Tag Archives: WT football

West Texas A&M has explaining to do

I’ll leave it to folks who are more in the know on West Texas A&M University athletics issues, people who are adept at parsing language or looking for things said or not said.

Jon Mark Beilue, writing for the Amarillo Globe-News, writes that he smells a rat in the sudden resignation/retirement of head WT men’s basketball coach Rick Cooper.


My pal Beilue has been around more WT locker rooms than most individuals. He knows the lay of the land at the Canyon campus.

But from my vantage point here in the peanut gallery, I have to concur that something’s just not right with the WT athletic program. This year has produced a couple of stunners.

First came the firing of head football coach Don Carthel, just two weeks before the start of what has turned out to be a successful season. The Buffaloes are still in the Division II playoff hunt for the national title. Carthel was canned for an NCAA ethics violation.

Now comes Cooper’s “retirement.” Beilue believes Cooper just walked away because he’d “had enough.”

Of what? Or of whom?

The common denominator in both coaches’ departure is WT athletic director Michael McBroom. Is he the reason for Cooper’s decision to quit barely a quarter of the way into this basketball season?

About four years ago, WT made a big deal out of its desire to create a first-class athletic environment. Its strategy was to become a magnet for blue-chip athletes who could come here to participate in revenue-producing sports — such as football and basketball. They would bring fans to the games, generating revenue for the school, enabling WT to build better facilities. It all sort of feeds on itself and that was WT President Pat O’Brien’s stated mission.

Then — poof! — the two most successful coaches in the school’s history are gone. That is no way to build the kind of athletic program a university envisions.

Something smells at West Texas A&M University. Are you paying attention, Texas A&M University System Board of Regents?

It’s about pressuring others to lie at WT

West Texas A&M University President Pat O’Brien has let it be known what brought about the sudden firing of the most successful football coach in the school’s history.

Former Buffaloes Coach Don Carthel “pressured” a couple of student-athletes to lie about when they reimbursed the coach for tickets to a big-league baseball game this past summer.

Here’s what O’Brien said on a Facebook post in the past few hours:

“The issue is not the purchase of the tickets but the lying associated with the purchase. Please refer to NCAA Article 10.1. The major issue is not that Don lied but he pressured two students to lie. We are not in the business of teaching students to lie.”

Carthel issued a statement this week in which he told how he took a couple of his players to see a Texas Rangers game in Arlington while visiting the area for a Lone Star Conference “Media Day” event. The athletes repaid Carthel for the tickets after attending the game, but the coach told the WT brass the kids repaid him beforehand. I guess he asked the kids to back his story up if the brass questioned them about Carthel’s version of events.

They did and the coach is gone.

End of story, right?

Probably not. There’s got to be more “there” there. Still waiting for a full accounting of cost Carthel his job. My hope now — for the sake of the team that’s about to start its 2013 season — that it all comes out in short order.

So … this is a firing offense at WT?

I’ve read this statement three times already and I think I understand what happened to West Texas A&M University football coach Don Carthel.

He took two athletes to a Texas Rangers baseball game in Dallas, asked them to reimburse him for their tickets to the game after the event to avoid getting slapped by the NCAA, and then told WT Athletic Director Michael McBroom that he was reimbursed before the event. Thus, he fibbed to his boss about when he was repaid for the expense, but he did so in good faith, thinking that the AD would want him to be on the up-and-up.


And for that he got fired?

This is going to take a bit of time to process.

Carthel talks in his statement about his testy relationship with the WT athletic brass, including McBroom. I’m left to wonder now if the athletic director was looking for a reason to can the coach.

Technically, he might have found it with the fib about the reimbursement. I’m having trouble getting how that constitutes a “blatant” disregard for ethics rules and regulations.

I’ll need more time to think this one over.

WT needs to come clean … quickly

Well, that was a shock. West Texas A&M University has fired head football coach Don Carthel, who rebuilt a program that was in the crapper.

As of this moment, I’m unaware of the reason for firing Carthel, the winningest coach in WT history. Athletic Director Michael McBroom has issued some kind of milquetoast statement thanking Carthel for building a program and returning it to national notoriety.

But Carthel, a native of Friona, is gone. An assistant coach will take over on an interim basis when the season starts in just a few days.

The timing of this dismissal is amazing. So is the absence of any stated reason.

WT, being a public university, operates under the state’s personnel exemption, meaning that the school can keep the reason a secret if it so chooses.

My recommendation is for WT to spill the beans immediately. The public needs to know what happened at WT for Carthel to fall out of favor. Absent any truth-telling from the WT brass, the rumor is bound to take off like a skyrocket — and there’s no telling how many reputations may be damaged unjustly.

Talk to us, WT.