Gary Patterson TCU News: Horned Frogs Firing Head Coach?
Gary Patterson came under fire on Monday morning when a former defensive back accused him of using the n-word.
Niko Small, who played for the Horned Frogs between 2015 and 2018, accused Patterson of hurling a racial slur in front of players. He subsequently demanded the TCU head coach make an apology and face consequences for his misdeed.
Small’s claim has shaken TCU’s athletic department to its core. He is not some random bench warmer. Over the course of his three years with the football program, he led the team with nine pass break-ups, 83 total tackles and 56 solo stops in 2016.
Explosive allegation from a TCU linebacker, saying Gary Patterson used the N-word twice, and that the defense “refused to go to practice” this AM. https://t.co/5NXoi2Lvti
— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) August 3, 2020
It is unclear at this point what TCU will do about its 60-year-old head coach. Patterson has been with the school for two decades and is something of an institution in Fort Worth, Texas. His track record speaks for itself. He ranks only behind Kirk Ferentz of Iowa when it comes to long tenures in a head coaching capacity. Under his watch, TCU has gone 172-70.
But racism is not something that just goes away. It will be difficult for the athletic department to not at least give serious weight to the prospect of firing Patterson in light of these accusations.
Last season, the Golden Frogs finished 5-7 and failed to make a bowl game. That may soften the blow if TCU brass ultimately feels like it has to take the most extreme measure available in response to Small’s claims.
One way or another, TCU’s athletic department will conduct a thorough investigation. If the comments were in fact made in front of other players, and if someone else steps up to corroborate it, Patterson’s days with the program are likely numbered.
An update by the school on what precisely will transpire should come in the next few days.