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Brewer vents after Tech rejects appeal

QB claims Tech misdiagnosed back injury

Posted: February 13, 2014 - 10:12pm  |  Updated: February 14, 2014 - 1:15am
Michael Brewer will transfer from Texas Tech after the spring semester. (Stephen Spillman)  Stephen Spillman / AJ Media
Stephen Spillman / AJ Media
Michael Brewer will transfer from Texas Tech after the spring semester. (Stephen Spillman)
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Texas Tech on Thursday rejected quarterback Michael Brewer’s appeal to transfer to Texas or TCU without restriction, capping what Brewer described as a frustrating sophomore year on and off the field.

Brewer, who left the football program in January, said Tech “misdiagnosed” his back injury last summer and then gave him mixed messages about his playing time when he did get healthy.

He called Thursday’s decision “disappointing, but we’re going to move on and I’ll find somewhere to play.” He said he is looking at schools in the Atlantic Coast and Southeastern conferences.

Tech disputed any implication that Brewer did not receive proper medical treatment.

“Texas Tech has a highly skilled and knowledgeable medical team that’s in charge of the well-being of our student-athletes,” Tech spokesman Blayne Beal said. “The well-being of our student-athletes is something we take very seriously, and we would never jeopardize the health of of any student-athlete. Within a month of Michael’s injury, Texas Tech sent him to a specialist, and he was under the care of that specialist from that point forward until his release.”

Brewer played briefly in four games last season, unable to dislodge two freshmen — Baker Mayfield, the Big 12 offensive freshman of the year, and Davis Webb, the Holiday Bowl offensive MVP.

Mayfield left the program after the regular season, citing a lack of communication with the coaching staff. On Thursday, Brewer expressed frustration with his handling.

He fell behind in the quarterback competition when he suffered a back injury at the beginning of June.

“It was only supposed to be about a two-month injury, and it ended up being about a 41/2-month injury,” Brewer said. “From the beginning of June until I got cleared the week that we played Kansas (Oct. 5).”

Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury said several times during the season that Brewer needed much more practice time than he could allocate to catch up and get back in sync with the offense.

Brewer said Thursday he was healthy enough to play from game five on.

“Absolutely,” he said. “I’d been told the whole time leading up to that that I was going to play. Then coach Kingsbury had gone back and forth telling me I was going to play. Coach Kingsbury told me I was going to start for the Texas game, and then two days later called me back and told me that I’m not.”

Brewer also said Tech did not accurately assess his back injury at the beginning.

“I was diagnosed in June — misdiagnosed, actually — which set me back even further,” he said. “They let me start to practice the beginning of two-a-days when I wasn’t supposed to, which set me back again. It was just small things like that which continually set me back.”

Brewer remained sidelined throughout the first month of the season.

“Texas Tech had diagnosed me with a bulging disc,” he said, “and then it didn’t get better for a long time so we decided to go see a back specialist in Dallas who works with the Dallas Cowboys and the Texas Rangers — he actually did Tony Romo’s surgery not long ago.

“He looked at it and said it was 100 percent a stress fracture back there and nothing to do with the disc. The best medicine for that is to rest and stay off of it. I kept setting myself back, which didn’t help me obviously.”

Brewer, who announced his decision to transfer in January, said he was denied permission to contact any schools in the state, the Big 12 or on the Red Raiders’ schedule the next two years.

Beal said that is not accurate.

“The only stipulations put on Michael were he couldn’t transfer anywhere in the Big 12,” Beal said. “He was not allowed to transfer anywhere in the Big 12 Conference, but we are allowing Michael to transfer anywhere in the state of Texas not in the Big 12, something coach Kingsbury does not normally allow. But in this case, he is allowing it.”

A five-member panel of the Tech Athletics Council unanimously rejected Brewer’s appeal after hearing his case to contact Texas and TCU.

Tech released the following statement after making its ruling:

“According to faculty athletics representative Brian Shannon, on Thursday, Feb. 13, a panel of Texas Tech’s Athletics Council heard Michael Brewer’s appeal concerning the Texas Tech coaching staff’s denial of permission to contact and the one-time transfer exception with regard to the University of Texas and TCU. The five-member panel upheld the head coach’s decision and denied Michael’s appeal. The decision was consistent with Texas Tech and Big 12 Conference policy and practice regarding intraconference transfers and consistent with NCAA rules.”

Brewer has remained on campus to complete his bachelor’s degree in May in university studies. He said he based his appeal on preferring graduate programs at Texas and TCU.

“There were two graduate programs — one at Texas, one at TCU — that best suited my future,” he said, “as far as receiving a master’s degree goes. And we also felt like whenever I was done playing football and done with college that being in Austin with the connections I have with my family and being in the Dallas-Fort Worth area with the connections I have with my family up there, that would be best suited for me as far as getting a job and all that.”

He added that he wanted to stay close to home to be able to play in front of his parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.

“By them denying me the right to play anywhere in the state of Texas or in the Big 12, my family can’t really come watch me play and be involved in the last two years of my college experience, which is disappointing,” he said.

Brewer added that he was not happy with Thursday’s proceedings during which both Brewer and Kingsbury were granted speaking time.

“When they called to tell me that I had been denied unanimously, I asked them why and they couldn’t come up with a reason,” Brewer said, “which leads me to believe it was 100 percent football-related. It’s unfortunate I can’t go get my master’s degree that’ll help me out the best in my future.”

Last month, Tech denied Mayfield’s appeal to transfer without restriction to Oklahoma. Mayfield enrolled at OU, however, and plans to join the Sooners as a walk-on, coach Bob Stoops said last week.

Transfers within the Big 12 forfeit a year of eligibility, meaning Mayfield would be a junior when he is able to play again.

Brewer said he’s not willing to sacrifice a year, so he’ll drop his efforts to transfer to Texas or TCU.

He said he plans to visit an ACC school in two weeks and probably will visit an SEC school after that. He declined to identify either, but said the ACC school he’s visiting is not Clemson, where his former high school coach is offensive coordinator.

“That is an option,” he said, “but that’s not the school I’ll be visiting shortly.”

Brewer was last made available to the media on the first day of practice in August, at which time he said the back injury “wasn’t anything serious” and he was “good to go.” He said he preferred to stay quiet about his frustrations during the season.

“I wanted to keep it classy,” he said, “because I love Texas Tech.”

 

don.williams@lubbockonline.com

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9
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Cry me a river Brewer

Michael, since you injured yourself (as opposed to it being a Tech injury), then don't get mad at Tech for not treating you differently than they treat every other athlete who transfers.

You also seem to either be misinformed or lying about the fact that Tech DID allow you to transfer to any schools in Texas unless they are direct competitors in the Big 12.

And spare me how UT and TCU are the best options because of your graduate studies. They just happen to be the two Big 12 schools with QB problems so severe that you might get a chance to start. Just be honest about it and don't insult everyone's intelligence.

I'm sorry it didn't work out for you, but I've lost an awful lot of respect for you based on this interview you gave the AJ.

7
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Brewer vents

Your scholarship papers clearly state the deal so it's not like this should be a surprise. Also, this is a conference rule, not a Texas Tech rule.

It's clear Michael can play in state also. Considering the University of Houston blocked a RB transfer to Texas Tech last year it's clear that Michael is being given more leeway than other, in state programs have allowed. (Though strangely UH allowed a transfer to UT. bias much UH Coach?)

Ask yourself this...Would UT have released you to Texas Tech? No. Would TCU have released you to Texas Tech? No.

Michael Brewer can still attend UT and TCU if he likes, he just won't be released to play football there.

If you really wanted to stay close to home you wouldn't be looking at ACC schools. Might as well hook up with Cal where Sonny Dykes runs the spread and is in need of a QB. Great academics to boot.

Lastly, blaming Texas Tech about the back issue is just absurd.

6
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Coach K might be the issue

Well, all these QB's might be Kingsbury mishandling the QB's. I know we all love our Coach but he is getting too much of a pass with whole situation. Is seems like he didn't want Brewer from the get go and made this injury the excuse and then the fact the he's not ready. He had a walk on Freshman as his starter. I think that he didn't want a non-Kingsbury recruit succeeding at Tech. You mean a guy who has been there longer can't keep up with true freshman? I know Webb is not technically his recruit but he was a high profile recruit that Kingsbury went out and kept him from leaving so he can claim him. I don't know but 3 QB's leave just like that? If my "getting credit" theory is wrong then he at least deserves blame for poor player management. It just doesn't look right no matter how any of you spin it. I hope Kingsbury player management skills get better. Go Tech!

5
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Al in Alabama

So, you are in Alabama and not in Texas?

And you are blaming Kingsbury?

So, essentially in saying: "Go Tech" you fall into the category of what we refer to as a: "Pink Raider."

Kingsbury needs a bit of time to develop where he is. Jumping on him at this point, is not appropriate. N'est pas?

8
2

Eye test

Kliff played the best QB. Baker was the best at the start of the season, and Webb was the best at the end. Brewer played, but never put anything together. Webb is the obvious starter for next year so the others left. It says more about the impatience and arrogance of youth then Kliff's communication.

6
2

SMH

Are there any schools in the country that allow players to transfer inside the conference, absolutely not? Is the Tech the first school to place restrictions on transfers, h3LL no!! Look at what Oklahoma State did to Wes Lunt and what Houston did to Chris Sims last year. It happens all the freaking time, and why Brewer and Mayfield believe they’re the exception is just plain ridiculous. I believe I read, or heard somewhere, that Jakeem’s playing time was limited in the Texas game because of an attitude issue or something. Nonetheless, his performance in the Holiday bowl is how situations like this should be handled. You play you’re [filtered word] off!!! I wish both players the best of luck going forward, but it sounds like it was time for them to move on.

4
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To Al in Alabama

He didn't want Brewer from the get go? He was the STARTER throughout spring practice and during fall camp until his injury. Seems like he wanted him pretty badly.

And kingsbury not liking QB's he didn't recruit? How about a little known player named Johnny Manziel. If anything, being able to mold a player you DIDN'T recruit into something great gets a coach MORE credit. I don't understand your line of thinking here at all.

4
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Sorry for Brewer and Mayfield but...

A deal is a deal--and if you don't act in your own (Tech) interest, then no one will. I, too, thought Brewer was a perfect fit at Texas. I believe Brewer can play anywhere.

3
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To Al in Alabama

I agree with you that something is not right. No school has ever lost three QB's all at once. We are left with a now sophomore QB and one Freshman who may play baseball rather than FBall despite many who think he can play both. Time to see who else in Lubbock can throw a football...

3
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Transfers usually are lost and

barely heard from again, except Russell Wilson, who was already a starter. Instead of staying and competing for the job you are running away mad and might end up starting for SMU, Texas State or Houston. How exciting.

3
1

Brewer

will have to adjust to his new reality. Kind of like the young Briles lad had to several years ago.

5
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Brewer is a good Red Raider, but...

...I have to agree with Tech denying his request. Nothing against Brewer, as I really like him, and wish he was playing QB for Tech. However, it'd be a horrible precedent to allow transfers. Got to draw the line.

Good luck to Michael.

1
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Why would Tech grant him a transfer to rivals?

I understand Brewer's frustration. He wants to play, and who wouldn't. He's from Austin so UT is a no brainer, and he also wants to follow his old QB coach being Cumbie at TCU. I like the kid and I was looking forward to him getting healthy, but I am not a back specialist so I can't say that I know that he was healthy. He'll land somewhere, I just don't want to hate him with a passion if he plays somewhere in conference. Good Luck Brewer! I hope you land somewhere that is great for you!

5
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Both Mayfield and Brewer were

Both Mayfield and Brewer were Lake Travis products...very affluent community where kids get what they want, when they want...coincidence?

4
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His reasons don't make sense to me...

He's upset that his family from Austin and DFW can't see him play the rest of his college football, but he went to TT -both about a 6 hour drive from Lubbock...? He can go to a number of schools that are significantly closer to his family. If he "wanted to stay home" then he should have done that without ever going to Tech. Also, if UT and TCU have the graduate programs he needs and wants (and puts so much importance on them), then go there! Not going to those schools for his graduate degree is totally on Brewer, not Tech's fault. He comes across to me as trying to sound classy and reasonable, but missing the mark. Sorry, kid, but you're going to have to grow up and take responsibility.

4
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The rules are the problem

I understand the rules and see that TTU followed them, but in cases like this the rules are questionable. College football allows coaches to break written contracts at will whenever they get a better offer, yet does not allow players to transfer to another college to play even after they graduate and want to attend graduate school. It would be interesting to hear a flack for the NCAA or the Big 12 try to square this with all the hypocritical stuff that gets spouted about caring for "student athletes" and getting an education being the most important thing for a player.

3
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@obviousman

Well, I am from Lubbock but I am in the military so that's why I'm in Alabama not from. The Army has now actually moved me to Hawaii so now I'm Al in Hawaii I just don't know how to change my name. So I am definitely not a "pink" raider!

4
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@Al

Ignore Obviousman. If your opinion is different from his, he will attack you personally which includes name calling (pink raider).

2
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Theory.....ok?

I said it was a theory. I'm just trying to figure out what's going on because losing 3 QB's so quickly throws up red flags to me.

2
1

Theory.....ok?

I said it was a theory. I'm just trying to figure out what's going on because losing 3 QB's so quickly throws up red flags to me.

2
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Kingsbury not the problem

I give Kliff all the benefit of any doubt in this case. Both Mayfield and Brewer are acting immaturely, bringing all this up long after the fact when there is nothing Tech or Kingsbury can do or say in response. If Brewer was misdiagnosed, why didn't he get a second opinion and convince Tech it was wrong? What good does it do to bring this up now? Absolutely nothing. Just throws mud at Tech and Kingsbury to make Brewer feel better. Glad he is gone.

0
0

Not drinking the Kool-Aid on this one

The BS smell coming from this program isn't the stockyards. At least in the feedlots the cows know what they're standing in.

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