Tommy Tuberville was eating dinner with Texas Tech recruits and Red Raiders assistant coaches at 50-Yard Line Restaurant last week when he abruptly got up. What happened next will surely go down in recruiting lore:
“The waitress brought our food out, and we thought (Tuberville) went to the bathroom, but he never came back to dinner. Then next thing I know, the next day, he made an announcement that he’s going to Cincinnati.”
Texas Tech athletics spokesman Blayne Beal confirmed Tech coaches did take players to dinner that night, which he said is a common occurrence on visits by recruits, but was unaware of any incidents that happened at dinner.
The next morning the recruits were scheduled to take a tour of the campus, but Tuberville did not show up for it, Danzey said. That’s when offensive line coach Chris Thomsen, who was named interim head coach Monday, came back to the group and broke the news Tuberville had been named the new head coach at Cincinnati.
Tuberville got up from dinner and never returned. Coaches bailing on their teams before bowl games has been happening for years, but this is the first time (I’ve seen) a coach bail on recruits during dinner for another job.
[UPDATE: As Rapsheet notes, Tuberville is famous for saying, “they’ll have to carry me out of here in a pine box,” while he was the head coach at Ole Miss. Days later, he left for Auburn.”]