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JUCO prospect: Tuberville ditched Texas Tech recruits during dinner

Tommy Tuberville AP

There have been many odd stories surrounding the departures of head coaches from one school to another over the years.  This one may go down as the most bizarre.  And classless.

News of Tommy Tuberville agreeing to become the new head coach at Cincinnati first surfaced Dec. 8, with an introductory press conference later in the day offering official confirmation that he was leaving Texas Tech after three years.  The night before news first surfaced that he was leaving the Red Raiders, though, it was business as usual for Tuberville.

Tuberville and members of his Tech coaching staff hosted recruits, including JUCO prospect Devonte Danzey, on a visit that included dinner at a local restaurant.  During the dinner, and as he had with coaches such as Kansas’ Charlie Weis and West Virginia’s Dana Holgorsen, Danzey asked Tuberville how long he expected to be the coach of the Red Raiders.

Tuberville, according to Danzey, talked around the question without ever answering directly, even throwing in an out-of-nowhere reference to recruiting Ray Lewis.  A short time later, Tuberville performed the coaching version of the dine-and-dash.

“The waitress brought our food out, and we thought (Tuberville) went to the bathroom, but he never came back to dinner,” Danzey told “Then next thing I know, the next day, he made an announcement that he’s going to Cincinnati.”

That’s right.  Tuberville, again according to Danzey, ditched players he was recruiting in the middle of dinner, presumably to put the finishing touches on his departure from Lubbock to Cincinnati.  To add insult to that insult, Tuberville bailed on a planned tour of campus the next morning, with the recruits only learning of Tuberville’s move to the Bearcats from a Tech assistant shortly after the tour had ended.

“Everybody was going crazy,” the offensive lineman told the website. “The players were shocked, too. We still had a good time at night, but it was crazy how he just got up and left out of nowhere and left people in the dark and in the shadow.”

It should be noted that this is merely one individual’s version of how events unfolded this past weekend.  If true?  Very classy move, Tubs, in a gutless kind of way.

Karma, though, can be a vindictive mistress, especially when it comes to the recruiting trail, where coaches who will recruit head-to-head with Tuberville and his new Bearcats staff are no doubt already licking their chops — regardless of if Danzey’s account is accurate or not.

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25 Responses to “JUCO prospect: Tuberville ditched Texas Tech recruits during dinner”
  1. andrewproughcfe says: Dec 12, 2012 11:46 AM

    So funny after the way Tuberville acted butt-hurt by Petrino looking into his Auburn job during JetGate in 2003. I guess all you coaches play the same shady games after all, eh Tommy?

  2. wabbitslayer says: Dec 12, 2012 11:50 AM

    well, they just need to go wah-wah to Craig James about it and he can make it all better…

  3. mhalt99 says: Dec 12, 2012 11:55 AM

    wait, you’re going to tell me that these coaches who make millions of dollars off of the blood sweat and tears of these kids who get paid with a piece of paper that is virtually worthless in today’s economy are a bunch of scumbags? really? cocaine is a hell of a drug.

  4. whitdog23 says: Dec 12, 2012 11:58 AM

    I got no problem with it. it’s like skipping out on a bad date. danzey must not be all that great

  5. lew24 says: Dec 12, 2012 12:05 PM

    He should have stayed at dinner and recruited the kid to Cincy!

  6. trojan33sc says: Dec 12, 2012 12:35 PM

    Wewll, after hearing about how bad Kiffen displayed himself at Tennessee, i’m glad to see someone has moved up “classless” to a higher level. This douchbag is the king !!!!

  7. 11inthebox says: Dec 12, 2012 12:45 PM

    @ mhalt99 who says:

    wait, you’re going to tell me that these coaches who make millions of dollars off of the blood sweat and tears of these kids who get paid with a piece of paper that is virtually worthless in today’s economy are a bunch of scumbags? really? ….
    Best post of the year.

  8. thraiderskin says: Dec 12, 2012 12:49 PM

    Yeah, if true, that is really bad… I would not want “that” Tubberville to ever coach my favorite program.

  9. pdcooper08 says: Dec 12, 2012 12:56 PM

    It’s very obvious what the correct and decent thing would been to do that evening. Would it had been such a bad thing to finish the evening with all the recruits, and possible pulled the JC kid aside and told him what had transpired and let him know how important a recruit he is and that he would like to recruit him to Cinny. Or maybe the kid is just average and he really could careless. Either way, his actions speak for them self. Poor example coach, good luck selling your next batch of recruits on how you pulled off your exit from Lubbock.

  10. 668705p says: Dec 12, 2012 1:00 PM

    Not that what Tuberville did was appropriate, but it stills dwarfs Fraud Grahm’s antics when leaving Pitt. Tuberville’s players were potential recruits, not players who had busted their asses for a season listening to his rhetoric. Very unclassy…but not scum-like as Todd the Fraud.

  11. kozbee says: Dec 12, 2012 1:09 PM

    As we`ve seen all season recruits mean nothing cause when a coach gets a better job and bigger money to boot they are gone.Some coaches leave in the middle of the season and some before their bowl games its natural,its a job.

  12. floridacock says: Dec 12, 2012 1:10 PM

    Recruits should be signing with a school, not a coach

  13. thefiesty1 says: Dec 12, 2012 1:46 PM

    Humm? This is a strange way to treat potential recruits no matter that he bailed out on Tech.

  14. Romulus says: Dec 12, 2012 1:52 PM

    Did he say he was only “leaving in a pine box”

  15. pdcooper08 says: Dec 12, 2012 1:54 PM

    In the grand skeem of things, yes they should sign to play for the school, but as we all know,players are free agents, and often times are looking at the leadership their. It’s importance to put ur a thoughts together when making this choice. There’s nothing wrong with choosing a school who has a staff they feel comfortable with and that’s runs a program that suits their talents. So I agree to a certain extent but disagree overall.

  16. sportsdrenched says: Dec 12, 2012 2:54 PM

    If the NCAA really had the “student athletes” best interest they would have a structured process for a coach switching jobs. After all, if a “student athlete” has to sit out a year if they tranfer there should be something in place for coaches too.

    Something as simple as you cannot take your new job until after the National Title Game. And that you are beholden to your previous contract until then.

  17. serenaundercover says: Dec 12, 2012 3:47 PM

    Something tells me Mike Leach isn’t going to send Texas Tech a sympathy card.

  18. kozbee says: Dec 12, 2012 3:49 PM

    When a Headcoach leaves recruits think the worse to happen so they decommit themselves.Recently with Saban rumor on leaving Alabama imo if that should happen then yes i would see most recruits looking elsewhere due to the fact they want to be part of Bama and Saban winning a Championship.So its fact that if teams have a great coach then most will decommit if they leave for other coaching jobs in college or the NFL.Tubs is a good coach and imo if the money and contract is there then go for it.

  19. thebigcaptain2011 says: Dec 12, 2012 3:50 PM

    Regardless of what some of you may think, players are tied to coaches. As I’m sure all of you know, coaching matters. Ask some of those kids in Arkansas how much it mattered not having their head coach this season. They should treat the coaches as same aa the players, make them sit a year before taking a job elswhere. Once a rat always a rat. Don’t get too comfortable Cincy, once he gets you guys to a bowl game or two he’ll be on the first plane to SEC/Big 10 country.

  20. fanofevilempire says: Dec 12, 2012 3:56 PM

    i’m surprised he didn’t stick the recruits with the dinner bill……………………..

    I feel bad for the kids but this makes you laugh

  21. 10kmp says: Dec 12, 2012 5:04 PM

    …If true? Very classy move, Tubs, in a gutless kind of way…

    Why wouldnt it be true? What does this kid have to gain by making this up? And if you havent been paying attention, Tubbs is quite the ass. From his Auburn days and his whining ways, to slapping his assistant coach last season, to his bret bielema /cowards way out of TT. Many, NOT ALL, but many of these D1 coaches are the most egocentric, narcissistic, all-about-me, two faced liars that ever were… and they’re paid millions to boot.

  22. Deb says: Dec 12, 2012 5:45 PM

    @kozbee …

    What rumor about Saban leaving Bama? When columnists start speculating about a job that’s not open, that’s not really a viable rumor. Cleveland’s fortunes have recently improved, so the new owner might not be so quick to fire a coach that has his team winning. My feeling on this is that coaches have the right to change jobs when the season ends. It’s not indentured servitude. However, I wouldn’t skip out during dinner. That’s kinda creepy.

  23. vols84 says: Dec 12, 2012 6:01 PM

    When does Senator Craig James report to Washington? Oh, he didn’t get elected?

  24. silverdeer says: Dec 12, 2012 6:06 PM

    If the description is true, I don’t necessarily agree with the way he handled it. However, if he knows that he is being announced the next day as the HC for another school, what is worse? Getting up and leaving with nothing said or sitting there and blowing smoke up everyone’s backsides only to have the announcement come out the next day.

  25. halbert53 says: Dec 12, 2012 6:09 PM

    Not that I’m excusing Tuberville, but any coach in the middle of a potential job change is in a clumsy situation with recruits. National Signing Day should be changed. Maybe an early signing day in early fall, then a signing day in May. Then maybe colleges wouldn’t feel the pressure to hire new coaches because time is short before NSD. Have an NCAA rule no new coaches can be hired until after national championship game. And any athlete who signed during early signing period should be allowed to void his LOI if the head coach changes jobs.

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