TCU football players boycott practice after coach allegedly repeats slur said by player

Texas Christian head coach Gary Patterson prepares to lead his team onto the field against Stanford in the Valero Alamo Bowl at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, on December 28, 2017. (Rodger Mallison/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS)
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By Drew Davison Fort Worth Star-Telegram (TNS)

TCU head football coach Gary Patterson allegedly told a player to stop using the N-word in team meetings and, in doing so during a testy exchange at practice on Sunday, allegedly repeated the racial slur himself.

Linebacker Dylan Jordan described his version of the incident in a lengthy social media post Monday, saying Patterson’s use of the N-word prompted a number of players to boycott Monday’s practice.

Jordan alleges that during Sunday’s practice Patterson called him “a f ——— brat. I’ll send you back to Pitt,” referring to Jordan’s hometown of Pittsburg, Kansas.

Jordan replied: “For what? I ain’t did nothing.”

To which Patterson allegedly said: “You’ve been saying (N-word) in the meeting room.” Jordan told teammates Patterson used the actual word.

Patterson and TCU have yet to respond to a request for comment.

Jordan said multiple players spoke with the coach about the incident before Monday’s practice and, once he confirmed Patterson repeated the slur as part of the discussion, several players refused to attend practice.

When Patterson returned to the locker room on Monday, he allegedly told players he “wasn’t calling him (Jordan) a (N-word).” But in multiple social media posts, players said Patterson repeated the actual word in the context of saying that it should not be uttered.

“This behavior is not OK now or ever,” Jordan said. “There needs to be repercussions to these actions.”

Other players defended Patterson, saying the incident is being taken out of context.

“Don’t believe everything you see in the media, know the facts behind a situation before you try to make a situation public,” TCU sophomore cornerback Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson wrote on Twitter. “No one was called the N word. You Twitter fingers need to be cancelled ASAP!”

Added receiver Derius Davis: “Coach P did not call (none) of his players a N Word … Facts.”

Said cornerback Kee’yon Stewart: “Y’all just put this bad reputation on this man and HE NOT EVEN LIKE THAT REAL TALK.”

Tight end Artayvious Lynn ripped Jordan for how he portrayed the situation, saying: “the word shouldn’t be used in any form or fashion but Dylan WRONG for making it seem that way.”

Lynn went on to say players skipped practice to “think of ways to move forward. … We stood with Dylan about this all the way but (stuff is) getting twisted.”

Lynn said the team met to discuss the incident with Patterson, telling him: “That word is unacceptable under all context.”

Patterson’s alleged use of the N-word first surfaced Monday when former safety Niko Small posted it on Twitter. Small, an Arlington Bowie product who was a member of the TCU football program from 2015-18, posted it on social media and it was shared by multiple players on the current roster.

“I can’t believe I was apart of a team and university that allows a person to be in a position of power and to say (n-word) in front of his players,” Small wrote on Twitter in a since-deleted post. “Coach P needs to make a public apology and take responsibility for what he has done and face consequences. TCU needs huge change.”

Small did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

At least one Black parent of a former highly-touted TCU player was shocked by the allegations against Patterson. The parent knew Patterson could be hard on the players, using colorful language at times, but never heard Patterson use a racial epithet.

Another former Black player who spent five years with the program also said he never heard Patterson use a racial slur in his tenure with the team.

Former offensive tackle Marshall Newhouse posted on Twitter: “Can verify what you’re hearing negatively is not the full story. Don’t let yourself get wrapped up in what sounds the most sensational. I will let Coach P speak for himself, but he has 30+ years of a track record to stand on. Lets, for once, all be mature about it.”

Patterson, 60, is set to enter his 20th season as TCU’s head coach in 2020. He is 172-70 in his career, leading the team to bowl appearances in 16 of 19 seasons.

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