This is a post I simply never thought I would have to write. Austin Seferian-Jenkins, the junior tight end for the University of Washington, was pulled over at around 11:30 last night and cited by Seattle Police for drunk-driving. A seattle sports blog seems to have broken the story earlier today, and the University released a statement from Coach Sarkisian before most of the media even had a hold on the story:
“We are aware of an incident that occurred Saturday evening involving Austin Seferian-Jenkins. We are taking the matter very seriously. Austin made decisions that fall short of our expectations for student-athletes who represent the University of Washington. He will be disciplined internally in accordance with team and departmental policies. We will continue to support Austin throughout this process, while also holding him accountable and responsible for his actions.”
That statement is obviously pretty vague, and for the first few minutes after the story broke, it was a bit unclear whether ASJ had specifically been the driver in a car pulled over for drunk-driving. Mike Carter of the Seattle Times, however, cited police sources in reporting that ASJ was indeed the driver, and that he was specifically cited for drunk-driving.
The UW statement makes it clear that ASJ hasn’t been kicked off the team, but at this point little else is known about what will happen next, and I believe it is clear that more details are necessary before anyone starts making sweeping judgements or broad declarations. We do not know ASJ’s blood-alcohol level, we do not know who was in the car with him, we don’t know much at all.
That being said, this doesn’t look good. It looks terrible. One of the most hard-working, clean-cut stars on the Washington roster, someone noted for his personal compassion and maturity in his two years on the team, and arguably the best college tight end in the country, is almost certainly guilty of a serious crime. If you had asked me yesterday who on the team was least-likely to get arrested for drunk-driving around the U-District on a Saturday night, I honestly would have said Seferian-Jenkins.
It seems a little ridiculous to say that I’m “disappointed” in a player I have never met, especially when so much information is still yet to be released, but at the very least I am shocked and I am eager to hear, at some point, what the future NFL tight end has to say to explain his actions.
More information will be posted as soon as it is known.