UW hopes scandals are educational

todd.dybas@thenewstribune.comSeptember 13, 2013 

It has been a long week for college football.

Sports Illustrated is in the midst of publishing a five-part series alleging multiple levels of corruption at Oklahoma State.

Yahoo Sports reported alleged payments to multiple Southeastern Conference players, including a marquee player for national champion Alabama from 2009-12 and another who played for the Crimson Tide from 2007-10 and was labeled as the go-between for agents and players.

The upshot for the University of Washington and other programs were punch-to-the-face examples of what not to do.

Washington coach Steve Sarkisian said the key for him is to “educate” his players.

“It’s great to learn from others, unfortunately for them, but fortunately for us,” Sarkisian said. “We just try to educate our guys best we can. I sympathize with those programs and the stuff they are going through and the potential distractions it could cause for them, but, man there’s so many temptations out there for these guys. I think that’s the biggest thing to try to educate them on.

“If they can just focus on playing good football, going to school, enjoying this experience, then they’ll be OK.”

Oklahoma State has launched a website to refute the Sports Illustrated allegations and assure the public it is investigating them.

Alabama coach Nick Saban held a press conference Wednesday during which he took three questions, all about the allegations regarding former offensive lineman D.J. Fluker, who reportedly received payments, and Luther Davis, the alleged middle man.

Irritated, Saban cut the press conference short, left and snarkily said, “Appreciate your interest in the game,” on his way out.

The top-ranked Crimson Tide visits sixth-ranked Texas A&M on Saturday, the only team to beat Alabama last season.

SEFERIAN-JENKINS READY

Preseason All-America tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins said he is back up to speed with the No. 1 offense. Seferian-Jenkins used the bye week and practice this week to get back into shape after his conditioning level went down a bit following a pinkie injury.

Seferian-Jenkins was asked again about the pinkie this week, and he said it’s fine and has been for a time.

“It’s an afterthought, it doesn’t hurt,” Seferian-Jenkins said. “Everyone over-played that. It’s just a pinkie.”

CLOSE TO HOME

Washington running back Bishop Sankey was known for the running success he had at Gonzaga Prep in Spokane when he was coming out of high school. But, he spent a good chunk of his younger days in Ohio.

His mother, Julie Becker, lives and works in Cleveland. Because of that connection, a crew will be making their way to Chicago’s Soldier Field.

“My mom, a few cousins, my grandparents; mostly from my mom’s side,” Sankey said. “It’s going to feel good. They don’t get a chance to make it clear across the country to a lot of games. I know that’s one thing they wish they could do more.”

EXTRA POINTS

The Big Ten Network will televise the game. That is Comcast channel 404, and in HD on channel 632 for many Olympia-area homes. It’s channel 610 on DirecTV. … The Huskies flew out Thursday afternoon and will attend a movie together Friday after a walkthrough. … Kickoff for the Idaho State game is noon Sept. 21 at Husky Stadium.

todd.dybas@thenewstribune.com blog.thenewstribune.com/uwsports @Todd_Dybas

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