TCU’s Gary Patterson rips SMU, alleges flag-planting incident was planned


TCU coach Gary Patterson criticized SMU for its role in the scuffle that followed Saturday’s game in Fort Worth, and for using one of Patterson’s country songs to mock his team.

Patterson on Tuesday said SMU orchestrated an attempt to plant its flag at midfield at Amon G. Carter Stadium if the Mustangs won. After SMU’s 42-34 victory, several players tried to plant the flag at midfield. TCU players responded to the attempt, and Horned Frogs assistant coach Jerry Kill suffered a concussion after being knocked down twice on the field. Kill, the former Minnesota and Northern Illinois head coach, suffers from epilepsy but is OK and has returned to work, Patterson said.

Kill, 60, was initially knocked down by a TCU player during the fracas. Patterson said he wasn’t sure if a TCU or SMU player knocked him down the second time.

“You don’t think it was planned?” Patterson said of the flag-planting attempt, according to the Fort Worth Star Telegram. “They had a media person from their office that was out filming the flag getting set in the middle of the field. … A guy [Kill] got hurt. He got pushed down by our kids once on film in the middle of it and he got hit because I’ve got the proof to show it.

“At the end of the day, whether it’s SMU, TCU, I can’t substantiate it. But at the end of the day it wouldn’t have happened if we didn’t have the flag situation.”

SMU athletic director Rick Hart, in a statement Tuesday, said the school had reviewed all video of the incident and found “no evidence of anyone associated with SMU” striking Kill on the field after the game. Hart said that he had spoken with TCU athletic director Jeremiah Donati, who agreed that there was no evidence and told Hart that Patterson’s initial claims would be “walked back.”

“While Coach Patterson acknowledged that his postgame claim cannot be substantiated, he accused our program, multiple times, of planning to plant our flag on the field following our win. This is a complete fabrication,” Hart said in his statement. “I can state unequivocally that there was no such plan.”

Hart said SMU had multiple members of its “creative staff” on the field after the game to collect footage for the team’s ESPN+ series “The Hilltop.” Dykes apologized to SMU for the incident after the game, saying he would discuss the incident with players and that “there’s nobody in the world that has more respect for TCU or for [coach] Gary Patterson … than I do.”

Dykes spent the 2017 season as an offensive analyst for Patterson at TCU before landing the SMU head-coaching job.

“This activity was spontaneous and borne out of emotion,” Hart said in his statement. “To suggest otherwise is irresponsible and offensive. I will not allow Coach Dykes, our program or our student-athletes to be unjustifiably attacked. Sonny is a tremendous leader and a man of great integrity.”

Patterson also took issue with SMU using a song he recorded after the COVID-19 pandemic struck, entitled “Take a step back,” to chide TCU following the game. SMU’s Twitter account tweeted the video for Patterson’s song, but superimposed Mustangs coach Sonny Dykes’ face over Patterson’s, and then used included shots of SMU fans and players. The tweet read “THEY TOOK A STEP BACK.”

Patterson has written songs for many years and released two tracks on streaming services last year, including “Take a step back.”

“They hate you ’cause they take a song that you wrote about COVID and getting back to families and they make fun of you,” Patterson said Tuesday. “If I had the time, I’d go out and get all the copyright laws and I’d get after their ass, but I’ve got Longhorns on my mind right now. Not them. I’m glad they keep substantiating our existence of where we’re at and how we do things.”

TCU hosts Texas this week, and SMU hosts South Florida.





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