Stanford’s David Shaw is one of the most mild-mannered coaches in college football. He rarely shows emotions, and he rarely raises his voice.
Speaking as passionately as he ever has, Shaw emphatically fired back at Steve Sarkisian 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, we never have and we never will. I don’t condone it. I don’t teach it. I don’t allow it.”
Shaw also referred to the same hand-written notes at the start of his weekly news conference at Stanford. He 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.
“That’s not calling anybody out. That’s just stating a fact. It’s been proven. It’s been admitted and we all have moved on,” Shaw said. Later he added, “We didn’t do it against Oregon, so why in the world would we do it against Washington?”
Former Stanford linebacker Chase Thomas was accused of faking an injury in a loss at Oregon in 2010 while Jim Harbaugh was the head coach.
“How we play at Stanford has led to three BCS bowl games, a Pac-12, Rose Bowl and Orange Bowl championships and a 100 percent graduation rate,” Shaw said. “This is one of the most respected programs in the country and I’m not going to put that on the line just to beat Washington.”
Shaw also said he had discussions with the Pac-12 Conference expressing his displeasure with the allegations. Both coaches declined comment when asked if they had spoken to each other about the issue.
“I’m not even angry at Steve. Just think he crossed the line. Could see him tomorrow and say hi. But I’m going to defend what we do,” Shaw said.
After fifth-ranked Stanford (5-0, 3-0) beat then-No. 15 Washington 31-28 on Saturday night, Sarkisian said in a postgame radio interview that Cardinal players were faking injuries to try to slow the Huskies’ up-tempo offense on the final drive. He specifically said he heard Stanford defensive line coach Randy Hart — who was an assistant at Washington from 1988 to 2008 — telling players to stay down following plays.
Sarkisian stood by those comments again Tuesday when asked about Shaw’s response.
“We saw what we saw. We can leave it at that. Two reasonable people can disagree on something and move forward,” Sarkisian said.
NOTE: Stanford and BYU have agreed to play a four-game series beginning in 2020.
Stanford vs. Utah
WHEN: Saturday, 3 p.m.
WHERE: Rice-Eccles Stadium, Salt Lake City
TV: Pac-12 Networks