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Washington Suspends Coach Jimmy Lake for Upcoming Game vs. ASU

As a disappointing season enters its home stretch, Washington has suspended coach Jimmy Lake for the team's upcoming game vs. Arizona State, athletic director Jen Cohen announced Monday. 

Lake will be sidelined without pay.

His suspension comes after an incident during Saturday's 26-16 loss to Oregon in which Lake appeared to make physical contact with redshirt freshman linebacker Ruperake Fuavai.

"Our staff has spent the last 24-hours reviewing video of the incident, as well as speaking with coach Lake, the involved student-athlete and several other student-athletes and members of the staff, and I have made the decision to suspend coach Lake for next Saturday's game against Arizona State," Cohen said in a statement.

"...While we do not believe that his actions were intentional or deliberate, we can have no tolerance for a coach interacting with a student in the manner coach Lake did. We have high expectations of conduct for our coaches, and we will not shy away from those expectations." 

Lake was asked about the altercation after the game, saying that he was merely trying to separate players from each other: "I separated them. I didn’t strike him. I separated them.”

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Cohen said after the game the school would conduct an investigation into the incident.

Washington, which was ranked No. 20 in the preseason Associated Press poll, has been among the most underperforming teams this season. The loss to Oregon dropped the Huskies to 4–5 on the year. The day after losing to the Ducks, the team fired offensive coordinator John Donovan

Through nine games, Washington ranks 109th nationally in scoring (22.0 points per game) and 112th in total yards per game (332.1).

Lake joined Washington as the defensive backs coach in 2014 under then-head coach Chris Petersen. He was elevated to co-defensive coordinator in 2016, then held the position on his own beginning in 2018. The Huskies consistently ranked at or near the top of the Pac-12 in most defensive stats during his time at the helm. Lake was promoted to head coach following Petersen's decision to step down after the 2019 season.

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