Palo Alto Weekly

Sports - October 11, 2013

Shaw answers accusations

by Rick Eymer

Stanford football coach David Shaw doesn't take too kindly to having someone question the integrity of his program.

That was the case Tuesday when he addressed accusations by Washington coach Steve Sarkisian, who said Stanford tried to fake injuries at crucial moments in Saturday's game.

More than anything, Shaw thinks Sarkisian did a great disservice to Huskies' quarterback Keith Price and Cardinal wide receiver Ty Montgomery, both of whom played superbly in Stanford's 31-28 win over Washington on Saturday.

"All this talk is ridiculous and takes away from two unbelievable performances by Montgomery and Price, who played their hearts out," Shaw said Tuesday. "We're talking about things that amount to nothing."

The Washington staff specifically accused Cardinal defensive line coach Randy Hart of telling his players to lie down.

Hart spent nearly 20 years coaching at Washington, under five different head coaches. He left when Sarkisian was hired.

"We never fake injuries," Shaw said. "We've never done it. We don't believe in it. We are under strict instructions to run this program abpve reproach. We're charged with operating the program with integrity. It is unprofessional and disrespectful to call out an opposing coach of the other team."

Sarkisian originally made his remarks on a postgame radio show and stuck by them when he met the media. He tweeted "we saw what we saw and leave it at that."

Later, Sarkisian told Seattle reporters he "was done with it."

"How we play football at Stanford is averaging 5.3 penalties per game, one of the lowest in the nation," Shaw said. "How we play has gotten us to three consecutive BCS bowl games and a 100 percent graduation rate. It's a well-respected program and we're not going to put that on the line just to beat Washington."

Two of Stanford's team captains, linebacker Shayne Skov and defensive end Ben Gardner, were indirectly implicated by the Huskies' staff.

Skov took a hit from teammate James Vaughters to his surgically repaired knee. An MRI revealed no further damage but Shaw said it was still sore and he has been limited in practice.

Gardner had "an arm issue" and was trying to get up and drag himself across the line. Stanford was called for off-side on the play.

Usua Ananam also had to leave the game but was able to return after team trainers and doctors assured Shaw there were no concussion symptoms.

"What bothers me is how specific he was," Shaw said. "Randy Hart has coached football longer than a lot of us has been alive. His reputation is impeccable. I don't care what he thought he saw. If he has a problem, he should come to me."

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