Huskies Insider Blog

Trouble-free? Yes. Stress-free? Sark says not so much

The feat might be the University of Washington's most incredible one in 2010.

Not thinking the bowl game.

Thinking staying out of trouble.

That's not a knock on how UW coach Steve Sarkisian runs his operation - he aims to keep things tidied up and trouble-free. But when a team consists of 100 players and 10-15 staff members, something usually pops out over the course of five months of training camp, the regular season and bowl preparation.

In this case - nothing.

Is the second-year coach relieved about that?

"It never ends," he said Monday after practice, shaking his head. "I'm not relieved. It never ends. It's ongoing. I think you have to continually try and educate. That's the only way I know how to do it. We continually try and educate our guys and hopefully we can keep making good decisions. Knock on wood, we've been pretty good so far."

You don't tend to appreciate how rare - and imperative - it is until you see what transpires around the country.

Just look at what has gone on at Nebraska - the UW's opponent for the Holiday Bowl on Dec. 30.

Over the weekend, a second player - this time, safety Rickey Thenarse - was cited in and around Lincoln, Neb. for a DUI (driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol). Earlier this month, defensive tackler Baker Steinkuhler was tagged with one as well.

Both those players started against the UW for the Sept. 18 game in Seattle, although by the end of the season, Thenarse was seldom-used off the bench.

That's not all: Rumors of coach Bo Pelini being interested in the Miami of Florida job circulated all through campus right after the Cornhuskers lost the Big 12 championship game to Oklahoma.

Then there was the whole incident with Pelini's anger issues toward players and officials in November - enough of a distraction that is caused university chancellor Harvey Perlman to hold a meeting with his high-profile coach.

Meanwhile, some 1,350 miles away in Seattle, the dust continues to settle. No issues. No citations. Kinda boring.

And with 43 UW players set to leave town early before the team officially arrives Dec. 23 in San Diego, Sarkisian met with his guys one final time to reiterate a bottom-line message about their public behavior.

"That's (the messsage) for us, but ultimately they represent us and they represent themselves and their family," Sarkisian said. "The decisions they make at home should be the same type of decisions they would make if we were in Seattle. I expect they'll do a great job."

Quick-hit stuff from Monday practice:

* Again, defensive tackle Chris Robinson (knee) did not see action in the team’s final practice in Seattle on Monday morning at Husky Stadium. Sarkisian said the defensive tackle’s status is uncertain for the bowl game.

* Defensive end Talia Crichton (knee) continues to do more work and appears he’ll see some playing time in the bowl game. How much depends on "more of his quickness, his strength and what it looks like moreso than how long he can sustain," Sarkisian said.

* Safety Sean Parker (shoulder) and fullback Zach Fogerson (shoulder) did no work Monday, and are questionable for the bowl game.

* The team's semi-trailer, complete with all the football-related equipment, left for San Diego on Monday afternoon.

* The team will hold a meal and social gathering after practice Christmas Day.

* Despite being 90 minutes away in San Diego, Sarkisian said he won’t get the chance to visit his family in Torrance, Calif. next week.

* Quarterback Jake Locker reportedly got engaged over the weekend - to former UW softball player Lauren Greer, his longtime girlfriend.