Big 12 Media Days are complete. Tuesday’s session was the second of two days for the Big 12’s coaches and teams to take their turn in Talkin’ Season. If you missed our day one roundup, click here. Scroll down for quotes from the coaches of Baylor, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Texas, West Virginia
Kansas State coach Bill Snyder said he appreciated the reasons behind offensive lineman Scott Frantz’s decision to sit down with ESPN about his sexuality.
Frantz told his teammates after the 2015 season that he is gay and said he was met with open arms from all of his teammates. Frantz is one of two openly gay players who will play at college football’s top level in 2017.
Snyder said Tuesday at Big 12 media days that he had some initial uncertainty when Frantz told his coach that he wanted to go public. But after talking to his left tackle, he understood why he felt the way he did.
“We talked about it for an extensive period of time, and what impressed me so much and allowed me to contact [ESPN reporter Holly Rowe] about it was the fact that he wanted to do it for the right reasons, number one, and it wasn’t about exposing him to the media as such or making himself a national figure,” Snyder said. “What he wanted to do was help others, number one. That was important to me.”
“Number two, he wanted the opportunity to feel free to live his life as he would like to do so, and he felt hindered prior to that being able to do so.”
“I appreciated those things because I thought they were meaningful. I thought the idea that he could help others really hit home with me at the time. So we decided to allow it to happen, and I think the response has been excellent to this point in time. So I’m proud of him. I’m proud of our players and how they handled it.”
Rhule: Any recruit considering Baylor should ask about the program’s steps
New Baylor coach Matt Rhule didn’t dodge discussion about the circumstances that led him to become Baylor’s coach following the 2016 season.
Rhule was hired to replace interim coach Jim Grobe, who coached the 2016 season after Art Briles was fired in May following the findings of the Pepper Hamilton investigation into the school’s reactions to sexual assault allegations.
Baylor kept Briles’ staff intact for the 2016 season under Grobe, but Rhule brought in his own staff members as the school says its taking actions to rectify the previous negligence regarding sexual assault claims from many female students.
Rhule said Tuesday that he’s proud to detail those steps and what the football program is doing to any recruit.
“I think any person that’s considering coming to Baylor and coming to be a part of the football program should ask, you know, tell me about what’s happened and tell me about the progress that you guys have made,” Rhule said. “Those are frank and open discussions because, to be quite honest with you, I’m proud of what we’re doing.
“Not just the education that we’re doing, because that’s so important, but just the culture that I think we’ve established to have kids that are doing the right thing in the classroom, to have kids that are doing the right thing off the field. So all I do, as we get into recruiting, I tell people, you know what, just come visit us. Come meet the kids. Come meet the guys on our team. You decide if you want your son to be a part of this culture that we have.”
Gundy jokes about the exposure his mullet has given Oklahoma State
Is Mike Gundy’s mullet one of the most valuable Oklahoma State properties?
The Cowboy coach joked Tuesday that his hairstyle has garnered the university a bunch of money in free publicity. We are inclined to agree with him.
“So I often have thought about what you just said, the time on ESPN at 10:00 with Melrose, all the different social media hits that we’ve had,” Gundy said. “We have a terrific social media and a media relations department at Oklahoma State, and they’re on the cutting edge. They’re thinking all the time. So I think that would be a good subject for marketing majors, graduate students to look into. But I’m going to say that the dollar figure is somewhere in the millions for the amount of time that we’ve had on the air for that.”
“I was very fortunate to get a new contract and should probably get an extension and a raise for that free marketing for the university.”
Gundy cut his mullet earlier this summer because it was getting too long. But as you can see from the picture below, it is still glorious.
Holgorsen: Time ‘right’ to give up play-calling duties
West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen sounds like a man at ease heading into his first season with the Mountaineers without play-calling responsibilities.
West Virginia hired former Cal and Texas A&M assistant coach Jake Spavital as its new offensive coordinator after the 2016 season. Spavital will also call the plays for the Mountaineers as Holgorsen turns his focus to other aspects of the program.
“I was able to get him — I was awarded a five-year contract. So I just kind of took a look at where we were at as a program,” Holgorsen said. “We’ve been improving over the last three, four years. I feel like the way to continue to improve is to focus on some of the other areas. You know, our recruiting is probably better than it ever has been, spending a lot more time with that. The fund-raising aspect of it, facilities, coaching and retaining coaches is a big thing.
“So I’m going to be able to do a lot more of that stuff. And just overall game management and player management and coach management on game day is something I’m going to really focus on.”
Herman reminds fans that Texas recruits aren’t used to Longhorn excellence
New Texas coach Tom Herman did a good job of tempering expectations in his first trip to Big 12 media days.
Herman made sure to reference the intense expectations that Texas fans tend to have for their Longhorns and contrasted it with how recruits may view the program.
“The one that I think is a bit different again — and I remind people that throw on some — they love to throw on their burnt orange sunglasses and have all these crazy expectations,” Herman said of some Texas fans. “Since the [recruiting] class of 2018, these 16-year-old kids that we’re recruiting — since they were 10 years old, they’ve seen two winning Texas football seasons, two; and they’ve seen four losing Texas football seasons.
“So the Texas that they know is a lot different than the Texas that people in my generation know. So it’s our job to show them what Texas is capable of, what Texas has been in the past, and what we’re planning on being again in the future.”
Herman also said his team didn’t have much depth behind quarterbacks Shane Buechele and Sam Ehlinger. Former QB Jerrod Heard, now a WR, has an emergency package of plays set up in case he’s ever needed under center again.
“There isn’t any,” Herman said of his depth behind his top two. “We have a walk-on in Josh Covey, and then we’ll have — and that’s not to slight Josh Covey. Josh is a good player and had definitely turned some eyes in spring practice — but we’ll have a package for Jerrod Heard too each week too — that, if a bomb blows up and Shane and Sam both can’t finish a game, Jerrod would probably be the guy to go finish the game, and then we’ll figure things out the next week.”
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