There were no Texas Tech football players made available to the media following Tommy Tuberville’s departure for Cincinnati on Saturday.
But that didn’t stop the Red Raiders from voicing their thoughts on a move that caught plenty of them by surprise. Welcome to the Twitter age, where players can express themselves in seconds.
The overwhelming theme of the various tweets that came from Tech players was shock.
“Crazy!!!,” Tech senior safety D.J. Johnson tweeted. “Praying for the young boys, hate they gotta go through it again. I been there plenty times. Gotta keep grinding though!”
Johnson was a freshman when former Tech coach Mike Leach was fired in 2009. Fellow safety Cody Davis was on the roster then, too, and his thoughts were also with his younger teammates as they prepared to endure a coaching transition.
“Been through this before and it’s not a fun process,” he wrote.
Some players expressed strong emotion in the immediate wake of Tuberville’s departure.
“I’ve never been more furious in my life,” tight end Jace Amaro wrote on Twitter, before vowing that Tech would bounce back with a Big 12 title in 2013.
Running back Kenny Williams provided a similar sentiment.
“Can’t wait to play in the bowl game so I can take some anger out (on) Minnesota,” Williams tweeted.
Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt said he met with players at about 3 p.m. He said he is impressed with their resolve and believes they will approach the next couple weeks of bowl preparation with renewed determination.
“It was a team that,” Hocutt said, “while surprised to hear the news of the day, a team that loves each other, a team that’s together and a team who is focused on the Minnesota Gophers and team determined to go to Houston and come back with a win. I saw a very determined group of young men and a very proud group of young men.”
By Saturday evening, much of what Tech player posted on Twitter was centered on pushing forward.
“One thing for certain,” junior wide receiver Eric Ward wrote, “we still Red Raiders around here no matter what.”
Added Davis: “This strong group of players and leaders is the foundation of this team. Proud to be a part of Texas Tech and look to move forward.”
Tuberville received a warm reception in Cincinnati, where he was serenaded with chants of “Tommy T! Tommy T!” during his introductory press conference.
“Very fortunate that we acquired a successful coach in Coach (Tuberville),” Cincinnati linebacker Solomon Tentman tweeted.
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