Once the video of Wyoming coach Dave Christensen cussing out Air Force coach Troy Calhoun and taking shots at his military service gained traction on the Internet, the school had to react.
So on Monday, Wyoming suspended Christensen for one game and fined him $50,000 for his actions.
"It is important to send the right message to players for their actions," athletic director Tom Burman said, according to the Casper Star-Tribune.
Wyoming's action isn't surprising after you've seen the incident -- if you haven't seen Christensen's rant that happened after Wyoming lost to Air Force on Oct. 13 and don't mind a lot of swearing, the video is here -- but the timing is a little odd. Wyoming released a joint apology from Burman and Christensen the day after the incident, so the school knew it was bad. It's not like there weren't any eyewitnesses on the field -- someone that appears to be affiliated with Wyoming stands in between the coaches to keep them apart, players are within earshot of the tirade and the woman who leads Christensen away is identified by the Star-Tribune as his daughter. There's almost no chance school officials hadn't seen the video before Christensen coached in Wyoming's 42-14 loss on Saturday at Fresno State, considering it went viral last Friday (the video had about 103,000 views at the time the suspension was announced). Yet it took until Monday to hand down a punishment. The Mountain West didn't suspend Christensen either, offering just a reprimand last week, which made little sense once the video became public.
Here's Burman's full statement, according to the Star-Tribune:
"After a long and difficult week of consideration, I believed it was in the best interest of the university and our athletics department to take this action," Burman read from a prepared statement. "The reputation of our university and our athletics program is of the utmost importance. Over the past week, I have reviewed the contract situation with our university legal department. I have spoken numerous times with (University of Wyoming) President (Tom) Buchanan and have consulted with other individuals in college athletics whom I respect.
"The other factor that was a very important consideration of mine was the well being of the young men in our football program. I think it is important to send the right message to them in terms of taking responsibility for your actions. This has been a difficult time for those young men."
Christensen was upset because he thought Air Force faked an injury to buy time after its starting quarterback had his helmet knocked off and had to come out for a play. Christensen's profanity-filled tirade includes a couple insults towards Calhoun's military history. Calhoun was an active officer in the Air Force from 1989-95 after graduating from the Air Force Academy.
Burman said Christensen was going to be Wyoming's coach next year, but offered a cryptic response when asked if Christensen's job was in jeopardy, saying "not today."
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