On Dec. 30, 2014, at 12:34 pm, one version of a public apology was issued by Mike Richardson, the Texas A&M student coaching assistant who hit one student and punched another member of the West Virginia Mountaineers’ football team during yesterday’s Auto Zone Liberty Bowl. Matt Lombardi’s Dec. 30, 2014 post on College Spun, shows what’s identified as Richardson’s apology.
There are several reasons with the attempted apology is insufficient. First, here’s the text:
In the heat of the moment of yesterday’s game I did lose myself with everything going on. To the players involved I do apologies for the ignorance I displayed and there was nothing personal with the actions I made on that sideline yesterday. To the school, fans, and friends of WVU my actions were uncalled for and it was very disrespectful to y’all and the game I love so dearly. And for every Aggie I let down I know that is not how an Aggie acts no if ands or buts about it.”
Although some people might be satisfied with this singular communication from Richardson, there’s a lot lacking about the entire situation.
- The apology, such as it is, came via Twitter, rather than as a statement he wrote and signed and distributed through Texas A&M Athletics media so that it would reach all of the media in general, and the full group of West Virginia Mountaineers.
- Mr. Richardson is likely not a Twitter friend or follower of any of the WVU players so whether or not he “tagged” one WVU player, it’s not the same thing as an apology shared sincerely with each member of the team, two of whose members were shoved and hit during the game by the student coaching assistant.
- The apology, if one could call it that, does not specifically spell out what he did, nor does it name the two WVU players whom he shoved and hit. One player, Darryl Worrly is tagged in his tweet, but does Richardson actually know the name of the other WVU player he hit?
- The twitter-apology still lacks substance and conviction, never mind the grammar, spelling and punctuation that make it, sadly, even more embarrassing.
Regarding any formal statement made by Texas A&M, and as to whether or not Mr. Richardson remains a member of the Texas A&M coaching staff, there’s now more breaking news. Although no formal statement has been posted on the Aggie Athletics formal press release sit, there is, however, a report tweeted in just the past hour.
At 2:20 pm on Dec. 30, journalist Brent Zwerneman tweeted that Aggies Head Coach “Kevin Sumlin has “permanently dismissed” Mike Richardson from the A&M program.” Zwerneman also shared (via Twitter) a statement made by Kevin Sumlin regarding Mike Richardson. The statement properly names the WVU players that Richardson “initiated physical contact” with (Darryl Worley and Andrew Buie), and apologizes to them specifically, and to “Coach Holgorsen, and the West Virginia family” as well as to the Aggie faithful, as they deserve a program to be proud of, not only in our play, but in the integrity and respect we show on and off the field.”
That is a much better statement, in the opinions of Aggie fans, and Coach Sumlin did what Aggies expected that he would, in issuing a proper apology and in dismissing Richardson from the program. Given everything that the Texas Aggie football program has been through all season long, and all the havoc wreaked by the players in their off-field actions that have made headlines and police reports, it seems that even in a bowl game, some days you just can’t catch a break.
At least the Aggie men’s basketball team plays at Reed tonight and the women’s basketball team returns to Reed Arena tomorrow afternoon. There’s more than one reason why the Aggies love to say “Wait til next year” it would seem. Well done, Kevin Sumlin and good luck in 2015.