Tommy Tuberville and Texas Tech have a big problem. Coach Tuberville was caught on camera being physically abusive to Graduate Assistant Kevin Oliver. If Texas Tech does not immediately suspend and eventually terminate Tommy Tuberville for cause, they will have some explaining to do. Texas Tech has already set a precedent for any coach accused of abusing a student.
Make no mistake as a graduate assistant, Kevin Oliver is a student. Bill Gillispie was forced into resigning after being accused of abusing students. Mike Leach was fired for allegedly abusing a student, even though that turned out to be completely false. So how can Texas Tech possibly keep Tommy Tuberville after abusing a student assistant on national television?
The simple answer is that they really can’t unless they want to be called out as hypocrites. The university either allows faculty to physically abuse students or they don’t. Texas Tech will undoubtedly give the local media their marching orders on how to spin what happened on the Texas Tech sidelines when Coach Tuberville appeared to strike Graduate Assistant Kevin Oliver hard enough to knock off his headset.
In the coming days, Red Raider fans will hear all sorts or explanations about the heat of the moment. The talking heads on sports radio will tell everyone that the public just doesn’t know what it is like on the sidelines during a big game. None of that changes anything. The bottom line is that Coach Tuberville’s actions were unacceptable. No one even needs to explain what happened, everyone can go look at the video and decide for themselves if Coach Tuberville was right of wrong.
However, the entire incident brings up another question. If Coach Tuberville will act that way when he knows the cameras are watching, what does he do when the cameras aren’t there? Is he also abusive during practice or other team situations? In light of his actions on Saturday, those all become fair questions.