Washington suspends Jimmy Lake for 1 game without pay

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
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SEATTLE — Washington coach Jimmy Lake was suspended for one game without pay following a sideline incident during the Huskies’ game against Oregon.

Lake is suspended from all team activities for the week and will return to his coaching responsibilities Sunday. Defensive coordinator Bob Gregory will serve as the interim coach for Saturday’s game against Arizona State.

Lake appeared to thrust his right arm toward and then shove Ruperake Fuavai during a brief skirmish on the Washington sideline in Saturday’s 26-16 loss to Oregon. Fuavai appeared to be exchanging words with Oregon’s Jaylon Redd just before the incident with Lake.

“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,” Washington athletic director Jen Cohen said in a statement.

Cohen added that she does not believe Lake’s actions were intentional, but “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,” Cohen said.

Lake said after Saturday’s game that he did not hit Fuavai and was trying to get him away from Redd before it could become a penalty.

“I separated him. I did not strike him. I separated him,” Lake said.

Lake posted an apology to Fuavai, his team and the school’s administration on social media late Monday afternoon.

“I fully accept the decision that was made. Our team has a right to expect better than what I displayed on Saturday, and I’m committed to doing just that – being better so our program will reflect all that’s good about being a Washington Husky,” Lake said.

The suspension capped arguably the lowest week of Lake’s tenure, and the discontent among fans and alumni is rapidly growing. Lake started last week by taking a verbal shot at the academics of Oregon when talking about recruiting. Then came the sideline incident and another lackluster offensive performance as the Huskies lost to the Ducks at home for the seventh time in the past eight meetings.

Gregory, in his eighth season on the Washington staff, said he did not find out about the incident with Lake and Fuavai until he got home after the game and received a text message. Gregory said that Cohen addressed the team about the decision to suspend Lake.

“This is a great challenge for all of us. It’s a great challenge for myself … all of our coaches, great challenge for our players,” Gregory said. “But this is what it’s all about. If it was all good right here, we probably wouldn’t be sitting here. But these are the times that we can teach great lessons to young men and we’re all looking forward to it.”

A day before the suspension was announced, Lake fired offensive coordinator John Donovan. The Huskies rank in the bottom third nationally in most offensive categories, including 109th in scoring offense and 112th in total offense.

Wide receivers coach Junior Adams will replace Donovan as Washington’s play caller for the rest of the season. Adams indicated he’s open to all options stepping into the role, including the idea of a change at quarterback where sophomore Dylan Morris has struggled.

“We’re going through (the) game plan right now, and we’re going to see where we’re at with that,” Adams said. “But Dylan, we’re gonna put him in the best position that he can be in for him to be successful.”

Washington (4-5) must win two of its final three games to become bowl eligible.

WVU RB Donaldson in concussion protocol, out for Baylor game

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) West Virginia running back CJ Donaldson is in concussion protocol and will miss next week’s home game with Baylor after he was injured in a loss to Texas, coach Neal Brown said Tuesday.

Donaldson remained on the ground after he was tackled on a short gain in the third quarter of Saturday’s 38-20 loss to the Longhorns. His helmet and shoulder pads were removed and he was carted off the field on a stretcher. After the game he was cleared to travel home with the team.

“He’s recovering,” Brown said. “There is a strict return-to-play (policy) that we have to follow here and I’m zero involved in it. All I do is ask the question. They don’t even start the return-to-play until they’re symptom free.”

Donaldson, a 240-pound freshman, leads the Mountaineers with 389 rushing yards and six touchdowns, with an average of 6.9 yards per carry.

West Virginia (2-3, 0-2 Big 12 Conference) is idle this week and hosts Baylor (3-2, 1-1) next Thursday, Oct. 13.

Taulia Tagovailoa says he visited brother, Tua, over weekend

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
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COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Maryland quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa was able to visit his brother, Tua, last weekend after the Terrapins’ game against Michigan State, he said Tuesday in his first comments to reporters since Tua left the Miami Dolphins’ game against Cincinnati last Thursday with a frightening head injury.

Taulia played in Maryland’s win over Michigan State on Saturday but was not made available to the media afterward. He said Tuesday he was able to go to Florida and spend some time with his brother, who suffered a concussion four days after taking a hit in another game but was cleared to return.

“He’s doing good, everything’s fine,” he said. “My biggest thing was just seeing him and spending as much time as I can with him. I came back Sunday night.”

Tagovailoa said he appreciates the support for his brother.

“My brother’s my heart. He’s someone I look up to, someone I talk to every day,” he said. “It was just a hard scene for me to see that.”

Tagovailoa said he was in constant contact with his mother about his brother’s situation, and he was finally able to talk to Tua on Friday night.

“I really just wanted to go there and just spend time with my family, hug them and stuff like that,” Taulia Tagovailoa said. “But he told me he’s a big fan of us, and he’d rather watch me play on Saturday. … After that phone call, I was happy and getting back to my normal routine.”

Tagovailoa indicated that his brother’s injury didn’t make him too nervous about his own health when he took the field again.

“I guess when that happens to someone like my brother, or when anything happens to one of my family members, I don’t really think of how it will be able to affect me,” he said. “I just think of: `Is he OK? How’s he doing?”‘

Although it was a short visit to Florida, he said he and Tua made the most of their chance to be together.

“I just wanted to make sure he’s healthy and stuff, which he is,” Taulia Tagovailoa said.