Colorado’s Donta Abron is tackled by Fresno State’s Nat Harrison and Karl Mickelsen in the third quarter of an NCAA college football game in Fresno, Calif., Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012. (AP Photo/Gary Kazanjian)
When it comes to being offensive, Jim Turner seems to have all of the bases covered.
Turner was one of two Texas A&M assistant coaches suspended two weeks without pay by head coach Kevin Sumlin Friday for a train wreck of a presentation at a women’s football clinic. Photos leaked to various media outlets showed a slide show with various “pass-blocking rules” that included such helpful tips as “spread your legs,” “enter-front/not-behind, “get erect,” “stay erect” and “bang him hard.”
Turner came to the Aggies after a two-year stint with the Miami Dolphins. Turner was fired by the NFL club after getting swept up in the maelstrom that was the Dolphins’ bullying and harassment scandal. Turner subsequently filed a lawsuit claiming “his reputation and career have been unfairly affected” by the reports commissioned by the NFL.
One particular portion of the report has been making its way around the Internet, and it casts and more negative light on the current situation involving Turner.
Turner was aware of the running “joke” that Player A was gay, and on at least one occasion, he participated in the taunting. Around Christmas 2012, Coach Turner gave the offensive linemen gift bags that included a variety of stocking stuffers. The gifts included inflatable female dolls for all of the offensive linemen except Player A, who received a male “blow-up” doll. [Jonathan] Martin and another player reported that they were surprised Coach Turner did this; Martin further said that he was offended that Turner had endorsed the humiliating treatment of Player A by participating in it. Incognito and others agreed that this incident with Coach Turner occurred. When interviewed, Turner was asked if he gave Player A a male blow-up doll. He replied, “I can’t remember.”
“We want to sincerely apologize to the passionate Aggie fans and to women everywhere for our failed attempt at humor during this week’s Aggie Football Chalk Talk and fundraiser,” a statement from Turner and the other suspended assistant, special teams coordinator/tight ends coach Jeff Banks, began. “We clearly understand now that our comments and slides were not appropriate or consistent with the values of our football program or our Department. We must do better, and we will.”
Sadly, tragedy has hit the Texas A&M football program in one of the most gut-punching, heartbreaking ways imaginable.
Early Friday morning, Houston police were called to the home of Antonio Armstrong to investigate a shooting. At the Bellaire-area home, police found Armstrong’s wife, Dawn, dead and Armstrong critically wounded with a gunshot wound to the head in their bed.
Armstrong was taken to a local hospital and was initially listed in critical condition before succumbing to the injuries later on Friday.
Adding to the tragedy, police have charged the Armstrong’s 16-year-old son with two counts of juvenile murder. The daughter of Antonio and Dawn was in the home at the time of the shooting, but she was not injured. A third child was not believed to be in the home.
Homicide investigators have said there was no history of domestic violence, and police had never been called to the home.
Armstrong, who went by the surname “Shorter” for the first three years of his Aggie football career, played at A&M from 1991-94, earning first-team All-American honors his senior season. He was also a semifinalist for the Butkus Award that year, and was named All-SWC twice.
“Antonio was a special young man,” Armstrong former head coach, R.C. Slocum, said in a statement. “He was an All-American and an outstanding player, but he was an even better person. He was such a positive influence on his teammates. He always had a great big smile and was a joy to coach.”
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Antonio Armstrong and his family and the entire Aggie family,” a statement from current A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin began. “Our strength coach Larry Jackson was a teammate of Antonio’s and thought the world of him.
“This is a terrible tragedy and our hearts are broken.”
Rest in peace Antonio Armstrong.
— Texas A&M Recruiting (@GigemRecruiting) July 29, 2016
After injuries ended his pro career after a few seasons, Armstrong went on to become a fitness instructor, motivational speaker and associate pastor. He and his wife ran First Class Training, a gym in Bellaire.
Below is Armstrong’s A&M bio provided by the school:
Was a cornerstone of the Texas A&M Wrecking Crew defense for four seasons from 1991-94 … Earned first-team Associated Press All-America honors as a linebacker as a senior in 1994 and was a semifinalist for the Butkus Award, which is given annually to college football’s top linebacker … earned first-team All-Southwest Conference honors in 1993 and 1994 … Earned Defensive Player of the Game honors in the 1994 Cotton Bowl (vs. Notre Dame) … was drafted in the sixth round of the NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers in 1995 … Armstrong never lost a game on Kyle Field and helped the Aggies extend the nation’s then-longest home winning streak to 26 games … Armstrong led the SWC in QB sacks and tackles for losses as a senior in 1994 … finished his career with 154 total tackles, including 18 QB sacks and 31 total tackles for loss of yardage.
Shaq Davidson may have left South Carolina, but he’ll still be a Gamecock in 2016.
Davidson first hinted on Twitter then confirmed to 247Sports.com that he has decided to continue his collegiate playing career at Jacksonville State. A member of the JSU coaching staff also confirmed the move in a tweet.
It’s official 🤑😈
— ShaqNado2.0 (@Ace_Boogie_4) July 28, 2016
— Coach JR Sandlin (@JR_Sandlin) July 29, 2016
As the Gamecocks play at the FCS level, the wide receiver will be eligible to play immediately in 2016.
According to Richardson, he also considered Tennessee-Chattanooga, Furman and Winston-Salem State, but a visit to JSU last week sealed the deal.
“I felt at home,” Davidson said. “They came on late for me but they came on strong.”
A four-star member of USC’s 2014 recruiting class, Davidson was rated as the No. 5 player at any position in the state of South Carolina and the No. 30 receiver in the country.
Richardson never lived up to that lofty recruiting pedigree, however, as he took a redshirt as a true freshman and tore an ACL last August. Then, he was reportedly dismissed by first-year head coach Will Muschamp this past February.
And boy, did they ever.
Myriad football programs across the country have, for many years, put on football clinics specifically targeted for women in an effort to help that gender better understand the game of football. As Raekwon McMillan can attest, some women take the sport very seriously.
At Texas A&M, meanwhile, they used what was titled “Chalk Talk for Women” to get their sexual innuendo on this past week.
Scout.com was on the receiving end of some photos from a slide show at the A&M women’s clinic, attended by 700 females, on what to do and not to do in run-blocking and, suffice to say, they left little to the imagination.
Additionally, A&M decided to “tweak” the words to the “Aggie War Hymn” and, suffice to say, it didn’t go over all too well as some viewed it as overtly sexist.
— Tonia A. Dousay (@tadousay) July 28, 2016
Very smooth, A&M. Very smooth.
I, personally, think it’s very forward and progressive thinking to allow 12-year-old boys to handle at least a portion of such a high-profile presentation. I’m sure all of your mothers and wives would be very proud.
Given the burgeoning uproar over the event, head coach Kevin Sumlin subsequently issued a statement in which he revealed that two of his assistant coaches responsible for the presentation, offensive line coach Jim Turner and special teams coordinator/tight ends coach Jeff Banks, have been suspended for two weeks without pay. Additionally, the two will serve 20 hours of community service.
“There is absolutely no place in our program or in our University community for inappropriate conduct or degrading comments towards women, or anyone, regardless of intent,” Sumlin said in a statement. “On behalf of Aggie football, I want to apologize for the comments at Chalk Talk and also for my failure to review their individual presentations.”
“We want to sincerely apologize to the passionate Aggie fans and to women everywhere for our failed attempt at humor during this week’s Aggie Football Chalk Talk and fundraiser,” a statement from the assistants began. “We clearly understand now that our comments and slides were not appropriate or consistent with the values of our football program or our Department. We must do better, and we will.”