Earlier today, Washington head football coach Jimmy Lake met with local Seattle media via a Zoom webinar to discuss their decision to not participate in the Pac-12 Championship game this Friday. Lake spoke about how his offensive line group was the hardest hit through the current Covid-19 outbreak. He also took the time to talk about the Oregon Ducks and how they should be considered the Pac-12 Champions if they beat the USC Trojans. Lake was also joined by UW Associate Athletic Director for Health & Wellness Rob Scheidegger
Here are things of note that Coach Lake said…..
– The offensive line group has zero available players to play right now due to positive Covid-19 cases and contact tracing.
– Lake said it is “devastating” news that they can’t compete in the Pac-12 Championship game.
– The players who have tested positive have “mild” cases and nothing is serious at this point.
– Coach Lake believes that the team will be able to get everyone back and resume football activities to “potentially” prepare for a bowl game in a couple of weeks.
– Lake said the week of December 26th is realistically the earliest they could get back to practicing for a bowl game. He said the focus is a bowl game and not rescheduling the Apple Cup or other conference matchups.
– They need to have consecutive days of zero positive cases in order to resume football activity and practices.
– Coach Lake said the Pac-12 leadership has done everything they can with every decision along the way for the health and safety of everyone involved.
– Lake hints that the conference should have put out a “conference only” schedule back on September 26th, which would have given them the wiggle room to reschedule all of these missed games.
– His message to the team today is that he is proud of them for being in position to bring home the Pac-12 trophy and for the four games that they played.
– Lake said their two goals each season are (1) to win the Pac-12 Championship and (2) win the bowl game.
– There was absolutely no scenario where UW could have taken this decision all the way into Friday and potentially play.
– Coach Lake said that the offensive line position group is not available until next week at the “earliest”.
– Lake said the team will be tested again tomorrow.
– Lake said the team wants to and is excited to play in a bowl game. The players were “crushed” last week when they couldn’t play against Oregon.
– He said the “entire” offensive line position group is out and unavailable right now. That includes walk-ons and scholarship players.
– Looking back, Lake said he “wouldn’t change a thing” about the season because they like to play football. They didn’t want to just sit on the sidelines.
– Two life lessons that Lake points to for his players this season is (1) resiliency and (2) grateful for their health. There are a lot of people who are not here anymore from the coronavirus.
– Realistically, Lake said they would only need 3-4 days to practice to get ready for a bowl game. He said they are in really good shape conditioning-wise.
– Lake feels very confident that they can have everyone back and have enough days to prepare for a possible December 29th bowl game.
– Coach Lake said that Oregon should be viewed as the “Pac-12 Champions” if they were to beat the USC Trojans in the Pac-12 Championship game. Despite the Huskies not being able to play in the game, Lake said “it’s competition” and it should be settled on the field and not by a voting system.
Here are things of note that Rob Scheidegger said…..
– Scheidegger said that the virus is “highly contagious”, even when you do things the right way.
– He said the only way to stop the spread is to (1) quickly identify cases, (2) isolate individuals with cases, (3) quarantine people who are “potential” cases.
– The first cases were seen the Friday before the Utah game (November 27th).
– The reason they shut things down last Tuesday was to be “proactive” so they could play against Oregon.
– It is standard UW policy to release Covid-19 positive tests as an entire athletic department and not separately for football. They will continue to do so.
– Before the Stanford game, they were only dealing with “single isolated” cases on the team.
– Scheidegger said they need a couple of days of “negative” cases to be able to move forward.
– There have been positive cases with coaches within the entire athletic department at UW.
JIMMY LAKE PRESS CONFERENCE VIDEO
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