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Sarkisian responds to criticism from Stanford’s Shaw


By Brady Henderson

Shortly after Stanford coach David Shaw called out Steve Sarkisian for implying that Cardinal defenders faked injuries during Saturday’s game, Washington’s coach stuck to his guns and said he’s moving on.

Steve Sarkisian

“My response is what I said yesterday: We saw what we saw and we’re going to leave it at that,” he told 710 ESPN Seattle’s “Brock and Danny” as the Huskies were coming off the practice field Tuesday. “I think two reasonable people can disagree on things and we can move forward. So we’re moving forward.

“We’re facing the No. 2-ranked team in America, we’ve got “GameDay” coming, it’s an exciting week to be a Husky.”

Instead of the attention being focused squarely on No. 16 Washington’s upcoming showdown with second-ranked Oregon Saturday – a matchup big enough to attract ESPN’s “College GameDay” to Montlake – Sarkisian was answering questions Tuesday about a back-and-forth with Shaw that began after the Huskies’ 31-28 loss to Stanford on Saturday.

During a postgame radio interview, Sarkisian alleged that Stanford defenders, under a coach’s instruction, feigned injuries in an attempt to slow down Washington’s fast-paced offense. Shaw took exception and responded Tuesday, opening his Pac-12 conference call by firing back at Sarkisian and defending Stanford’s football program.

David Shaw

“We don’t fake injuries. We never have and we never will,” Shaw said. “I don’t condone it, we don’t teach it, I don’t allow it. And I don’t care what Steve Sarkisian thinks that 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?”

Sarkisian said during his postgame radio interview that Stanford’s defensive-line coach, Randy Hart – a longtime Washington assistant – told players to “sit down” after plays. Shaw called Sarkisian “unprofessional” for calling out another coach.

“The only defensive-line coach that I know of that’s ever instructed players to fake injuries works at Washington, not at Stanford,” Shaw said in reference to Washington’s Tosh Lupoi, who was suspended for a game in 2010 while he was on Cal’s coaching staff. “That’s not calling anybody out, that’s just stating a fact. It’s been proven. It’s been admitted.”

Further responding to Sarkisian’s comments about the Cardinal’s allegedly underhanded tactics, Shaw noted that Stanford is one of the least penalized teams in the nation, has been to three straight BCS bowl games and has as a 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,” he said. “We play by the rules. We do it with integrity. Our coaches, our players, we all believe in that.”

Sarkisian, during his conversation with “Brock and Danny” on Tuesday, was asked if he thought his comments crossed the line, as Shaw suggested they did.

“I answered a question. That’s all I did,” Sarkisian said. “I never said they faked an injury. I answered a question: ‘Did [we] feel like a couple of their players went down?’ And we saw what we saw. Again, we’re moving forward.”

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.