Attrition hits every football program during the off-season. Transfers are to be expected, and sadly suspensions are too now days. For the Washington Huskies the last week has produced one of each case.
Running Back Curtis Shaw is the second Husky running back to take off to find a school that will offer him a better chance to display his ability.
Willie Griffin departed earlier this off-season.
Going into the 2009 season Shaw stayed despite the numbers at the position to see how the new staff would use him.
His 2009 stat line was eight carries for 32 yards. With three returning running backs with more yardage and carries, in addition to a talented freshman coming in, Shaw felt it best to move on for his final two season of college.
Shaw was originally a three star running back out of Lincoln High School in Stockton, California. He will look at going down a division to play immediate time, as well as other division one schools which would require him to sit a year.
While Shaw is leaving a crowded backfield, freshman defense end Andru Pulu was looking to fight for a significant amount of playing time to replace Daniel Te’o-Nesheim. He was Te’o-Nesheim’s back up by the end of 2009.
Instead an off-campus fight has led to head coach Steve Sarkisian suspending the young man indefinitely.
Details are still being worked out and there have been no arrests at this time. Reports from the Seattle Times show a man trying to break up a fight, and then being knocked out for his effort, allegedly by Pulu.
There will be no further announcements from the coach or the school regarding this, and most likely will have to wait until the legal process is worked out before we know if Pulu will ever see the field for Washington.
If Pulu is found to be involved and the suspension is upheld it has the potential to be a big blow to the Huskies rebuilding defensive line.
It will be important to see how Sarkisian handles this incident. Teams that have success tend to be haunted by a police blotter, but Washington has done a decent job avoiding the headlines lately.
Unfortunately, the Huskies have also avoided a winning season since 2004.
Sarkisian will need to set the tone for his team on this one. The true test will be after the facts come out and how the suspension is adjusted.
Talented teams tend to have some off the field troubles, but good coaches can control the situation. Sarkisian will need to prove he can be successful as well as keep his team under control.
Pulu has been officially charged with second degree assault, and turned himself in to police on Tuesday morning. He is released on bail.