Stanford strikes back at Steve Sarkisian over fake-injury accusation

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By Chris Dufresne

Los Angeles Times

Stanford‘s exciting three-point win over Washington on Saturday night did not go into overtime but it has sort of spilled over like the last fight scene in Mel Brooks‘ “Blazing Saddles.”

After the tough loss, Washington Coach Steve Sarkisian basically accused Stanford players of faking injuries in an attempt to slow down the Huskies’ new up-tempo offense.

steve sarkisianThere was the insinuation that Randy Hart, a Stanford assistant who used to work at Washington, was behind the alleged plot.

Stanford star defensive end Ben Gardner took to Twitter and said:

Stanford Coach David Shaw waited two full days to respond but then unloaded on Tuesday’s Pac 12 coaches’ conference call.

“We don’t fake injuries. We never have and never will,” Shaw said. “I don’t care what Steve Sarkisian thinks he saw.”

It didn’t take long for someone to post a video of a Stanford player who may have been faking an injury against Oregon in a 2010 game when Shaw was still an assistant on Jim Harbaugh‘s staff.

Shaw noted the only coach in the league who was has been charged with ordering players to fake is Tosh Lupoi, who is now a Washington assistant.

Lupoi, when he was an assistant at Cal, was suspended one game in 2010 for instructing his players to fake injuries against Oregon.

That was met with a stern statement from conference Commissioner Larry Scott, who said  the “behavior is unacceptable and will not be tolerated by the conference.”

Sarkisian, with his team facing a huge game against No. 2 Oregon this week, is trying to distance himself from the controversy.

Asked Tuesday if he still believed Stanford was faking he said, “We saw what we saw and we’ll leave it at that.”

Had Sarkisian and Shaw spoken about the matter?

“No comment,” Sarkisian said. “I’m done with the subject.”

First-year Cal Coach Sonny Dykes, who runs an up-tempo offense, said earlier this year he believes a rule change might be needed that requires injured players to miss more than one play after leaving the field.

He said that might detour the temptation of faking injuries.


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