SEATTLE — Washington coach Steve Sarkisian is keeping the status of tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins and wide receiver Kasen Williams to himself.
Sarkisian again said Monday as Washington opened fall camp that he will not have any discussions outside the program about any discipline for Seferian-Jenkins and Williams for off-field legal troubles during the offseason. The decision to keep the discipline internal makes it likely any game suspensions for the pair won’t be known until the season opener on Aug. 31 against Boise State.
Sarkisian insisted this isn’t gamesmanship directed at Boise State, which beat Washington in the Las Vegas Bowl last December.
“This has nothing to do with gamesmanship. This is how we deal with all of our disciplinary actions on our football team,” Sarkisian said. “I’ve never once stood in front of you guys to disclose whether a guy is going to start, not start, whether a guy is going to play or not play from a disciplinary standpoint. I’ve never once told you how many community service hours any of our players have ever done or how many gassers they’ve ever had to run or what time they’ve had to wake up and meet me in the morning. This has been no different than any other disciplinary action that we’ve had in five years.”
Quarterback Keith Price said he expected both players on the field against Boise State when Washington moves back into renovated Husky Stadium.
“I do expect them to, but I’m not sure,” Price said. “We have to be ready for the unknown. It’s really not my call, but hopefully we’re able to have them out there.”
Seferian-Jenkins pleaded guilty in July to a charge of driving under the influence. Seferian-Jenkins was fined and sentenced to 364 days in jail with 363 suspended. Seferian-Jenkins served his one night in jail last month.
He was arrested on March 9 following a late-night car accident. His blood-alcohol level was 0.18 percent, more than twice the state limit. A police report stated Seferian-Jenkins’ vehicle was found at the bottom of a catch basin at a park near the University of Washington. He objected to medical care, but was eventually placed on a backboard and transported to Harborview Medical Center. He objected to a blood test at the hospital before police obtained a search warrant to draw his blood.
Seferian-Jenkins initially pleaded not guilty, but changed his plea on July 15. Asked if he needed to make a statement with the punishment of Seferian-Jenkins because it was a DUI, Sarkisian said he didn’t.
“Austin is not going to be punished for everyone else’s crimes. He’s getting punished for what he did on an individual basis,” Sarkisian said. “I’m not a lawmaker. I don’t pretend to be one. That’s for people who are a lot smarter than me and in lot more powerful positions than me. My job is to develop a young man who I care deeply about, who is a good kid, who made an honest mistake and has been dealt with for. I don’t feel an obligation to punish Austin for what others have done. It is a very serious deal, we have taken it very seriously, our team has taken it very seriously. I think it has hit home immensely.”
Williams was fined and received a misdemeanor citation after he was pulled over for speeding and for investigation of driving under the influence near Chelan, Wash. According to court documents, Williams was pulled over by the Washington State Patrol for speeding on May 26 after being clocked going 45 mph in a 30 mph zone.
In the arrest report, the officer said he noted the smell of marijuana and alcohol as he approached the car. Williams was cooperative and told the officer he had consumed one drink. Williams agreed to a breath test and both tests came back under Washington’s legal limit of .08 — .059 and .056.
Williams was not charged with a DUI, but was cited for being under 21 and operating a motor vehicle after consuming alcohol or marijuana. Williams received a 24-month deferred sentence, paid a $695.50 fine and was placed on probation for two years.
“I’ve been impressed with both of these guys in everything that we’ve asked them to do. They continue to work, they continue to impress me in how they’ve handled it, the mature fashion they’ve handled it,” Sarkisian said. “But we’re going to keep it internal, just like we keep all of our disciplinary actions internal. I feel good about what we’re doing. I go to sleep at night feeling good about what we’re doing.”