Fay: I take it back. Don't fire Tuberville

Posted at 11:33 AM, Nov 07, 2016
  • CINCINNATI -- I, like University of Cincinnati coach Tommy Tuberville, may have overreacted.

Tuberville’s outburst to a fan Saturday was inexcusable. You can’t insult the paying customers no matter how rude. And what the guy was yelling was mild compared to what you hear at sporting events all the time.

I wrote yesterday that Tuberville yelling “go to hell! Get a job!” was a firing offense. I’ve got a case of writer’s remorse today.

For the first time in my career, my wife said, “I can’t believe you wrote that.” She was surprised because I’ve never been the guy who wants to fire a coach at the first sign of trouble.

If the loss to BYU was the Bearcats’ first of the year, there’s no way Tuberville would be fired for what he said to the fan. So, in retrospect, I’d say you can’t fire Tuberville for the outburst if you were going to bring him back. I’m guessing Tuberville’s future is up in the air, but I don’t think the outburst will be the deciding factor.

Tuberville apologized via Twitter Sunday.

"I don't like losing any more than our fans, donors, players and supporters. Emotions can get the best of us. I had a regrettable outburst at a moment of great frustration. I apologize for that and we will fix it. We are committed to get this thing right. We are already back at work to make this football team better. Our season is not over and we are going to keep working hard.”

Athletic Director Mike Bohn absolved Tuberville, also via Twitter:

"Coach Tuberville was put in a no-win situation in front of his team last night, which resulted in an out of character response from him. He expressed frustrations from an emotional game. Our team, led by our seniors, is fully engaged with coach and his staff to fight to the finish."

I disagree with the no-win situation part. You’ve got to keep your emotion in check when you’re the head coach.

Tuberville’s future at UC will be determined by wins or loses. This has been a rough year. The Bearcats are probably going to miss a bowl game for the first time since 2010.

I think everyone associated with the program expected more. The Bearcats were good enough to hang in there with Houston when the Cougars were rated in the top 10.

Now, the bottom has fallen out on the season. Tuberville is responsible for that. He’s also responsible for the outburst. But, in retrospect, I wouldn’t fire him for it.