SEATTLE - The University of Washington announced Monday that football coach Jimmy Lake was suspended without pay for his actions on the sideline that involved a player during the Oregon game on Saturday night.
Athletic Director Jen Cohen said Lake’s suspension includes all football-related activities, which will go into effect immediately and will be lifted Sunday, Nov. 14.
After Saturday’s game, UW said it was looking into the incident between Lake and a player.
Lake appeared to thrust his right arm toward Ruperake Fuavai during a brief skirmish on the Washington sideline. Fuavai appeared to be exchanging words with Oregon’s Jaylon Redd.
Asked about it after the game, Lake said he did not hit Fuavai and was trying to get him away from Redd before it could become a penalty.
"I separated him. I did not strike him. I separated him," Lake said.
Later Monday afternoon, Lake tweeted a statement apologizing for his actions.
Lake will not be on the sideline during this week’s game against Arizona State University and defensive coordinator Bob Gregory will serve as the acting head coach this week in addition to his coordinator duties.
"Our staff has spent the last 24-plus hours reviewing video of the incident, as well as speaking with Coach Lake, the involved student-athlete and several other student-athletes and members of the staff, and I have made the decision to suspend Coach Lake for next Saturday’s game against Arizona State," said Cohen. "President Cauce, our Faculty Athletics Representative, Alexes Harris, and members of our executive staff are in agreement that while we do not believe that his actions were intentional or deliberate, we can have no tolerance for a coach interacting with a student in the manner Coach Lake did. We have high expectations of conduct for our coaches, and we will not shy away from those expectations."
No. 7 Oregon beat Washington 26-16.
The suspension capped arguably the lowest week of Lake’s tenure as Washington’s coach with the discontent among fans and alumni rapidly growing. Lake started last week by taking a verbal shot at the academics of Oregon when talking about recruiting.
Then came the sideline incident and another lackluster offensive performance by the Huskies in losing to the Ducks at home for the seventh time in the past eight meetings in Seattle.
Lake fired offensive coordinator John Donovan on Sunday with the Huskies ranking in the bottom third nationally in most offensive categories. Washington is 109th in scoring offense and 112th in total offense.
Wide receivers coach Junior Adams will replace Donovan as Washington’s play caller for the rest of the season.
Washington (4-5) must win two of its final three games to become bowl eligible.
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