Some coaches rule with an iron fist, but Texas Tech’s Tommy Tuberville preferred to deal with his assistant with an open hand.
In the third quarter of the Red Raiders game against Kansas, the team had an opportunity to convert on 4th-and-2 near midfield, but the attempt was immediately thwarted when the offense lined up in an illegal formation and was given a five-yard penalty.
Texas Tech eventually had to punt the ball away, and Tuberville placed responsibility for the error firmly on the shoulders of one of his assistants. This led to an altercation in which Tuberville slapped his colleague’s hat and headset to the ground.
Emotions run high on the sideline during games, and tempers often flare. Tuberville is a well-respected figure in college football, and he will likely take the proper course of action to apologize for his behavior.
However, Texas Tech will not be pleased with this incident given its history with high-profile coaches.
Tuberville’s predecessor, Mike Leach, was fired for improper treatment of one of his players and former head basketball coach Billy Gillispie recently resigned in the midst of controversy over how he dealt with his players.
While Tuberville’s actions were not against a student and certainly were not as heinous as either of these coach’s actions, he represents the same school as these two men. A pattern of rash behavior is emerging from Red Raiders coaches.
How Tuberville deals with this incident both internally and with the media will be important for him, his program and the university he represents.