Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville was caught in a heated moment Saturday during an unexpectedly close game against Kansas when he slapped — or smacked, or forcefully swatted, or whatever you want to call it — the headset and cap off an assistant on the sidelines after the Red Raiders were penalized for having 12 men on the field.
Cameras captured the whole thing. After the game, Tuberville offered a weak explanation of what happened.
“He was on the field, and I reached to grab him and pull him off,” Tuberville said. “When I pulled, I missed his shirt and I grabbed his (headset) and his microphone ripped off his head. I was trying to get him off the field. “He’s out on the field, and we’re trying to get him off. I missed his shoulder, and grabbed his … . It wasn’t anything to it.”
There are few things people hate more than liars. Not only was Tuberville out of line for laying his hands on an assistant of any kind, but his dishonesty afterward made the matter worse. Either Tuberville realized that himself or someone got in his ear (or he saw the video), because Tuberville completely reversed course Monday during his weekly press conference.
“I have to hold myself to a higher standard,” Tuberville said. “It upset me, too. You don’t do things like that. [It was in the] heat of the battle.”
Tuberville, who was issued a public reprimand from the Big 12, added that he apologized to the assistant, but didn’t like the word “slap” being used to describe the incident.
Close enough, I guess.
In the midst of reports that he had a physical altercation with one of his Tennessee players during summer camp this year, Butch Jones labeled the speculation “absolutely ridiculous.”
Apparently, his bosses agree with the head coach.
At a board meeting Thursday, UT-Knoxville chancellor Jimmy Cheek stated that he and athletic director Dave Hart had done their “due diligence” in investigating the accusations that Jones and senior offensive lineman Mack Crowder were involved in some type of physical skirmish during practice this past August. The end result of interviews with Jones, coaches and players was the conclusion that there was nothing to the reports and message-board rumors.
“There’s been a lot of rumor and misinformation on social media and message boards about an alleged incident during football practice,” Cheek said according to GoVols247.com‘s Wes Rucker. “It’s not our practice to respond to rumors, but I thought it was important to let you know that we’ve done our due diligence and Dave Hart and I are very confident there was no inappropriate conduct with any players or coaches.”
Shortly after Cheek spoke at the board meeting, Crowder took to Twitter with a series of missives that speaks around the issue.
Michigan played without its leading rusher in Week 5. The Wolverines are hoping there won’t be a repeat in Week 6.
De'Veon Smith sustained a lower-leg injury in the Week 4 win over BYU and didn’t travel with the team for last Saturday’s win over Maryland. Smith has been practicing with his teammates throughout the first few days of this week, and head coach Jim Harbaugh is guardedly optimistic that the running back will be available for what’s turned into a huge Big Ten matchup with Northwestern Saturday in the Big House.
“He’s practicing and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that he’s going to stay good and be ready to play,” Harbaugh said during a radio appearance Thursday morning. “But we’ll (keep) looking at that every day.”
Despite essentially missing a game and a half, Smith currently leads the Wolverines with 331 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns. He’s added four receptions for 35 yards and a touchdown coming out of the backfield the first four games.
Should Smith be unable to go again, the Wolverines have three other backs with at least 100 yards on the ground: Ty Isaac (187, 7.2 yards per carry), Drake Johnson (125, 4.2 ypc) and Derrick Green (100, 3.3 ypc).
In addition to Smith, Harbaugh is hopeful Channing Stribling will be available this weekend as well. The starting cornerback didn’t play against the Cougars because of injury