Jimbo Fisher was frustrated with junior linebacker Tyrel Dodson during Texas A&M’s victory over Arkansas. He channeled that frustration physically, grabbing Dodson’s facemask and yanking it around.
Why? Here’s Fisher explaining his motivation:
“(He was) getting into an interaction right there. (Doson and an Arkansas player were) getting in an argument, in fight. I don’t need that guy out there pushing and shoving, getting in a fight in a game. Lose one of our best players on defense and our team leader, that’s great. Learn to put your pride away, and go on the sideline. There ain’t no sense to go out there, and push and shove and do dumb things out there when you’re locked in on a game. He plays great. He’s a heck of a player for us. …
“In a game like that, to lose (No.) 25, I was just trying to make a point. I don’t want you out there fighting. Make the play, shut your mouth, go home. And he is a great player. Emotions get in football. It’s an emotional game. But you’ve got to play intelligently. You’ve gotta play to win. Dodson’s one of our team leaders. That’s a guy we count on for everything.”
Fisher’s actions will surely generate healthy debate. This type of instruction is received differently in 2018 than it was even a decade ago. It is a helpful thought exercise, though, to imagine how an incident like this would be frame if it were the player initiating physical contact.