College Basketball
Texas coach Rodney Terry says UCF players signaling 'Horns Down' after win is 'classless'
College Basketball

Texas coach Rodney Terry says UCF players signaling 'Horns Down' after win is 'classless'

Updated Jan. 18, 2024 11:15 p.m. ET

UCF's comeback upset over Texas in Austin on Wednesday — the Knights' first men's basketball road win in Big 12 conference play — was cause for celebration. But Texas head coach Rodney Terry took issue with UCF players when that celebration started to include "Horns Down."

Terry confronted several UCF players in the handshake line after the Longhorns' 77-71 loss Wednesday, telling the players that the gesture was "classless."

He later expanded upon his opinion in his postgame press conference.

"I'm a big believer in, you win the right way and you lose the right way," Terry said. "You carry yourself the right way. You don't get to the handshake line, and prior to the handshake line, you have about six or seven guys putting the ‘Horns Down.' We don't do that. Because when you do those kinds of things, it looks very classless, and it also looks like you were just hoping to win. We never go into games trying to hope to win, we go into games expecting to win. So we don't act like that."

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"Horns Down," the inverted version of Texas' famed "Horns Up" gesture, has long been used to troll Longhorns athletes across many different sports — with controversy often not far behind. 

In football, the Big 12 took up the practice of flagging the gesture for unsportsmanlike conduct when Texas opponents would flash it after touchdowns. The SEC, which Texas will move to after the 2023-24 academic year, created buzz when conference officials said last summer the gesture would not be flagged if not flashed directly in a Texas team member's face.

Then-Alabama football coach Nick Saban also famously became outraged when, immediately after a close road win over Texas in 2022, several Crimson Tide players flashed the gesture as Saban went out to meet Longhorns coach Steve Sarkisian for their postgame handshake.

The gesture is most commonly associated with Texas' archrival, Oklahoma, whose players and fans use it constantly. When thanking Oklahoma fans in his declaration for the 2024 NFL Draft, Caleb Williams, who spent his freshman year with the Sooners before transferring to USC, likened Oklahoma's use of the "Horns Down" gesture to the Trojans' V-shaped "Fight On" hand signal.

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