There were bound to be at least some bitter feelings between Houston and Texas after the Longhorns plucked Houston’s head coach (Tom Herman) recently to be the new head coach of the Longhorns, with six assistants leaving the Cougars to get to work in Austin. Houston Board of Regents chairman Tilman Fertitta unloaded some not-so-veiled comments in the direction of the Longhorns during a radio interview in Houston on Tuesday.
“It’s disappointing that the University of Texas — who wants to open a campus in Houston and said they would never do anything to harm the University of Houston, with all the football coaches in America, who said that they would stand up for us to get into the Big 12 and then didn’t even vote for us when they met with the commissioner and all the schools — had to come take our little football coach,” Fertitta said during the radio interview, as transcribed by ESPN.com. “But that’s business and it’s a great opportunity for Tom and I wish him the best. I hope they all do well, but I just hope we do better.”
Fertitta was referring to the public display of support for Houston from Texas as the Big 12 expansion vetting was ongoing. Texas leaders made it clear they were showing support for the University of Houston as a potential Big 12 member. The Big 12 ultimately opted not to expand at all, leaving Houston and a number of other potential candidates for the conference feeling a bit jilted in the end. Fertitta had some comment son that whole episode as well.
“I think it was a PR play to see how the NCAA and everyone else was going to react since they don’t have a championship game,” Fertitta said. “I truly don’t know what they were thinking, other than just, maybe, poor lack of leadership.”
“It was one of the great shams in college football, and college athletics, and just college period. … It was a total sham and I sit here today and I laugh at the Big 12 and their leadership.”
Well, questioning the Big 12’s leadership is nothing out of the ordinary. That’s been a question for some time now.
Houston is currently looking for a coach to replace Herman as it also prepares for the bowl season.