TCU’s football coach Gary Patterson apologized Monday for repeating a racial slur when telling a player to stop using the slur in team meetings.
Linebacker Dylan Jordan accused Patterson on Twitter of using the slur during a confrontation at practice. Center Kellton Hollins said on Twitter the team’s leadership council discussed the issue with Patterson and told him use of the word wasn’t acceptable in any context.
School Chancellor Victor Boschini wrote in an email to TCU’s student media that Patterson didn’t use the slur against any player or group on the team.
“He said it trying to ask the players not to use it anymore,” Boschini wrote. “He has since apologized for doing so in this manner and said it was a teachable moment for him and many others.”
TCU spokesman Mark Cohen didn’t respond to a request for comment.
Patterson’s use of the slur first arose in a since-deleted tweet from former defensive back Niko Small, who accused the coach of using the word in front of the team. Several players wrote on Twitter that Small didn’t include the context of Patterson’s use of the word. Players said the incident also led to several team members skipping practice Monday.
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Jordan described in a lengthy post a confrontation with Patterson during practice Sunday. Jordan said Patterson took issue with the player using the slur in meetings and used the word. Jordan said he confirmed with several teammates Monday that Patterson had used the word, and they stayed away from practice as a result.
Hollins indicated on Twitter that the team had addressed the issue with Patterson.
“We have discussed ways to move forward while keeping in mind the mental health of the football team,” Hollins wrote. “Coach P understands the significance of what he said. As a team, we will continue to hold coaches and everyone accountable especially as it pertains to the injustices of America.”
The 60-year-old Patterson is going into his 20th season and is TCU’s all-time leader in wins with a record of 172-70. He led the Horned Frogs to their only undefeated season in the past 81 years in 2010, capped by a Rose Bowl win over Wisconsin.