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Washington Reviewing Allegation That Jimmy Lake Shoved Player in 2019

Washington is looking into a 2019 incident in which head coach Jimmy Lake allegedly shoved a player into a locker. At the time of the incident, he was the defensive coordinator of the Huskies. 

At halftime in a game against Arizona on Oct. 12, 2019, Washington was down 17–13 in Arizona. The defense was performing well while the offense struggled. Lake entered the locker room and began yelling at players before he shoved wide receiver Quinten Pounds into a locker, according to the Seattle Times's Mike Vorel. 

The Seattle Times spoke to five eyewitnesses on the condition of anonymity who all tell different versions of the event, but they all largely overlap. Washington is currently investigating Lake for an on-the-field altercation with redshirt freshman linebacker Ruperake Fuava on Nov. 6 against Oregon. 

“Lake comes in on just a complete rampage pretty much, picks up Quinten Pounds and throws him into a locker,” one eyewitness told the Seattle Times. “Those lockers there were wooden lockers, and it was violent. It really caught everyone by surprise. It was really unprompted. He just kind of did that and then went on a tangent about how the offense needs to start playing better.” 

During the program's investigation into Lake’s incident with Fuavai, "one individual mentioned an alleged incident involving Coach Lake during the 2019 football game at Arizona," a statement attributed to the UW athletic department and obtained by the Seattle Times read. "This is the first time athletic department administration had been made aware of the alleged 2019 incident and we began to review that allegation; that work is ongoing."

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Lake denied any wrongdoing from the alleged incident in question. 

"I absolutely deny anything improper went on at halftime of the University of Arizona game in 2019," Lake said. "There were numerous witnesses in the game—from equipment room, to football staff, to strength and conditioning coaches, and no one came to me with concerns after halftime, after the game, never.

"To my knowledge there’s never been any complaints launched by anyone related to anything that happened during that game, and nobody from the university has ever raised any issues with me about what occurred in the locker room at halftime," he said. 

All eyewitnesses retell a similar story with some variation on the severity of the incident. One witness said Lake shoved Pounds into the wooden locker and it made a loud sound, but Pounds was just about six inches in front of it. Another witness said Pounds just "grazed the locker." One witness went as far as to say “nothing malicious happened."

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