Shaw: Our Players Sleep All Day Sunday

Stanford head coach David Shaw explained why scheduling can be tough on West Coast teams

Tiki and Tierney
September 13, 2018 - 10:12 pm

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The last Stanford player to win the Heisman Trophy was Jim Plunkett in 1970.  

Plunkett has come close to losing that distinction – a lot.

Indeed, Stanford has produced five Heisman runner-ups since 2009: Toby Gerhart, Andrew Luck (twice), Christian McCaffrey, and Bryce Love.

Is this the East Coast bias at play?

“All of our media partners, they’ve given us the best package that our conference has ever had,” Stanford head coach David Shaw said on Tiki and Tierney. “We have more national games than ever. We have more coverage than ever. That is the truth. We understand that part of it, but then you still compare it to other places.

“Imagine how close all of those votes were,” Shaw continued. “If one guy is playing at 7:30 at night on the West Coast – 10:30 at night on the East Coast – compare that to a guy that plays in the afternoon (where) you get to talk about him all day, and the other guy only gets one evening. So just the amount of exposure you get to voters and to people who are decision-makers (is different).”

So is scheduling. Shaw has coached at Stanford since 2007 and has served as head coach since 2011. He knows firsthand how crazy his team’s schedule can be.

“This is not a complaint,” Shaw said. “All coaches would tell you the same thing: ‘Hey, we don’t care. Tell us when and where, and we’ll show up and play our best football.’ But over the course of a season, and particularly the Arizona schools – they play almost every single game at night.”

And what happens on Saturday affects what happens on Sunday.

“Sunday is our players’ day off for our guys to get some rest and get their homework done,” Shaw said. “But if we’re getting back from a road game at 2:30, 3 o’clock, 4 o’clock, sometimes 5 o’clock in the morning – and now we have to do a body check. We got to make sure everybody’s okay. They have their doctors’ appointments in the morning on Sunday, and then they eat lunch.”

After that?

“They’re going to go to sleep,” Shaw said. “They’re going to sleep the rest of the day on Sunday. So here’s that day that’s supposed to be rest and recovery and getting work done. They’re just trying to recover. Whereas other guys around the nation, a lot of schools, they don’t play more than an hour away from where they are – maybe two hours at most – and they play in the afternoon. So every night, they’re back in their dorms by 8 o’clock at night. So that wear and tear, that constant lack of sleep, it takes a toll.”