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Chris Petersen: 'Guys are going to make mistakes'

By Brady Henderson

Suspending three players before the first spring practice certainly wasn't how Chris Petersen wanted to begin his career at Washington.

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Chris Petersen
But as the Huskies' new head coach told "Bob and Groz" on 710 ESPN Seattle Wednesday, off-the-field issues are often an unfortunate reality with college athletes.

"I've been doing this long enough to know that it comes with the job. It's part of the job," Petersen said. "These guys are still young guys that are developing and trying to figure things out, and that's our job is to try to help educate them. As we know and through our experiences, guys are going to make mistakes. Part of the thing is helping these guys figure it out and mature and do things the right way and mature.

"But it's a hard, painful process at times, no question."

The absences of quarterback Cyler Miles and wide receiver Damore'ea Stringfellow didn't come as a surprise as Washington began spring practices Tuesday. That of linebacker John Timu, however, did. The three-year starter and two-time defensive captain was suspended for the first two weeks of spring ball after he was arrested and charged with two misdemeanor counts of vehicle prowling, which were deferred in King County District Court last month.

Petersen did not comment on the specifics on Timu's suspension, though he noted that the alleged crime took place well before Washington's current coaching staff arrived.

"So we deal with it how you're supposed to and you move on," he said.

Miles and Stringfellow, meanwhile, remain indefinitely suspended for their alleged involvement in an assault that took place last month near UW's campus. Neither player has been charged, and Petersen indicated that he'll wait for the legal process to play out before making a decision on their statuses with the team.

Follow Brady Henderson on Twitter @BradyHenderson.

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