Earlier this morning, the University of Washington announced that head football coach Jimmy Lake has been placed on suspension following his conduct on the field during the Oregon game this past weekend.
Lake is suspended without pay for the Arizona State game this Saturday. Lake’s suspension includes all football-related activities, goes into effect immediately, and will be lifted next Sunday, November 14th.
Washington defensive coordinator and inside linebackers coach Bob Gregory will serve as the interim head coach for the time being, in addition to his coordinator duties.
Lake was seen running down the sidelines, pushing an assistant coach and referee out of the way. He was en route to intercept linebacker Ruperake Fuavai from getting an unsportsmanlike penalty. In the process, he was seen on national television striking Fuavai in the helmet and then pushing him in the back as he was walking away. Despite the incident being caught on video, Lake denied striking Fuavai when asked about it during his postgame press conference. After the game, Washington Athletic Director Jen Cohen issued a statement that they were gathering information and investigating the incident.
Earlier today, Cohen released a statement about their decision:
“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.”
Coach Lake’s weekly Monday press conference was canceled last minute this morning once news of the decision was released.
It has been a tough past week in retrospect for Lake, as he opened up a can of worms with his comment on the Oregon Ducks and their “academic prowess” earlier in the week during his weekly press conference. Here is what Lake actually said,
“Our battles are really, the schools that we go against are way more, have academic prowess, like the University of Washington — Notre Dame, Stanford, USC,” Lake said at last Monday’s media briefing. “We go with a lot of battles toe-to-toe all the way to the end with those schools. So I think that’s made up in your (media) world. In our world, we battle more academically prowess teams.”
Any way you slice it, this is not a great look for the University of Washington, its football program, and Coach Lake himself. This is not the type of incident and footage you want your rivals to use against you on the recruiting trail.
The leash for Coach Lake is becoming extremely short and now the main question is how much slack is still left on that line?
JIMMY LAKE SIDELINE INCIDENT VIDEO
Jimmy Lake pops Ruperake Fuavai in the helmet and shoves him for getting into it with Jaylon Redd on the sideline pic.twitter.com/7AdSuugGe3
— Ralph Amsden (@ralphamsden) November 7, 2021
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