Shortly after the Texas Longhorns took care of business against the Iowa State Cyclones on Saturday night, star defensive end Breckyn Hager could be found at Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium in a cowboy hat and sunglasses answering questions from reporters. Everything was fine, too, despite the attire, until the senior decided to take a cheap shot at the arch-rival Oklahoma Sooners as he walked away.
A reporter informed the 6-foot-3, 255-pound Austin native that OU had just surrendered 40 points and 524 yards to the Big 12 bottom-feeder Kansas Jayhawks. He replied, “OU has no defense,” and then followed it up by pointing at the clock, “And what time is it? It’s 11:12… and OU still sucks.”
Apparently, for whatever reason, that kind of trash talk is prohibited because Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby issued a public reprimand because Hager’s postgame comments were in violation of the league’s Sportsmanship and Ethical Conduct Policies.
“Breckyn Hager violated the Conference rule that prohibits coaches, student-athletes, athletic department staff and university personnel from making negative comments about other member institutions for his remarks about the University of Oklahoma,” Bowlsby said in a statement. “This is Mr. Hager’s second violation of the Conference sportsmanship rules and therefore, he is receiving a public reprimand and will be expected to issue a public apology for his inappropriate comments.”
Of course, Hager, who registered a sack in the 24-10 victory against the Cyclones, apologized for his remarks:
“I consider sportsmanship to be an essential part of the game I so truly love. I spoke with our athletics director Chris Del Conte and Coach Herman about what I said after Saturday’s game and understand why it reflected poorly on me and my team. I had no ill intentions when I made my comments about Oklahoma, which included a phrase that’s used by fans, but I have to realize that it’s different coming from me. My thought process was that it would put a fun and light-hearted charge into the greatest rivalry in college football that my family has been involved in playing in for many years, but I can see now that was not the way to do it.
“I have the utmost respect for the University of Oklahoma and their football program and know a number of players on their team, and I want to apologize to them. I want to represent myself, my family, my football program, my university and the Big 12 Conference in the best possible way. I’m truly sorry for the comments I made, will learn from this and will keep working to improve my ability to think about the ramifications of what I say before I say it.” — Texas Longhorns senior defensive end Breckyn Hager
This is kind of ridiculous, to be honest, but it is what it is.
Breckyn Hager has been warned, publicly reprimanded, and only time will tell what comes after the next postgame press conference.