By Brady Henderson
The question that has lingered all summer over Washington’s football team has finally been answered, as star tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins will reportedly be suspended for Saturday’s opener against Boise State.
Adam Jude of The Seattle Times, who broke the story Thursday night, told “Brock and Danny” Friday that according to a UW source, coach Steve Sarkisian initially suspended Seferian-Jenkins for two games over his offseason DUI arrest but reduced it to one after the tight end met some of the coach’s disciplinary requirements.
Jude added that Seferian-Jenkins had been cleared medically to play, according to UW sources.
The university has yet to confirm the report of the suspension.
Seferian-Jenkins, a native of Fox Island, Wash., pleaded guilty to driving under the influence in July stemming from a March incident in which he registered a blood-alcohol level of 0.18 percent – more than twice the state’s legal limit – following a late-night car accident near UW’s campus.
Suspending Seferian-Jenkins – a preseason All-American and already the most prolific tight end in school history as he enters his junior season – would leave the Huskies without their best player when they open the season against No. 19 Boise State on Saturday, christening the newly renovated Husky Stadium in the process.
The importance of the game amplified the speculation about whether or not Seferian-Jenkins would be suspended, as did Sarkisian’s refusal to discuss the tight end’s status. Sarkisian even bristled at a reporter’s inquiry on the subect earlier this week.
Complicating the matter was an injury that threatened to keep Seferian-Jenkins from playing Saturday even in the absence of a suspension. Seferian-Jenkins had surgery earlier this month to insert a pin into the pinky finger he broke during training camp.
Jude, though, said Seferian-Jenkins’ health wasn’t a factor in Sarkisian’s decision to hand down the suspension.
“There will be some that will look at that cynically – and it’s probably fair to question – but I was told definitively that his pinky was well enough to catch and to play,” Jude said. “I think if it were left up to him, putting the DUI aside, if it were left up to Seferian-Jenkins, he would have been out there 100 percent, but obviously Sarkisian had other plans and I think a lot of people agree that this is probably the right thing to do.”
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.