In honor of Independence Day, I thought I’d highlight a couple of football coaches who’ve recently exercised their freedom of speech.
In response to Tommy Tuberville’s recent opinion that the Big XII Conference was doomed, the Empire struck back.
The Big 12 issued the reprimand on its athletic website, saying Tuberville’s comments were a “violation of the Big 12 Conference’s Principles and Standards of Sportsmanship, prohibiting public criticism of members.”
“Tommy Tuberville’s comments were unfortunate, and contrary to the very strong feelings of unity expressed publicly and privately by the Big 12 Board of Directors and athletic directors,” Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe said in a statement. “Coach Tuberville has admitted that his comments do not reflect his true feelings of respect for the conference, its leadership, and his excitement about its future and has apologized to the conference and its members.”
Tuberville was vacationing in Alabama on Friday and could not be reached for comment. Tech athletic spokesman Blayne Beal said the Big 12 asked the school not to comment on the issue.
The Big 12 concluded its statement by saying, “This will serve as the final decision and comment on this matter by all parties.”
The conference also sent Tuberville this thoughtful gift to commemorate the occasion.
Meanwhile, in this great land of ours, there are always coaches like the Zooker who are willing to speak their mind.
The former Florida head coach was a guest on The Paul Finebaum Radio show earlier this week and when asked if the SEC was a “better conference” than the Big Ten, Zook said:
“At this time, it probably is but I think there’s teams in the Big Ten Conference just as well as there’s teams in the Southeastern Conference that can play against anybody.
The biggest thing that I’ve noticed is that maybe in the Southeastern Conference there’s a few more big guys that can run, but trust me there’s some awfully, awfully good players in the Big Ten Conference as well.”
No word yet on any official comment from Mr. Delany, who at the least you’d expect could offer some context for the Zooker’s remarks.