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Tuberville apologizes for sideline blowup at staff member

Big 12 commissioner gives Tuberville public reprimand, says he considers matter closed

Posted: November 12, 2012 - 2:19pm
Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville watches from the sidelines on Saturday against Kansas.  Zach Long/Avalanche-Journal
Zach Long/Avalanche-Journal
Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville watches from the sidelines on Saturday against Kansas.
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Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville apologized Monday for his sideline blowup at graduate assistant Kevin Oliver that attracted national attention and brought a reprimand from the Big 12 Conference.

Confusion over a fourth-and-2 situation caused Tech to be penalized for an illegal formation as a punt-team player was on the field after the Red Raiders decided to go for it.

Tuberville unleashed on Oliver, who coaches special teams. He yanked the coach’s headset microphone, causing both his headset and cap to fly off, and berated him for several more seconds.

“After watching the film when I got home, it was obvious what a lot of people were upset about, and it upset me, too,” Tuberville said during his weekly press conference. “You don’t do things like that. It was obvious I reached up and grabbed his headset and pulled on it. Heat of the battle, some things happen sometimes that you’d like to take back.

“I can’t ever remember anything like that happening to me. But that was a tough game. We were fighting hard.”

The blowup happened early in the third quarter of Tech’s game Saturday against Kansas, which the Red Raiders won 41-34 in double overtime.

Tuberville went on to say, “I’ve apologized to Kevin. We’ve talked. Of course, we talked 30 seconds after that (and) for the rest of the game. I talk to him more on the headset than I do anybody else, because he helps me chart special teams.

“But it’s unfortunate that that happened. I’ve got kids of my own. I’ve got a hundred kids on the sideline and coaches, and I’ve got to hold myself to a higher regard than that and usually do.”

Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby on Monday told reporters covering college football meetings in Denver he had issued Tuberville a public reprimand and considered the matter closed.

“I think it warrants that kind of treatment from the conference,” Bowlsby said, according to multiple media outlets. “I guess I’d be less than forthright if I didn’t acknowledge we’d be keeping a careful eye on it going forward.”

As for what caused the confusion, the Avalanche-Journal learned Monday the Red Raiders had an offensive play or package labeled “Jayhawk” and also a fake-punt call named “Jayhawk.” The Red Raiders were going to go for it on fourth-and-2 from their 49. When “Jayhawk” was called out on the sideline, special teams players were confused.

At least two punt-team players, linebacker Daniel Cobb and defensive end Jackson Richards, ran onto the field and then back off.

Tuberville was adamant he did not slap Oliver and said he resented reports saying he had.

“Some have reported I slapped or hit,” he said. “You’re dead wrong. I did not do that. ... I’ve never thought it in 35 years, never dreamed of hitting anybody and never have.”

At times during and after his apology, Tuberville appeared emotional.

In Saturday’s post-game press conference, he downplayed the incident, saying he had reached for Oliver’s shoulder while trying to get him off the field and missed.

Tuberville refused to answer when asked Monday if he stood by that explanation.

“We’re not going to talk about that anymore,” he said.

When told that fans wanted to know about his explanation Saturday, Tuberville cut off the question, saying, “No more. No more. No more. Any other questions?”

Tech spokesman Blayne Beal on Monday said Tech Chancellor Kent Hance, interim President Lawrence Schovanec and athletic director Kirby Hocutt all talked about the situation. Hocutt did not respond to interview requests made each of the last three days.

Beal said Hocutt would not have a statement until anything had come from the Big 12.

As of Monday night, Beal said Tech still had not been notified of any action by the conference.

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10
1

Quite the duck-and-weave there Coach,

Oliver, take note and learn.

10
3

Not Happy with what he did,

Not Happy with what he did, and even more upset with the huge distraction this is for our football team going into this week. If you would have owned up to it on Saturday it would be done, now this puts Tech at a huge disadvantage, everyone head needs to be in the same spot. Damnit!!!

10
5

fire him not only for this

fire him not only for this but for his inability to understand how the spread offense works. he said at the press conference that we have to run the ball to open up passing for the spread to work? He is so arrogant he just ignores what all the other spread teams do they pass so they open the run. hes an idiot

11
1

Statement

Whaddaya gonna believe? What I tell you or your own two eyes.

10
4

not answering questions.....

Cover up.....Suspend him Hance! Teach the arrogant man a lesson, you don't treat folks like that at TTU!

8
9

Time to move on

His Saturday explaination was lame at best, but in the press conference, he appologized for what he did and owned up to it when he said: "You don’t do things like that. It was obvious I reached up and grabbed his headset and pulled on it. In the heat of the battle, some things happen sometimes that you’d like to take back."

It was an inappropriate act but in my opinion not a fireable offense. The people that hate Tuberville because he replaced Leach will continue to hate him. People that try to support the program will continue to support it. Nothing said here will change anything. Keep expressing your views, it is your right whether reasonable or unreasonable. I am going to move on.

8
2

The question

about if he stood by that explanation tells me the media doesn't buy it, and for him to refuse to answer it implies he doesn't either!

14
4

When Coach Tuberville Speaks...

... No-one listens. He's the most uninteresting man in the world.

10
1

Fibberville

"We're not going to talk about that anymore.No more. No more. No more. Any other questions?"

Is this his attempt at a Jedi Mind Trick?

11
5

Apology

What kind of apology is it when the man still denies what we all saw and is disappointed that anyone would believe that he did this? He is just making it worse every time he opens his arrogant mouth. This is the role model that we choose to put on national TV? We are certainly not making much headway in improving the public image of Lubbock and Tech. We should expect more and require more, especially of coaches and leaders.

10
4

The Truth Is.....

Hance and the Fat Rats will never discipline a replacement for Coach X, even if it was the Grim Reaper. If the kid AD decides to discipline Tubs, the kid will discover HE IS THE ONE THAT IS GONE.

So the truth is, we might as well move on, because ABSOLUTELY NOTHING is going to come of this despicable act.

I will move on with the Investor.

Beat OSU.

9
3

When Sonny Dykes Speaks...

Everyone will listen, everyone can believe that he's truthful, he will not embarrass Texas Tech and he will be one heck of a fine coach we can all be proud of and embrace.

I hope he's offered the Tech coaching job and, if so, I hope he accepts it.

We need to pull this Leach/Tuberville thorn out of our collective being and mover forward as a more unified fan base.

7
14

99%

You guys could care less about this. 99% of the negative postings are people who have posted negative comments since CTT came on board. It has everything to do with the former staff and everyone knows it. What would be a suprise is one of the former staff supporters coming out and saying it's not that big a deal. RRFL is the only one that crossed party lines on this deal which I think shows an unbiased viewpoint. Innapropiate...yes, but people there are much bigger problems in our world than a GA getting chewed out Saturday at the football game.

10
3

Fast Hands

Wow! That was the fastest "grab" i ever saw.

I'm glad we don't have to make sense of the shirt & getting him off the field explanation. We now know he lied.

So he's absolutely working in a position he can thrive in. The Administration here at Tech can appreciate lies & the lying liars that tell them. Tubbs fits the moral values here to a "T".

7
3

Question...

Something I asked in the comments on the initial thread:

A Graduate Assistantship is a vital part of an attaining upper graduate degree.

Had this happened to a History GA, hit by a Professor, what would be consequences for the prof, especially if his explanation was not factual?

Or would it be OK if the prof had tenure?

jeffross, what would happen to you in this scenario? I am really curious if academia and sports are held to the same standard?

9
5

Mentoring Time

So Tubby apologized, sort of, and offered a new version of the slapping incident that contradicts his lying first version, and will not say if he stands by the first version which is now simply inoperative. This has to be embarrassing to Hance. I mean, whatever else we may think of Kent, we have to admit that he is at least a smooth, professional liar. Tubby is revealing himself to be a stumbling,bumbling liar who keeps digging the hole he is in deeper. Kent needs to do some big time mentoring with this boy.

13
5

DFW

You presumptuous bastard. Please don't pretend to "know" that my concerns have anything to do with the "previous staff". I could give a red-rat's-ass about Leach or the previous staff. I just don't like Tech being the butt of the nation's, conference's and state's jokes.

I'm guessing you're a T-Shirt fan that never darkened the door of a Tech classroom.

4
12

Cast First Stone

Stop all this negative talk putting fueling the trash talk. News media will spin an incident to make it look much worse than it ever was.

Coach was voicing his frustration for the second time this season. I know that watching the game I have yelled at my TV hoping the coaching staff could hear how angry I was for all the stupid mistakes.

Red Raiders bleed red/black and we want our team to shine like no other team. Guess what all the other teams in the Big 12 feel as passionate as we do.

No one who has posted or will post after I do can admit and say, never have I said or done something I wish I had not.

So give our Coach a break and shut this bashing commotion down. Let's go out and play a football game like we know the Red Raiders can.

7
6

Tubbyville is a birther, Hance is gutless

Just like gutless RaiderPower.com, a Right-Wing wacko nut job weenie website owned by Hance and Craig James.

Sunshine pumpers love HypocritePower.com or RaiderPower.com which gets 700 hits a day. That's equal to Lubbock High's newspaper.

Sign on Sunshine pumpers and get only one side of the argument -- the wrong Fox News like side of any argument.

Weenie website.

3
9

Cast First Stone

Stop all this negative talk putting fueling the trash talk. News media will spin an incident to make it look much worse than it ever was.

Coach was voicing his frustration for the second time this season. I know that watching the game I have yelled at my TV hoping the coaching staff could hear how angry I was for all the stupid mistakes.

Red Raiders bleed red/black and we want our team to shine like no other team. Guess what all the other teams in the Big 12 feel as passionate as we do.

No one who has posted or will post after I do can admit and say, never have I said or done something I wish I had not.

So give our Coach a break and shut this bashing commotion down. Let's go out and play a football game like we know the Red Raiders can.

5
5

@Brad Douglas

Must have hit close to home on you dude. Your right, I have a t- shirt as well as a Degree on the wall from our fine University. Got news for you, not many people give this two thoughts outside our little group, so save me the pep talk on the nations jokes. Try travelling outside Lubbock County for once in your life...o wait, there I go being presumptuous again.

3
12

It's over...move on

Tuberville made a mistake. Had he owned up to being upset and ripping the headphones off, this would be a non-issue. He never slapped the guy. Notice I didn't say kid. Oliver is an adult and if he has issues with this, he needs to address them. I've watched the video several times and Oliver's head never snapped nor did his shades come off. The headset and the hat took a beating...

Tuberville apologized for something that I don't think he needed to apologize for. If this is the worst thing Oliver has to endure, he should consider himself lucky. Granted, I'm not a Tech alum. I graduated from an SEC school that has had it's fair share of issues with coaches but this is minor. Even if the Big 12 comes down on him for this, it should be a game suspension and get over it.

And yes, Jez, athletics and academics are not held to same standard. Whether or not this is correct, is not the issue. They simply are not. A huge majority of this town can name the head football coach while dozens can name the head of the school of engineering. I'm not saying that is fair or the way things should be, but it is the way they are.

4
12

DFW

DFW sounds like the only adult in the room.

Be careful DFW, my dad always said to never argue with an idiot, it's hard for bystanders to tell which is which.

We've go a lot of idiots on this site. Glad they're not Tech fans.

11
1

DD

My concerns are not limited to the GA/Headphone incident. They arise out of unimaginative play calling, seeming indecisiveness about what plays to call, dynamics between players and coaches, a prima donna offensive coordinator who appears to be in over his head and who will not listen to well-grounded advice offered by others in the program, very poor clock management, extremely poor offensive play-calling and a head coach that just sits back watching all of this unfold in front of him without injecting himself in the process (aside from special teams).

Has Tuberville improved Tech's defense? Yes.

Overall, has the football program advanced to where it would have under an Art Briles or some other coach who's not a has-been? I think not.

My hope is that he will get fed-up with fan negativity and go to Arkansas or some other program that would have him. He'd be happier and we'd be better off as a football program.

12
0

Interesting development

The coach's twitter account has gone from public view to protected view! Afraid of what people will tweet to it?

9
0

apology--?

He said that he apologized to Kevin, but how about an apology to everyone else? A person who is unable to say "I'm sorry" is shallow and self-centered.

5
3

Brad

Those are absolutely legitimate criticisms. Thank you so much for bringing that to this board. (no sarcasm at all) Even if I disagree with you, they are well thought out and are not personal in nature. Simply calling him an idiot with nothing behind it serves no purpose other than to ignite flames. I sincerely do believe that Tuberville is in the middle of a culture change and will have great success at Tech. A lot of people disagree with me and that is ok. I know the man and I know the football knowledge that he brings. I played D-1(not very well mind you) and understand what goes on behind the scenes but part of being a head coach is management of the staff. He is the public face of the program and in this regard he has made many a false step. Sometimes he reverts to a coordinator mindset and manages behind the scenes. This cannot be done in today's one-minute media world.

I hope you are wrong and Tuberville is given time (a couple more years) to change the culture at Tech and have great success but I absolutely appreciate your willingness to expound on the criticisms past a personal ad hominem attack.

The beauty of sports is fans being able to disagree without killing each other. That's what makes this fun!

11
2

Lie

He lied about what happen in the first news confence and still wants to down play it. If he would have told the truth right up front and apologized publicly and privately to the coach then I would say it is a done deal and move one. We have all said or done things in the heat of the moment that we wish we had not.

He lied!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Get rid of him.

5
12

He apologized

I believe he apologized and that the apology was appropriate. Maybe not perfect, but appropriate.

2
1

DD

At least the fans are passionate, albeit not about the same things. I remember times past when many didn't even give a hoot about the program's success.

I am not a Tuberville fan, even though I tried to give him a chance early on and through most of last year. But I hope you are correct and that I'm not when it comes to the future success of the program under his tutelage.

By the way, I played Pop Warner ball (not very well mind you)...

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