Huskies Insider Blog

Chris Petersen declines further comment on Sam Ukwuachu

Huskies coach Chris Petersen said Tuesday that he has nothing to add to his statement about the transfer of former Boise State defensive end Sam Ukwuachu to Baylor.

Ukwuachu was convicted on Thursday of sexually assaulting a Baylor women’s soccer player in 2013. He was dismissed earlier that year by Petersen, who at the time was still the head coach at Boise State.

But the circumstances of Ukwuachu’s transfer to Baylor – where he never actually played in a game – are at the heart of a controversy that last week pitted Petersen against Baylor coach Art Briles.

Briles said Friday that when he spoke to Petersen about Ukwuachu prior to accepting him as a transfer, Petersen never alluded to Ukwuachu displaying violence toward women – despite the fact that, according to a Texas Monthly story, a Boise State official was aware of Ukwuachu’s violent tendencies and relayed that information to Petersen.

Petersen responded to Briles’ comments with a statement later Friday that read: “After Sam Ukwuachu was dismissed from the Boise State football program and expressed an interest in transferring to Baylor, I initiated a call with coach Art Briles. In that conversation, I thoroughly apprised Coach Briles of the circumstances surrounding Sam's disciplinary record and dismissal.”

But Briles responded later in the day with a statement that claimed Petersen never specifically informed him of Ukwuachu exhibiting violence toward women, leading to speculation about what Petersen meant when he said he “thoroughly apprised” Briles of the circumstances that led to Ukwuachu’s dismissal.

Asked Tuesday to expand upon that statement, Petersen declined.

“I really appreciate that question, because I think it’s an important one, but I don’t have anything more to add than what my statement was,” Petersen said. “I really don’t. This is about our football team and that’s really where I’m at on that whole thing.”

Asked if it was fair to assume based on his initial statement that he had specifically informed Briles of Ukwuachu’s violent past, Petersen replied: “Here’s my thing, and I’m not trying to be vague and all that, but it’s just not my time to say anything other than my statement. I think my statement says it loud and clear, and that’s where we are.”

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