Washington Huskies head coach Steve Sarkisian was irked after his team played the Stanford Cardinal on Saturday, and it wasn’t just because the Huskies lost 31-28. According to Sarkisian, a couple of Stanford players faked injuries in an effort to slow down the fast-paced Washington offense.
Their defensive-line coach (former UW assistant Randy Hart) was telling them to sit down. 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 (Sports Press NW).
A couple of Stanford players, including star linebacker Shayne Skov, responded to the accusations. Skov said he just “needed a moment” after taking a big hit, and senior defensive end Ben Gardner told the Huskies to “stay classy.”
Concern over feigned injuries isn’t exactly misguided — some teams do fake injuries, and some players have come out and admitted as much — but the culture of paranoia it produces is damaging. Crowds should never boo an injured player because they assume he’s faking. The boos and catcalls accomplish nothing besides risking the potential of being extremely classless if said player is actually hurt. Without looking at the video, it is hard to say if Stanford defenders were guilty or not. Still, it’s better to error on the side of caution than to come across as heartless.
[Source: Sports Press NW]