Tommy Tuberville: Could Sideline Incident Cost Texas Tech Coach His Job?

Alex CallosCorrespondent INovember 10, 2012

It has been nearly three years since former Texas Tech head coach Mike Leach was fired from the university for inappropriate treatment of former player Adam James.

What happened on Saturday with current head coach Tommy Tuberville certainly brought back memories for Texas Tech fans and other members of the program.

Midway through the third quarter, with Texas Tech struggling at home against a one-win Kansas team, the Red Raiders were planning to go for it on fourth down near midfield. An illegal formation penalty put that plan to bed, and what ensued was something Texas Tech fans would love to forget.

Tuberville appeared to be arguing with graduate assistant Kevin Oliver before grabbing Oliver's headset (via Yahoo! Sports) and throwing it, along with Ogletree's hat, to the ground. It looked like Tuberville got caught up in the heat of the moment, but it goes without saying that it is behavior that cannot be tolerated.

While it is certainly not as bad as striking a player, it is very close, and this incident is something that should not be overlooked by the administration or anyone associated with the football program.

The explanation that ensued after the game asked more questions than it answered. Tuberville explained that he was trying to grab Oliver to pull him off the field. He said that he missed his shirt and instead grabbed the headset and microphone.

As of right now, we really have no idea what is going to come of this incident, but it would be a good idea for the Texas Tech athletic department to act swiftly and accordingly. With the Mike Leach incident still fresh in people's minds, the school is in a very tough spot.


How it responds in the coming days will go a long way toward determining if it is serious about cleaning up the program, or if it is just going to try to sweep the whole unpleasant episode under the rug.

The Red Raiders have a few options—the most severe of which would be to fire Tuberville. It is highly unlikely that is going to happen with the success he has brought to the program.

Another option would be a suspension. The Red Raiders have two games remaining against Oklahoma State and Baylor. Suspending him for the final two games of the regular season would certainly make a statement, but that is also not likely.

The third option would be to fine Tuberville. That option is quite possible since it is a way for the Texas Tech administration to show that it is serious about addressing the issue while still minimizing the incident's damage to the football team.

The fourth and final option would be to also do absolutely nothing and brush it off like it was an accident.

After all, that is how Tuberville saw it.

Hopefully, the school administrators do not see it that way.