So perplexing are Washington’s penalty problems that they’re piling up even away from the field.
The latest penalty comes straight from Pac-12 headquarters.
Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott reprimanded Steve Sarkisian on Thursday for “disclosing private communications” that the UW coach had with the conference office about game officiating.
On Monday, Sarkisian said that he had received an apology from the Pac-12 for a phantom penalty that negated a touchdown in the Huskies’ 41-31 loss at No. 13 UCLA last week.
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Sarkisian was not fined as part of the reprimand, a Pac-12 spokesman said.
“The Pac-12 has specific rules that prohibit our coaches from making public comments about officiating and from discussing private communications with the conference office,” Scott said in a statement. “We have an obligation to our membership to enforce the conference rules, which they have approved.”
On the play in question, UW left guard Dexter Charles was flagged for a hands-to-the-face penalty that should not have been called, the Pac-12 conceded to Sarkisian. Replays show that Charles blocked the UCLA defensive lineman’s right shoulder pad.
UW quarterback Keith Price had thrown a 38-yard touchdown pass to Damore’ea Stringfellow on the play. The touchdown was called back, and UW ended up punting on the drive.
The public reprimand was announced after Sarkisian met with local media following practice Thursday morning. He had said Monday that one play was “not the reason why we lost” to UCLA.
Apology aside, Sarkisian admitted the penalties have been perplexing for a UW team that leads the nation with 8.9 penalties per game (UCLA is second with 8.8). A few weeks ago, Sarkisian reached out to Seahawks coach Pete Carroll for advice on the matter.
“Pete’s a great mentor of mine, and he’s always aware of those types of things,” Sarkisian said. “We had penalty issues when we were at SC together, too. I was looking for a little bit of the magic formula here and he said, ‘Sark, I think our guys just play hard — maybe that’s why we get a few more penalties than everybody else.’ So I said, ‘OK, Coach, I appreciate it.’ ”
No QB decision yet
Sarkisian wasn’t ready to announce a starting quarterback immediately after practice Thursday, but was “encouraged” by Price’s performance in practice.
Price hadn’t thrown a pass all week until Thursday while resting and rehabbing a sore throwing shoulder that forced him to miss the second half of the UCLA game Friday night. By Saturday, Sarkisian said Price was having trouble putting a shirt on.
“Keith was vastly improved today,” Sarkisian said Thursday.
Sarkisian expected to make a decision on a starter Friday for the Oregon State game Saturday night in Corvallis. Redshirt freshman Cyler Miles has been preparing to make his first start.
“Keith has done a lot of great things here (in his career), Cyler is going to do a lot of great things here, and whoever takes the field Saturday night, ultimately it’s going to be who gives us the best chance to be successful,” Sarkisian said.
Sarkisian hasn’t ruled out the scenario of having Price available as an emergency option, similar to two years ago when Nick Montana started against Oregon State in Corvallis and Price, nursing a leg injury, came off the bench in the fourth quarter.
“Everything’s on the table,” Sarkisian said.
• Linebacker John Timu, left tackle Micah Hatchie and safety Will Shamburger, all UW starters, should all be “good to go” against Oregon State, Sarkisian said. All three have been limited with various injuries.
Adam Jude: 206-464-2364 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter: @a_jude