shortly after the Seahawks defeated the Broncos. According to the prosecutors’ charging document, Stringfellow got in a fight with an unknown male and then knocked down a young woman who had been taking pictures of the celebration.
An hour later, Stringfellow and Miles got out of a car, approached a male Seahawks fan and chased him down a path. Stringfellow, described as the “primary aggressor” in the attack, punched the fan at least three times. Miles was said to be “acting aggressively as well,” but the victim and his girlfriend could “not state with any certainty that Miles actually struck” the victim.
Miles missed all of UW’s spring practices while serving a three-month suspension through mid-May. First-year coach Chris Petersen then announced two weeks ago that he was also suspending Miles, the favorite to take over as UW’s starting quarterback, for the season opener at Hawaii on Aug. 30.
“I thought it was fair,” Miles said of the suspension. “That’s out of my control and that’s Coach Pete’s decision, but I thought it was a fair consequence.”
Stringfellow, who started three games as a freshman for the Huskies last season, chose to transfer in May after the university suspended him for two academic terms, a UW source said. Stringfellow is now on the roster at Mississippi.
Miles, who until Monday hadn’t practiced with teammates since December, is trying to work his way back up the Huskies’ depth chart while learning the offense installed by the new coaching staff.
Wednesday, during the Huskies’ third practice of fall camp — first as a full squad — Miles was the first quarterback to take snaps with the first-unit offense, but Petersen cautioned reporters not to read anything into that this early.
Petersen added that there’s “no question” that Miles is behind the other two quarterbacks vying for the starting job, sophomore Jeff Lindquist and redshirt freshman Troy Williams.
“I haven’t been around him, football-wise, but there’s no way a guy at that position cannot be rusty from being away as long as he has,” Petersen said. “It’s nice to get him back in the mix. You can see he has talent. But that position, like most, is all about details, and it’s a race against the clock for all of us. Every day, every rep, every minute matters.”
Miles is eligible to play in the Huskies’ home opener against Eastern Washington on Sept. 6.
“In terms of the details, the timing, the accuracy, all those things, the precision — nobody’s there at that position, let alone (Miles),” Petersen said. “He’s had the least amount of reps since we’ve been here.”