When a University of Texas football player insulted rival Baylor University as having a "trash" team last Saturday night, one would have thought Coach Art Briles would have heard about it. But when asked about the negative comments by the news media during a teleconference, Briles said today he was not even aware of them.
It was shortly after the Orange-White spring game in Austin that UT linebacker Steve Edmond bluntly told reporters, "I really don't like Baylor. I still think they're trash."
"I'm not aware of anything he had to say," Briles said in his Big 12 teleconference Tuesday. "Hard for me to comment on something I'm not aware of."
Of course one of the reporters wasn't going to let Briles off the hook that easily. The journalist informed the Baylor coach that Edmond had called the Bears "trash."
While he may have been thinking a whole lot more, the Big 12 Coach of the Year said, "Well that's all right. Shoot, everybody's entitled to their opinion."
Edmond was not reprimanded by Texas for his outburst, but his new head coach Charlie Strong reportedly was disappointed. Strong, who had an outstanding stint while coaching at the University of Louisville, said only that, "You know how kids are, they get so emotional and wrapped up in the game."
Baylor defeated Texas 30-10 last December in Waco to claim its first Big 12 Conference football championship in history. Edmond was critical of the way Baylor players celebrated after their historic victory at Floyd Casey Stadium.
Briles said, "Our cause for celebration after that game was for two reasons: winning the Big 12 and closing down Floyd Casey. I'm not going to spend a lot of time being protective of somebody's comments about our program when they don't understand it."
Edmond will have the opportunity to back up his aggressive words with actions on Oct. 4 when Baylor treks down I-35 to tee it up with the Longhorns in Austin.
The effect of comments like the ones Edmond made are impossible to predict. It won't be a shock to anyone if his quotes appear on the Baylor locker room bulletin board sometime before the Texas game as inspirational material. Maybe Briles should send the Texas linebacker a thank you note.
One thing is certain. Baylor blockers will be keeping their eyes open for the outspoken linebacker. And Edmond will have the opportunity to prove just how good he is when he confronts those blockers on the field.
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