Two University of Washington football coaches strongly denied a report that Marcus Peters choked a UW assistant coach during an argument earlier this season, before the star cornerback was dismissed from the program in November.
“It’s bull(expletive),” UW defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski said Saturday.
“We had our issues with Marcus,” Kwiatkowski said, “but there was never any physical altercation. Not with this staff.”
Earlier this week, an NFL.com story cited an anonymous scout who claimed to have witnessed Peters choke the unspecified assistant coach. From the story: “The veteran scout said he witnessed one argument escalate into much more; Peters grabbed the assistant coach by the throat and started choking him, the scout reported.”
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, also citing an anonymous scout, had a similar report about Peters.
UW defensive backs coach Jimmy Lake said he was stunned when he heard about the report.
“That obviously never, never happened,” he said. “I’ve been for, what, 11 months now and that has never happened. I was very surprised when I read it. My first thought was, ‘Boy, that must have happened before I was here,’ because that never happened to anyone here — to our staff, to me, to my assistant, not to anybody here. That did not happen in 2014, for sure.”
Former Huskies coach Steve Sarkisian, who recruited Peters to UW, said in a message to The Seattle Times that sort of altercation “never” happened with Peters under his watch, either.
Attempts to reach Peters for comment have been unsuccessful.
Peters, a junior, had All-America potential at UW and some still consider him a potential first-round NFL draft pick. The same NFL.com story quoted a scout saying that Peters is the “best cover corner prospect I’ve seen in the last 14 years.”
Peters was booted from the UW program on Nov. 6, a day after he had an argument with an assistant coach during practice.
In UW’s Sept. 6 game against Eastern Washington, Peters was benched by first-year UW coach Chris Petersen after the cornerback head-butted an EWU receiver, drawing a personal-foul penalty. Peters then threw his helmet and his gloves on the UW sideline and argued with at least one member of the UW staff. That outburst prompted Petersen to suspend Peters for one game.
Peters has signed with an agent at Relativity Sports, the same agency that represents the Seahawks’ Marshawn Lynch, a close friend of Peters’ family.
“I do wish him the best,” Lake said, “and I still think he will have a productive NFL career.”