Stanford coach David Shaw to Steve Sarkisian: ‘We don’t fake injuries’

Stanford coach David Shaw waiting three days to respond to comments Washington coach Steve Sarkisian made about the Cardinal faking injuries, and Shaw didn’t pull any punches.

During the Pac-12 teleconference Tuesday, Shaw asked to make an opening statement before taking any questions and used that opportunity to defend his program and blast Sarkisian for being unprofessional.

"We don't fake injuries. We never have and we never will," Shaw said. "And I don't care what Steve Sarkisian thinks that he saw."

Following Stanford’s 31-28 win, Sarkisian told a postgame radio program he thought Stanford players were faking injuries in order to slow Washington’s tempo late in the game.

"Their defensive line coach [Randy Hart] was telling them to sit down," Sarkisian said on KJR 950-AM. "I guess that's how we play here at Stanford, so we'll have to prepare for that next time."

Hart spent 21 seasons at Washington and his departure to Stanford coincided with Sarkisian’s arrival.

Even though Sarkisian didn’t name names, one of the players who went down late in the game was linebacker Shayne Skov, who ended up having an MRI on his knee, which showed no structural damage.

"How we play here at Stanford is averaging five and a half penalties a game. We're one of the least penalized teams in the nation," Shaw said. "How we play here at Stanford has led to three BCS bowl games in a row, a Pac-12, a Rose Bowl and an Orange Bowl championship and 100 percent graduation rate.

"We're one of the most well-respected programs in the nation. I'm not going to put that on the line just to beat Washington."

In a quintessential “it takes one to know one” scenario, Washington defensive line coach Tosh Lupoi was suspended for a game while at Cal in 2010 after admitting to asking players to fake injuries to slow down Oregon.

"I believe it's unprofessional to call out an assistant coach on another team. It was unprofessional; it was disrespectful," Shaw said. "The only D-line coach that I know of that's ever instructed players to fake an injury works at the University of Washington, not at Stanford.

"That's not calling a person out, that's stating a fact."

Sarkisian, when asked about Shaw’s comments, didn’t want to get into a back and forth.

"We saw what we saw, and we'll leave it at that," Sarkisian said. "I think two reasonable people can disagree on something and move forward."

Maybe this little war of words is the beginning of a good rivalry between these two schools. Saturday’s game was one of the more enjoyable of the year. Add in the postgame fire and now this is a game people will mark on the schedule for 2014.

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