Big 12 reviewingTexas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville over sideline outburst
Head coach Tommy Tuberville of the Texas Tech Red Raiders watches from the sidelines during the game against the Kansas State Wildcats at Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium on October 27, 2012 in Manhattan, Kansas. / Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty
The Big 12 is monitoring the aftermath of Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville ripping off the headset of a graduate assistant on the sideline during Saturday's win over Kansas, reports CBSSports.com's Jeremy Fowler.
"We're engaged," commissioner Bob Bowlsby said when asked if the league is independently investigating the incident.
A video of Tuberville appearing to slap graduate assistant Kevin Oliver went viral on the Internet even as the No. 25 Red Raiders were still playing Kansas on Saturday.
The third-year coach initially downplayed what appeared to be an outburst on the sideline in the third quarter of Texas Tech's 41-34 victory in double overtime. Tuberville said he didn't mean to hit Oliver.
"It wasn't anything to it," he said. "It was just one of those deals where I missed his shoulder and ended up grabbing the microphone on his head set and pulled it off."
However, when addressing local media Monday in Texas, Tuberville apologized, according to the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.
"After watching the film when I got home, it was obvious what a lot of people were upset about, and it upset me, too," Tuberville said during his weekly press conference. "You don't do things like that. It was obvious I reached up and grabbed his headset and pulled on it. In the heat of the battle, some things happen sometimes that you'd like to take back," he said.
Footage shows Tuberville facing Oliver, who oversees special teams. The coach appears to use his left hand to strike Oliver on the right side of his face. Oliver's headset and ball cap fall off. It happened when the Red Raiders seemed to have difficulty getting the right personnel on the field.
Meanwhile, the former head football coach of Texas Tech is under investigation after a former player accused him of physical and mental abuse.
On Sunday, Washington State President Elson Floyd has called for a review of claims of abusive behavior by coach Mike Leach and his staff toward players by wide receiver Marquess Wilson.
The decision by Floyd comes one day after Wilson quit the team. Wilson says he left the program because of the actions of Leach and his staff. Wilson says the new staff has "preferred to belittle, intimidate and humiliate us," and that included physical abuse.
Floyd said in a statement Sunday morning that after consultation with Athletic Director Bill Moos, he asked the athletic department to report findings and conclusions as soon as possible. Floyd says reviews from both the Pac-12 and the athletic department "should get to the bottom of the matter."
Leach is in his first season as Washington State coach after spending two years out of coaching. He spent 10 seasons as Texas Tech coach before being fired in 2009 after claims of mistreatment from a player.
After Washington State's 44-36 loss to UCLA on Saturday night, Leach declined to address Wilson's claims.
"I'm not going to talk about anyone that isn't here," he said
In a statement issued Saturday night, Moos said it was unfortunate that Wilson decided to quit.
"I believe I join many Cougars in wishing Marquess well in his future endeavors," Moos said. "We have procedures in place that were developed to monitor student-athlete welfare in all of our sports programs. "We will continue to follow those procedures and modify them if needed."
Wilson, a junior, set school single-season records last year with 82 receptions and 1,388 yards receiving. This season, he leads the team with 52 receptions for 813 yards.
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