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Dr. Saturday

Tommy Tuberville says he was just trying to get assistant off the field when he yanked off his headset

Frank Schwab
Dr. Saturday

Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville probably knew by the time he got to his post-game press conference that the video of his incident with graduate assistant coach Kevin Oliver, when he was visibly angry and yanked Oliver's headset off and knocked his hat off too, was getting a lot of attention around the country.

And Tuberville had an explanation ready.

"He was on the field, I reached to grab him and pull him off, and when I pulled I missed his shirt and I grabbed his facemask — or his microphone — and it just ripped off his head," Tuberville said. "I was trying to get him off the field."

Does that look like what happened in the video?

Tuberville was upset that Texas Tech had an extra player on the field and took a penalty on fourth and 2. He made a quick motion at Oliver, either yanking his headset off with his left hand or hitting it off his head.

Don Williams of the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal tweeted out most of Tuberville's responses when he was asked what happened. Williams noted the extra player on the field was a special-teams player and Oliver works with the special teams, which is why Tuberville might have been angry at Oliver. Or, as Tuberville said, his anger wasn't directed at Oliver at all.

"Well, not at him," Tuberville said, according to Williams. "We couldn't get the right personnel. We got two back-to-back penalties. That's what I was hot about."

Again, see if that matches up with the video. Judge for yourself.

This is an incident that will get a lot of attention because it's never acceptable for a coach to get physical with an assistant. Tuberville's explanation and what everyone can see on the video will be analyzed plenty of times over the next few days.

"He's out on the field, and we're trying to get him off," Tuberville said, according to Williams. "I missed his shoulder, and grabbed his ... It wasn't anything to it."

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