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Did suspended Washington coach Jimmy Lake shove a player in 2019 when he was the Huskies' defensive coordinator?
Lake is suspended for Washington's game on Saturday against Arizona State after he hit the facemask of player Ruperake Fuavai and subsequently shoved him. And according to the Seattle Times, Lake was accused of shoving a player two years ago during a game at Arizona. He denied the accusation to the paper.
“Lake comes in on just a complete rampage pretty much, picks up Quinten Pounds and throws him into a locker,” one eyewitness said. “Those lockers there were wooden lockers, and it was violent. It really caught everyone by surprise. It was really unprompted. He just kind of did that and then went on a tangent about how the offense needs to start playing better.”
Lake issued a statement to The Times on Friday: “I absolutely deny anything improper went on at halftime of the University of Arizona game in 2019. There were numerous witnesses in the game — from equipment room, to football staff, to strength and conditioning coaches, and no one came to me with concerns after halftime, after the game, never.
Washington issued a statement to the Times and said that it was the first time the athletic department had heard of the allegation and were in the process of reviewing it.
Lake is in his second season as Washington's coach after he replaced the retired Chris Petersen. Washington is 7-6 in Lake's tenure and opened the 2021 season as the betting favorite to win the Pac-12. Instead, the Huskies need to win two of their final three games to finish at 6-6 and be eligible to make a bowl game.
Washington defensive coordinator Bob Gregory is the team's interim coach against ASU in Lake's absence.