Texas A&M athletic director Ross Bjork, like his soccer coach, doesn’t talk.
I wouldn’t talk either, if I had sent a letter by email demanding penalties for the coach from another school, when my coach about 10 minutes earlier had said more than enough to draw the same penalties with the same logic.
On Monday, Texas A&M declined to 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 “bought every player” in its top-rated recruitment class through NIL agreements. The letter to the SEC office, co-signed by TAMU President M. Katherine Banks, called for sanctions against Saban, not only to include a public apology, but also to consider suspension and a fine. to take.
The Tuscaloosa News received Bjork’s May 19 e-mail, 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 order from College Station that day:
10 a.m.: Fisher’s press conference begins.
10:19 a.m.: Fisher ends his comments after scorching the most humane possible Earth in 19 minutes.
10:29 AM: Bjork emails a letter to Sankey.
Bjork had just heard his coach call Saban a narcissist with a God complex, suggested he should have been punched as a child, and repeatedly questioned his ethics, while offering nothing out of the ordinary. Then he sends an email complaining about Saban’s comments? That’s a bit rich. His email further complained that Saban was not citing facts to back up his statement, right after Fisher offered none either, by leveling out his own vague allegations.
Had it been sent before Fisher’s press conference, Bjork’s email would have been perfectly defensible, as no one—including Bjork—could have predicted the A&M coach’s completely unhinged series of attacks.
But that was not the case.
If Fisher’s press conference had taken a dignified path, it would have synchronized perfectly with Bjork’s email to the competition. But that wasn’t the case either. Fisher’s poisonous diatribe took a decidedly undignified low road instead.
Fisher didn’t start vacuuming, but he was undoubtedly slinging most of the mud. His athletic director wrote that Saban’s comments were “below the dignity of the SEC and corrosive to college football sportsmanship,” just 10 minutes after his own coach took those same concerns to new lows.
What went through Bjork’s mind in the short period between Fisher’s comments and the sending of his email? No one could blame him for being upset by Saban’s comments, but common sense should have told him that the fair tone in his email had just been completely undermined by his own coach. At that time, the letter should not 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 not to hold a press conference like Sankey did according to emails? It’s certainly possible – if Sankey knew Fisher was angry enough to keep his comments out, Bjork certainly knew it.
Was Bjork’s letter drafted before Fisher set the microphone on fire? Almost certainly. The chances of it being written within minutes of Fisher’s tirade ending, co-signed by a school president, are practically nil. It was probably set up in anticipation of a calmer Fisher.
But it’s hard to imagine the context in which Bjork witnessed Fisher’s comments without recognizing the hypocrisy it takes to hit the submit button 10 minutes later.
Reach Chase Goodbread at email@example.com. Follow on Twitter @chasegoodbread