Tommy Tuberville Denies the Report That He Left Recruits In the Middle of Dinner to Take the Cincinnati Job

Tommy Tuberville walked into a tough situation at Texas Tech and Tuberville’s time in Lubbock didn’t go as well as he was hoping when he took the job. It was tough enough to try to replace the ultra popular Mike Leach as Head Coach and then Tuberville never finished higher than fifth in the Big 12. Now after three disappointing years, Tuberville has accepted a job at the University of Cincinnati. It was a bit of a surprising move given that he made the decision to go from the Big 12 to the Big East which looks to be falling apart but it was clear that Tuberville and Texas Tech needed to part ways. Tommy Tuberville joined The Dan Patrick Show to talk about what he makes of the story from a recruit that said Tommy Tuberville took a phone call from Cincinnati at a dinner with recruits and never came back to dinner, whether he said goodbye to those potential recruits he had dinner with last Friday night, if he talked to Cincinnati on Friday night, whether he thinks Cincinnati is that much better of a job than Texas Tech and on the lack of loyalty in college football.

What he makes of the story from a recruit that said Tommy Tuberville took a phone call from Cincinnati at a dinner with recruits and never came back to the dinner:

“I kind of heard that and I don’t throw anybody underneath the bus but I wasn’t even involved in this job until the next day or any job. What we do on Friday nights is we go to a steakhouse and I sit with each player and go visit with them before the food comes out and if there’s any parents, I think we had six or seven recruits there, we sat down and we ate and their hosts are there with them. Everybody is finished eating, getting ready to get up and move out and I did the same thing. I don’t understand the significance. I’ve done that everywhere I have been. Sooner or later you have to get up and leave. You can’t sit there at the dinner table all night long. I don’t want to throw anybody underneath the bus but that’s exactly what happened.”

Whether he said goodbye to potential recruits on Friday night:

“I didn’t say bye to them. I just walked out because they were going to be there for the next two days. The meals and the get togethers at night are about coaches, it’s about the players and their hosts. I deal more with the parents at the meals normally and we only had one parent there. That’s all about the host sitting down with them, eating with them, talking about the school, talking about the program and there wasn’t anything to that. Again I was there at the office the next morning and of course I got a call and we started talking but there wasn’t anything that night. Just, that’s what I do every week and that’s what I will do here. Going to have recruits come here this Friday night and the host will come, I will go out and shake their hand and once dinner is about over, the host will take them out and coaches go home. That happens at every college across the country. (Host: I’m just trying to understand why the recruits would say this that if the conversation was they’re asking you about your future at Texas Tech.) No. Nobody asked me. Nobody knew anything. Heck I didn’t know anything. There was none whatsoever talk about that. None. It wasn’t even on the table.”

If he talked to Cincinnati on Friday night:

“No. (Host: Saturday morning is the first time you talked to Cincinnati?) Saturday morning. Yes sir. Saturday morning. (Host: And then you took the job that night?) That night. You know I had no idea. I wasn’t looking for jobs. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn’t. Heck I don’t think the coach knew he was leaving until I don’t know what day it was, I think it was Friday morning or something and they have to get their ducks in a row as to who they’re looking at. My first contact with Cincinnati was Saturday morning.”

Whether he thinks Cincinnati is that much better than Texas Tech:

“They’re all about the same. It’s about what you make out of it. They’ve obviously won four Big East Championships here in the last few years so they know how to win games and I didn’t know much about Cincinnati, I just knew the Athletic Director, watched film on them or watched them on TV some and it’s what you make out of it, but I’m excited about being here. I love Texas Tech. It was a great place but you have to figure out what fits you and after I had gotten there the new Athletic Director came in and he’s a great guy, Kirby Holcutt, and as I told Kirby when we talked, it’s probably best that he get a guy who he knows and that he is comfortable with. We were comfortable and there wasn’t any problem whatsoever, it’s just sometimes you have to get a feeling of do you go or do you stay? That happens every year, at a lot of places.”

On the lack of loyalty in college football:

“There’s always situations that people on the outside don’t see. You have to understand that too, you have to understand the situation of all the coaches, all the players and if you could probably sit down and look at Bret Bielema’s situation, my situation or Mike Gundy’s situation, there’s always pluses and minuses. I had a great time at Texas Tech, we had some good kids, our guys recruited hard, the kids played hard and there’s nothing you can say. It’s just, it’s life. In every business people change jobs every once in a while. I understand you’re saying it’s about kids and all that but it’s no different when you’re working with people. There’s people that you work with and there’s CEO’s that leave. There’s sportscasters that leave, there’s people that make decisions not just based on them and their families but about their job.”

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