Mentioned earlier in the week about the breathless chatter on both Dawgman.com and BruinReportOnline.com message boards about whether Josh Shirley will end up in Montlake. If there was any doubt that Sarkasian is charging hard after Shirley, this story from Washington will put that to rest. Apparently Cheatey Petey's other protégé made a "disciplinary" move in Washington:
The news today of the dismissal of UW tight end Kavario Middleton not only shook those at Washington, but also at Lakes High School in Lakewood --- one of the leading producers of talent in the state --- where Middleton was a standout football and basketball player.
Lakes High coach Dave Miller said today that he supports the action of UW coach Steve Sarkisian and hopes that it serves as a wakeup call for Middleton, one of the top recruits in the country in 2008.
"Sark went through a lot with Kavario, as did I for four years, and gave him every opportunity to improve and make the right choices, and Kavario didn't do that, so now he's going to have to bear the consequences,'' Miller said. "I'm sick about it. It's sickening to me to imagine a young man having the talent and the ability and the potential that he has and wasting this kind of an opportunity just by making some real immature choices.
"I support Sark's decision. I think Sark gave him every opportunity to improve and grow and it got to the point where he had to make this choice for what is best for the team and what is hopefully best for Kavario in the long run. Hopefully now he will have the opportunity to take the right Y in the road and start growing and making better choices.''
Middleton was not in legal trouble and was eligible academically, various sources have confirmed. However, there were other off-field issues that helped lead to his being kicked off the team, a final decision apparently made on Saturday.
One source (not Miller) confirmed that there is truth to rumors that a recent failed drug test was the last straw for Middleton. While UW cannot randomly drug test its athletes due to state laws, it can test specific athletes if it has reasonable suspicion.
On surface it looks like Sarkisian clearing up cap space ... err I mean a scholarship for Josh Shirley. Well that's not the case because they already had a scholie marked up for him.
This move is significant for another reason. Note again Sarkisian just like Hello Kiffin came from Petey's school of "PR management." All this move does is give Sarkisian an excuse to say that he can be a tough, "disciplinary" coach when he makes the inevitable move to go after Shirley. It will give him the PR pivot point to contort himself with rationalizations to sign a player who was disciplined by Rick Neuheisel.
Oh ... we have heard from pretty reliable sources that CRN had more than enough facts to reach the decisions he did on Shirley, Shaquille and Paul Richardson. As we have said before it will be amusing to see Washington fans spin a move to sign Shirley after all these years of vicious attacks on CRN from the Seattle Times and the Husky fanbase in general for not being a disciplinarian during his time at Montlake. It will be especially fun them to see spin round and round, going after a player, who was deemed too risky even for Hello Kiffin at Southern Cal.
If Sarkisian and the Huskies actually sign Shirley it should forever shut their talking point on CRN and discipline. Doesn't matter what kind of PR driven moves they make right now, the Huskies will look like hypocrites if they are supportive of signing a player who was properly and decisively disciplined by CRN.