Texas A&M suspends 2 assistant coaches over slide show, apologizes

BySam Khan Jr. ESPN logo
Saturday, July 30, 2016

Two Texas A&M Aggies assistant coaches were suspended for two weeks without pay for their role in a presentation slide show at a fundraiser Thursday that included comments offensive to women.

Aggies coach Kevin Sumlin suspended special teams coordinator/tight ends coach Jeff Banks and offensive line coach Jim Turner for "degrading comments towards women" that were part of a slideshow that was shown to more than 700 attendees in the program's annual "Chalk Talk for Women."

The event is designed to educate female fans on the game of football and is something several programs around the country host annually. Some women in attendance took offense to some language displayed on a projector screen inside Kyle Field's Hall of Champions, which included a parodied version of the Aggie War Hymn.

"We are Aggie women, we are filled with estrogen. Hullabaloo, canek, canek and back again.

"Maroon & white are the colors we love, we are putting down our dish towels and taking off our gloves.

"No more Lysol or Cascade, we want to score touchdowns and walk in this parade.

"We are Aggie women & this is our song, come on...bring it on...no more thong. Hullabaloo, canek, canek...and so on..."

In addition, Scout.com first obtained photos of slides from Thursday's event that presented "Dos and don'ts" on offensive line technique. The slides included oft-used football language with sexual overtones.

Sumlin issued a statement apologizing for his assistant coaches' behavior.

"There is absolutely no place in our program or in our university community for inappropriate conduct or degrading comments towards women, or anyone, regardless of intent," Sumlin said. "While I was in attendance at the Chalk Talk event this week, I was engaged in meeting participants, taking photographs and signing autographs and I was unaware of the contents of Jim and Jeff's presentations until this morning. Upon learning of the details, I immediately consulted with director of athletics Scott Woodward, and made the decision that both Jim and Jeff will be suspended without pay for two weeks effective immediately and will serve 20 hours of community service. I have addressed the issue with both of them and have their commitment to be better representatives of our program.

"On behalf of Aggie football, I want to apologize for the comments at Chalk Talk and also for my failure to review their individual presentations. I want to thank the almost 700 women who came out this week who not only participated in the program but who supported a worthy cause in Twin City Mission."

Texas A&M begins preseason training camp on August 8, meaning the suspension will spill over into the first week of Aggies' practice.

Banks and Turner issued a joint statement through the athletic department also apologizing for the slides.

"We want to sincerely apologize to the passionate Aggie fans and to women everywhere for our failed attempt at humor during this week's Aggie football Chalk Talk and fundraiser," they said. "We clearly understand now that our comments and slides were not appropriate or consistent with the values of our football program or our department. We must do better and we will."

It isn't the first time this offseason a Texas A&M assistant coach was disciplined by Sumlin for behavior. Receivers coach Aaron Moorehead was punished for comments he made on social media following a Texas A&M recruit's decommitment but Sumlin later said the consequences would "remain private."