Stanford football coach David Shaw lashed out at Washington coach Steve Sarkisian on Tuesday during the weekly Pac-12 coaches conference call, saying the Cardinal didn’t fake injuries in Saturday night’s 31-28 win over Washington.
Shaw asked to make a statement at the start of the call and said in part, “We don’t fake injuries. We never have and never will. I don’t care what Steve Sarkisian thinks he saw.”
Shaw said he believed Sarkisian’s comments, calling out longtime former Washington assistant and current Stanford aide Randy Hart, were “unprofessional.”
The Stanford coach noted that it was Washington assistant Tosh Lupoi — without mentioning him by name — who once admitted having California players fake injuries against Oregon when he was on the Bears staff.
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“That’s not calling anybody out, that’s just stating a fact. It’s been proven, it’s been admitted,” Shaw said.
Sarkisian, whose turn on the teleconference came about an hour later, said he was unaware of Shaw’s specific comments and added, “We saw what we saw. We’ll leave it at that.”
Both coaches responded with “No comment” on whether they had spoken privately on the incident. Sarkisian, pressed on whether members of his staff saw Hart signaling players to feign injuries, said, “I’m done with the subject.”
Shaw also expressed annoyance at Sarkisian’s displeasure with the replay decision that overturned a Washington catch late in the game and essentially assured the victory for Stanford. He said it took away from “two unbelievable performances” by Stanford’s Ty Montgomery and Washington quarterback Keith Price.
He clicked off Stanford’s accomplishments in recent years, including two victories in three BCS-bowl appearances, mentioned a 100 percent graduation rate and said the Cardinal program “is one of the most respected in the country. I’m not gonna put that on the line just to beat Washington.
“They beat us (last year), I handled it, our coaches handled it, we congratulated Washington. We didn’t talk about the officiating, we didn’t talk about anything else Washington did. We took it and moved on.”
Asked later if he felt the Sarkisian comments impugned him personally, Shaw repeated the “unprofessional” charge and said the idea that Stanford players Shayne Skov and Ben Gardner would want to leave the field to fake an injury was unrealistic.
“Shayne had an MRI the other day on his knee,” Shaw said. “Ben Gardner had an arm injury, not to mention dehydration. We’re talking about two senior captains, two of the hardest-working guys on the team. That’s disrespectful to everything we’ve done here.”
Shaw said the concept of any team faking injuries to slow a fast-paced team is distasteful, calling it “ridiculous. That’s why we’ve recruited the way we have. We played 20 defensive players in this game. No way we’re going to fake injuries. We’ve built our team not to have to do that.”
After he said initially Saturday night that he thought the controversial reviewed play was a catch by Washington’s Kevin Smith, Shaw said Tuesday, “It looked like he caught it. (But) from the back, you can see, after it hits the receiver’s chest, it hits the ground.”
Shaw said he had spoken to the Pac-12 office about the Sarkisian comments. Sarkisian, asked if he expected to discuss the matter with the league, repeated, “I’m done with it.”
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