By Betsy Blaney/The Associated Press
LUBBOCK, Texas — A video of Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville appearing to slap a graduate assistant went viral on the Internet even as the No. 25 Red Raiders were still playing Kansas on Saturday.
The third-year coach downplayed what appeared to be an outburst on the sideline in the third quarter of Texas Tech’s 41-34 victory in double overtime.
Tuberville, who was formerly a coach at Ole Miss, said he didn’t mean to hit graduate assistant Kevin Oliver.
“It wasn’t anything to it,” he said. “It was just one of those deals where I missed his shoulder and ended up grabbing the microphone on his head set and pulled it off.”
Footage shows Tuberville facing Oliver, who oversees special teams. The coach appears to use his left hand to strike Oliver on the right side of his face. Oliver’s headset and ball cap fall off. It happened when the Red Raiders seemed to have difficulty getting the right personnel on the field.