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Steve Sarkisian defends assistant's "passion" after profanity-laced tirade goes public

The Texas head coach joined the chorus of voices that supported D-line coach Bo Davis.

My, how fast things change.

At halftime on Oct. 9, Texas had the world at its fingertips. Then ranked 21st in the country, the Longhorns had arch-rival No. 6 Oklahoma on the ropes, its offense landing haymaker after haymaker in building a 38-20 lead. 

Three and a half games later, they were in the middle of Iowa, bussing through the dark and far from contention. Riding a quiet bus and a 4-game losing streak, a 2021 season that had seen such promise was now an unmitigated failure. There, the Longhorns found themselves driving headlong through the darkness in the middle of nowhere -- literally and metaphorically. They had nothing but each other and their new reality: four second half leads, four losses. 

It's safe to say members of that bus had different reactions to that reality. 

Defensive line coach Bo Davis went on a profanity-laced tirade in which he urged unidentified players to enter the transfer portal. One player decided to record him and, eventually, share the video.

And the reaction has been almost unanimously in favor of the coach. 

These tweets, from former Longhorns-turned-NFL defensive backs Quandre Diggs and Kenny Vaccaro, summarize the attitude of Texas alums, in and outside the program.

Current players -- the leaker's teammates -- also responded, if indirectly, to their teammate's recording.

Another person in Davis's corner, although he did not change his Twitter avatar to his headshot, was Davis's boss. 

“I think one thing that jumped out to me when I first saw the video was, one, you could hear the passion in Bo’s voice," Steve Sarkisian said Thursday. "We really believe in the staff that we hired and what we came here to do. I think you could feel the passion and the want to get it done. I think that Bo exemplifies that."

“We’re here to build a culture that we want. It’s just the culture that we’re looking for, and to stand our ground in what’s acceptable and what’s not,” Sarkisian said. “You're going to have people that buy into what you want to do. We have plenty of young men on our team that are buying in and have continued to buy in and that are doing it the way that we want it done. Clearly, we have some that don't.”

As for the leaker, Sarkisian said the team will handle it internally, and that the players' leadership council will decide if and how the leaker should be punished. 

"We've got a lot of great players on our team that are committed to the cause that want to be special here at the University of Texas. That's where our focus is. On those guys."