If Washington tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins knows if he will be suspended for the season opener against Bosie State, he certainly didn't say it in his first interview since being reinstated to the team following the resolution of his March arrest for DUI.
"I expect to practice tomorrow, so yeah," was all Seferian-Jenkins could come up with when asked about his status for the Huskies' return to a renovated Husky Stadium on Aug. 31.
Head coach Steve Sarkisian had previously said any punishment would be handled internally, but that isn't sitting well with some considering Sarkisian's status as the highest-paid employee in a state cracking down on drunk driving, especially after booting a reserve defensive lineman for an unspecified violation of team rules.
The high-profile nature of the game against the Broncos put Sarkisian in a perilous spot. Hold out Seferian-Jenkins and lose, here comes the criticism. Let him play against Boise State and then hold him out for layups against Illinois and Idaho State, here comes the criticism. Don't keep the school record-holder for receptions and receiving yards by a tight end out even for one play... well, you get it.
It echoes the situation Les Miles of LSU currently finds himself with Tigers running back Jeremy Hill, who pled guilty to battery while already on probation. Hill was reinstated by acclamation of teammates over Miles' apparent objections.
With all the concerns over changing the way the NCAA governs and its seemingly outdated rules regarding amateurism, it might also be time to institute uniform standards regarding conduct. There is no commissioner to hand out discipline, be it at the national or even conference level, no fixed set of rules that every player is subject to when arrested, which would level the playing field.