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Suspended Washington coach Jimmy Lake alleged to have shoved player in 2019



Second-year Washington coach Jimmy Lake was suspended by the university on Monday following an incident last Saturday in which he was seen shoving and hitting redshirt freshman linebacker Ruperake Fuavai on the side of his helmet.

According to a report Saturday by The Seattle Times, Lake is alleged to have also shoved a player in 2019, his sixth season as a Washington assistant and the year before he took over the head coaching role from Chris Petersen.

MORE: Washington coach Jimmy Lake hits player during Oregon game, prompting university investigation

The Times reports the incident took place in the locker room during halftime of the Huskies’ game atย Arizona on Oct. 12, 2019 โ€” a game in which Washington trailed 17-13 at the half but eventually won 51-27. According to the Times, the game featured a strong defensive effort by the team before halftime (Lake was in his second year as defensive coordinator) but a relatively weak offensive outing.

The Times, citing five anonymous eyewitnesses who independently gave similar accounts of the incident, reports that Lake began to walk down the rows of lockers occupied by offensive players. The sources all claimed he eventually reached the locker of senior receiver Quinten Pounds.

“Lake comes in on just a complete rampage pretty much, picks up Quinten Pounds and throws him into a locker,”ย one witness told the Times. “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.”

Per Pounds’ Washington bio, he did not play in the game.

The Times sought comment on the alleged incident from Washington athletic director Jen Cohen; the publication received a statement attributed to the athletic department that acknowledged the school was made aware of the incident while investigating Lake’s interaction with Fuavai.

“One individual mentioned an alleged incident involving Coach Lake during the 2019 football game at Arizona. This is the first time (the) athletic department administration had been made aware of the alleged 2019 incident and we began to review that allegation; that work is ongoing,” the department said. “We have high expectations of conduct for our coaches, and we will not shy away from those expectations.”

Pounds declined to comment to the Times for its story. Lake issued a statement in which he denied wrongdoing:

“I absolutely deny anything improper went on at halftime of the University of Arizona game in 2019,”ย Lake told the Times. “There were numerous witnesses in the game โ€” 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.

“To my knowledge thereโ€™s never been any complaints launched by anyone related to anything that happened during that game, and nobody from the university has ever raised any issues with me about what occurred in the locker room at halftime.”

MORE: Why Washington suspended Jimmy Lake after Oregon game

Lake’s contract calls for him to make $9.9 million over the 2022 and 2023 seasons. He could lose all the money owed him if the university were to fire him for cause. He has a 7-6 coaching record following the Huskies’ loss to Oregon last weekend. He is not on the sideline for Washington’s game Saturday vs. Arizona State.



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