Texas A&M exposed its hypocrisy with email seeking suspension for Nick Saban | Opinion
Texas A&M athletics director Ross Bjork, like his football coach, isn't talking.
I wouldn't talk either, if I'd sent a letter via email demanding penalties for another school's coach when roughly 10 minutes earlier, my coach had said more than enough to draw the same penalties under the same logic.
On Monday, Texas A&M declined comment on a report of an email Bjork sent to SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey, obtained by On3.com, the morning after Nick Saban's controversial comments that A&M had "bought every player" in its top-rated recruiting class through NIL agreements. Co-signed by TAMU President M. Katherine Banks, the letter to the SEC office called for sanctions on Saban to include not only a public apology, but for consideration of a suspension and a fine as well.
The Tuscaloosa News obtained Bjork's May 19 email, and while the body of the letter was noteworthy, the timestamp on it was downright hard to believe: 10:29 a.m. Here's your sequencing from College Station that day:
10 a.m.: Fisher's press conference begins.
10:19 a.m.: Fisher ends his remarks after scorching the most Earth humanly possible in 19 minutes.
10:29 a.m.: Bjork emails letter to Sankey.
Bjork had just heard his coach call Saban a narcissist with a God complex, suggested he should've been slapped as a child, and repeatedly called his ethics into question, while offering nothing in the way of specifics. Then he sends an email complaining about Saban's comments? That's a little rich. His email further complained that Saban didn't cite any facts to support his statement, right after Fisher offered none, either, in leveling vague allegations of his own.
Had it been sent before Fisher's press conference, Bjork's email would be entirely defensible, because nobody – Bjork included – could've predicted the A&M coach's utterly unhinged string of attacks.
But that wasn't the case.
Had Fisher's press conference taken a dignified high road, it would've been in perfect sync with Bjork's email to the league. But that wasn't the case, either. Fisher's venomous rant instead took a decidedly undignified low road.
Fisher didn't start this dust-up, but he unquestionably slung most of the mud. His athletics director wrote that Saban's remarks were "beneath the dignity of the SEC and corrosive to the fabric of sportsmanship in college football" exactly 10 minutes after his own coach took those very concerns to a fresh low.
What went through Bjork's mind in the brief period between Fisher's comments and sending his email? Nobody could blame him for being upset by Saban's comments, but common sense should've told him that the righteous tone in his email had just been completely undermined by his own coach. At that point, the letter shouldn't have been sent at all.
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There's a lot we don't know here that would add some context.
Did Bjork warn Fisher against holding a press conference, as emails indicate Sankey did? That's certainly possible – if Sankey knew Fisher was angry enough to veer out of bounds with his comments, Bjork surely knew it as well.
Was Bjork's letter already drafted before Fisher lit the microphone on fire? Almost certainly. The chance that it was written within minutes after Fisher's rant ended, with a school president's co-signature, is practically nil. Likely, it was drafted in expectation of a calmer Fisher.
But it's hard to imagine what context would explain Bjork witnessing Fisher's remarks without recognizing the hypocrisy required to push the send button 10 minutes later.
Reach Chase Goodbread at email@example.com. Follow on Twitter @chasegoodbread