I’ve received a number of e-mails and seen the debate among you all in the comments sections here regarding a possible punishment for Austin Seferian-Jenkins.
ESPN.com’s Ted Miller does a nice job of laying out all the dynamics at play here for Steve Sarkisian and UW officials.
It’s a “tough call,” for Sark, Miller notes.
Sark has a lot to consider, no doubt.
Here’s my take: It’s not that tough.
A one-game suspension is generally standard in DUI cases these days. Shayne Skov, Stanford’s standout linebacker, was suspended for the season-opener last year for a DUI offense. Oregon’s Kiko Alonso was suspended for the 2011 season-opener against LSU after an alcohol-related incident
I understand Sarkisian has a whole program to consider; the expectation is for this team to take a step forward this season, out of the seven-win spin cycle, and not having an All-American-type tight end makes that more difficult. (And, yes, the Kasen Williams situation is in play, too, and it probably complicates the thought process more than it should.)
Here’s the bottom line: The long-term health of the program should outweigh the short-term benefit in this situation. That’s over-simplified, sure. Some might argue that a win over Boise State would be better for the program; I think that’s missing the big picture.
ASJ’s absense for one game is not going to ruin the Huskies’ season. It’s not going to ruin ASJ’s season, either.
The team can move on from this, and so can he.
Make no mistake: It’s a significant crime and, as ASJ noted in his statement Monday, he’s owning up to it. That’s a good first step. All indications are he’s back on the right track, and he’ll be given every opportunity to redeem himself, on and off the field.