After Washington lost to Stanford 31-28 on Saturday night, Steve Sarkisian seemed to imply the Cardinal players may have been faking injuries.
The exact quote, from Tom Fornelli at CBS:
“Their defensive line coach (former Washington assistant Randy Hart) was telling them to sit down,” Sarkisian said. “I guess that's how we play here at Stanford, so we'll have to prepare for that next time. At some point, we'll get repaid for it. That never serves a purpose for us, and we'll never do that.”
Well, Stanford coach David Shaw didn't take too kindly to that insinuation, and he made that perfectly clear during the Pac-12 teleconference on Tuesday.
"We don't fake injuries. We never have. We never will... I don't care what Steve Sarkisian thinks he saw." - David Shaw
— David Lombardi (@DavidMLombardi) October 8, 2013
David Shaw, coach of @StanfordFball: "The only asst coach I’ve ever known to order players to fake injuries coaches at Washington." more tk
— The Football Four (@TheFootballFour) October 8, 2013
Usually coaches will skirt an issue by talking in generalizations or taking more roundabout, vague pot shots at other coaches, so it's much ado about nothing. But in this instance, Sarkisian directly accused Shaw's team of doing something, and the Stanford coach fired back -- in a teleconference no less. While there might be a bit of hyperbolic language in Shaw's statement that the Cardinal has "never" faked injuries, those are strong words from the typically level-headed coach.
This faking injuries thing has been a big deal in the Pac-12 for a few years now, and Shaw directly referenced Washington defensive line coach Tosh Lupoi, who was suspended for instructing players to fake injuries against Oregon in 2010 while working for Cal.
When I asked Arizona State wide receiver Jaelen Strong about it before ASU's game against Stanford, he said the offense just has to go out and play and that they don't worry about whether a defender is faking. You never really will know if a player is faking or not in football, and with all this emphasis on player safety, the officials are going to err on the side of caution rather than try to address flopping in the same way basketball is.
Regardless, it looks like the Stanford-Washington rivalry is heating up a bit, and I wouldn't be surprised if Sarkisian had other things to say post-Shaw rant. STAPLES: Huskies' mistakes, controversial call doom comeback against Cardinal