Stanford coach David Shaw fired back at Steve Sarkisian on Tuesday after the Washington coach accused the Cardinal of faking injuries.
Shaw opened his portion of the Pac-12 coaches’ teleconference with a carefully crafted statement, saying “we don’t fake injuries, never have and never will. I don’t teach it, don’t condone it, don’t allow it.” He also began his weekly news conference at Stanford shortly after by referring to the same hand-written notes.
Shaw called Sarkisian’s allegations “unprofessional” and pointed out that the only defensive coach he knows of who has told players to fake injuries works on Washington’s staff. Huskies defensive line coach Tosh Lupoi admitted to instructing players to fake injuries against Oregon while he was an assistant at Cal.
“If you have to resort to that, you haven’t trained hard enough,” Shaw said.
Shaw also said he had discussions with the Pac-12 Conference expressing his displeasure with the allegations. Asked if he had spoken to Sarkisian, Shaw said “no comment.”
After fifth-ranked Stanford (5-0, 3-0) beat then-No. 15 Washington 31-28 on Saturday night, Sarksian said in a postgame radio interview that Cardinal players were faking injuries to try to slow down the Huskies’ up-tempo offense on the final drive. He specifically said he heard Stanford defensive line coach Randy Hart — who spent 21 years as the defensive line coach at Washington — telling players to stay down following plays.
Sarkisian stood by those comments Monday.
“We saw what we saw and I’ll leave it at that,” Sarkisian said.
Stanford defensive end Ben Gardner and linebacker Shayne Skov both were tended to by trainers on the field in the fourth quarter for apparent injuries. Shaw said Gardner was dealing with arm injury and dehydration, while Skov hyperextended his surgically repaired left knee when he collided with teammate James Vaughters.
An MRI on Skov’s knee showed no structural damage, Shaw said. Skov is expected to play Saturday at Utah.
Both players denied on Twitter that they were faking injuries.
“Skov didn’t take a dive, I didn’t take a dive. Never have never will. Stay classy Washington,” Gardner tweeted Sunday.
Antonio Gonzalez can be reached at: www.twitter.com/agonzalezAP