During the weekly Thursday media availability, Texas Longhorns head coach Steve Sarkisian was asked to respond to the video leaked on Thursday of defensive line coach Bo Davis going on an expletive-filled rant following last Saturday’s 30-7 loss to the Iowa State Cyclones in Ames.
Like the handful of former players, current players, and recruits who have spoken out publicly in support of Davis, Sarkisian did as well.
“We really believe in the staff that we hired and what we came here to do and I think you could you could feel the passion and the want to get it done,” said Sarkisian. “And I think that Bo exemplifies that, like a lot of our coaches do and when you have people like that on your team and as leaders, ultimately that permeates and that spreads throughout your staff and your roster, in your entire building. So that part was encouraging to me that we have men and on our staff that stand for what we believe in.”
If a player taking that video and ultimately allowing it to leak out to the public was a sign of how much culture building still needs to take place in the Texas program under Sarkisian, the head coach addressed that subject head on.
“Clearly, we’re here to to build a culture that we want — and that’s not to say the previous culture wasn’t good or was good — it’s just the culture that we’re looking for,” said Sarkisian. “And to stand our ground on what’s acceptable and what’s not. I think that was a real positive, like anything, when you’re in the midst of of creating your culture, you’re gonna have people that buy into what you want to do.”
If an occasion requiring such a diatribe arises again during Sarkisian’s tenure, one next step in creating that culture is building a team lead by the players themselves.
“Next time — hopefully we don’t have a next time that a video gets leaked — but if it did, I would love for a player to be able to step up and to do that and I think we have a lot of guys more than capable to do that, but maybe they need some living examples of how to do it.”
Likewise, Sarkisian also believes that much of the team is bought into the culture the head coach and his staff are attempting to build on the Forty Acres, even while acknowledging the optics of a player recording and then leaking the video.
“We have plenty of young men on our team that are buying in and have continued to buy in and that are doing it the way that we want it done and, clearly, we have some that don’t,” said Sarkisian. “It’s unfortunate that a young man decided to do that. Young people, like all of us, make mistakes. That was a mistake that we’ll handle internally. But it’s unfortunate because the the narrative came out that that’s how our entire team feels, and our entire team would do that, and that’s clearly not the case.”
The name of the player in question remains private, as well as the internal discipline decided upon by Sarkisian with the help of the team’s leadership council. In all likelihood, the player will not be with the team by the time offseason strength and conditioning starts in January, along with anyone else who isn’t fully bought in.
“What we’re doing here is not for everybody and there’s gonna be people that it that doesn’t work for them and we wish them the best of luck if that’s what they decide to do,” said Sarkisian.
“Ultimately, the people that we have in our locker room are going to be ones that are committed to the cause that we’re on, whether that’s the culture, the discipline, that commitment that’s needed to be special.”