Tommy Tuberville dined, and then he dashed all the way to Cincinnati.
The story goes, according to WreckEm247.com, that Tuberville was out for dinner with some recruits and assistant coaches, when he got up from the table.
We’ll let Devonte Danzey, an offensive lineman from Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College, take it from there.
“The waitress brought our food out, and we thought (Tuberville) went to the bathroom, but he never came back to dinner,” Danzey told 247Sports.com. “Then next thing I know, the next day, he made an announcement that he’s going to Cincinnati.”
That day was Saturday. Cincinnati athletic director Whit Babcock said he had tried to contact Texas Tech twice that morning but his messages were unreturned.
Ultimately, the veracity of this story is of little consequence. It doesn’t really matter in any tangible way if Tuberville got up and left because he knew he wasn’t going to be the Texas Tech coach anymore. It’s not like the Red Raiders would get to reclaim him. It’s not like Cincinnati would suffer some kind of penalty.
But it is another episode in the saga of Tuberville’s career. Mississippi fans have not forgotten that in 1998, he said, “They’ll have to carry me out of here in a pine box,” one week before he left, very much alive, for Auburn.
Before catching on at Texas Tech, an out-of-work Tuberville launched an open campaign to be hired at Kansas, which ended up hiring Turner Gill.
And it’s another episode for Texas Tech, too. It’s not just that the Red Raiders lost a reasonably successful football coach — Tuberville is 130-77 in his career, and was 20-17 at Texas Tech — they lost him to a school in a Big East conference that resembles Conference USA more and more by the day.
This, in the same year it parted ways with basketball coach Billy Gillispie, who was accused of abusing players, and just three years after former football coach Mike Leach was accused of the same. On top of that, Leach sued the school for breach of contract, although the suit was thrown out.
So Texas Tech has another little mess on its hands. This one will be more easily ignored, but it does raise the question, What on earth is going on in Lubbock, Texas?
Danzey, of course, cannot answer that. Fittingly, he the one looking for answers last weekend. He wanted to know how long Tuberville planned on staying in Lubbock.
“I asked Coach (Charlie) Weis at KU and Coach (Dana) Holgorsen at West Virginia (the same question), just so I know my relationship with them,” Danzey told WreckEm247. “(Tuberville) was just telling me he coached at Miami and Auburn, he coached 10 years and recruited Ray Lewis and kind of blew the question off. I didn’t even realize.”