By Jim Moore
Washington coach Steve Sarkisian did exactly what I hoped he’d do this week when he announced absolutely nothing regarding a possible one-game suspension for Austin Seferian-Jenkins.
The Huskies tight end pleaded guilty to DUI after ending up in a Ravenna-area ditch on March 9. He has served a day in jail and from all indications has responded to everything that has been expected of him from Sarkisian.
Washington coach Steve Sarkisian is staying mum on whether or not he’ll suspend star tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins. (AP)
Sarkisian said the situation will be dealt with internally, though I think that it will somehow become “external” when we hear what his decision is on whether to suspend Seferian-Jenkins for the season opener against Boise State.
When he met with the media on Monday, Sarkisian had three options:
• Suspend Seferian-Jenkins for one or two games and make a statement that drunken-driving offenses will not be tolerated on his team.
• Not suspend Seferian-Jenkins while telling reporters that the future first-round draft choice has been punished enough with a day in jail and understands the seriousness of what happened.
• Not announce anything at all.
It amazes me that Sarkisian went with option No. 3, the worst option, which is perfectly fine by me.
Option No. 3 allows this to be a lingering distraction. Every time he meets with the media between now and Aug. 31 when the Huskies host Boise State, he’ll get the same question: “Hey, coach, have you made a decision on a suspension for Seferian-Jenkins?”
If you read between the lines, you’d guess that Sarkisian has already made his decision. From everything he’s said, he loves the kid like a son and feels like he’s been punished enough already.
The cynical translation with the Go 2 Guy speaking for Sarkisian:
“This kid is the best player on our team. Having him play against Boise State increases our chances of winning the game. As you may or may not know, we are only 3-point favorites in Vegas to win this game. So every edge we can get is crucial. If we were playing Idaho State in the first game instead of Boise State, I would’ve suspended Austin, but we’re not.
“And don’t forget that this is a huge season for me. I’ve gone 7-6 the last three years. If we go 7-6 again, I might not be able to drive my really cool boat to work anymore. If we go 7-6 again, I’ll be labeled as a mediocre coach, and it will be hard for me to find a job where I can make $2.5 million a year again.
“I don’t know if you’ve noticed or not, but I’ve become increasingly paranoid. I don’t want fans at practice anymore, and I barely want reporters there anymore. You never know who might pass along some inside information about one of our dive plays to an opponent. That kind of stuff keeps me awake at night.
“But getting back to Austin, can you imagine what it will be like if we lose to Boise State on a night that we christen our renovated stadium? I have and it ain’t pretty. So hell yes, Austin’s going to play.”
Sarkisian has his reasons for not announcing a decision as yet. It’s unclear what they are. He said it has nothing to do with gamesmanship, but that’s hard to believe. He probably doesn’t want the Broncos to know if they should plan for Seferian-Jenkins or not.
For my purposes, as a Coug who hopes the Dawgs lose every week, the longer this thing drags out, the better.
The Go 2 Guy also writes for his website, jimmoorethego2guy.com, and kitsapsun.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @cougsgo.