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Tommy Tuberville incident has many asking where the adult supervision is at Texas Tech

JENNI CARLSON COMMENTARY — Just a week after smacking the headset off an assistant coach, Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville will be roaming the visitors' sideline at Oklahoma State. After watching video of the incident, and hearing Tuberville's excuse, you have to wonder if he should be.
by Jenni Carlson Published: November 16, 2012

Tommy Tuberville will be strolling the sidelines Saturday in Stillwater.

Hold onto your headsets.

Last week during a struggle of a game against lowly Kansas, the Texas Tech coach slapped the headset right off one of his graduate assistants. Then, he gave the lamest excuse of all time.

“He was on the field, and I reached to grab him and pull him off,” Tuberville said after the game. “When I pulled, I missed his shirt and I grabbed his (headset) and his microphone ripped off his head.”

If you're one of the million-plus people who've watched the incident on YouTube, you know that ain't true.

Not only has Tuberville avoided suspension but also any sort of public reprimand from his employer. He will coach his team at Oklahoma State this Saturday afternoon as though nothing happened last Saturday afternoon.

Where's the adult supervision at Texas Tech?

I'm not suggesting that the school should fire Tuberville. The coach has a pristine record of good behavior in three-plus decades of coaching. But that doesn't exempt him from punishment.

As soon as he swiped anywhere in the vicinity of his grad assistant's face, a line was crossed.

And if he does that on the sidelines with 55,000 sitting in the stands and millions more watching on TV, you have to wonder what he might be doing when no one is watching.

The Big 12 issued a reprimand.

Texas Tech's response?


This is the same school that has had two high-profile scandals involving coaches and their treatment of others. A few years ago, Mike Leach was accused of having injured player Adam James locked in a shed; Leach was fired. Then earlier this year, Billy Gillispie came under fire when several basketball players said his hard-nosed style bordered on abuse; Gillispie, whom the school reprimanded for violating practice-time limits, has since resigned for health reasons.

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by Jenni Carlson
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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