Texas coaches say they share offensive play-calling duties

Texas coaches say they share duties in deposition of play-calling lawsuit
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Offensive coaches at the University of Texas said in a deposition that they share play calling duties, part of a lawsuit brought by Oklahoma State against former offensive line coach Joe Wickline.

Oklahoma State and Wickline, the co-offensive coordinator at Texas, sued each other in October, with Oklahoma State saying Wickline breached his contract because he lied about his new position at Texas. Oklahoma State is seeking $593,487 in damages because it claims that Wickline made a lateral move to Texas.

Wickline’s previous contract with Oklahoma State stated he would be required to pay the school the balance of his contract if he left for a job with another Big 12 team.

Wickline would not have to make the payment if his new job included "play-calling duties." He was Oklahoma State’s offensive line coach for nine years before he left for Texas in January 2014

Wickline’s countersuit against Oklahoma State was dismissed.

In deposition testimony obtained by the Associated Press, assistant head coach Shawn Watson said he is the one that sends plays to the sideline so they can be called by the quarterback.

Texas head coach Charlie Strong said that Watson and Wickline both call the plays, but when asked who was responsible for the play calling in the Texas Bowl against Arkansas in December, Strong replied, "I don't know. I don't want to remember that game, we were so bad.”

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The Longhorns were routed 31-7 by Arkansas and had just 59 yards of total offense, including two yards rushing.

At one point during the deposition, Strong was asked who the current quarterbacks on the team are.

Strong replies, "Swoops" (sic). The lawyer then asks for Swoopes' first name.

"He goes by Swoops (sic). Jarrod Heard. What's my man's first name? I--done went blank on me," Strong says.

The 54-year-old coach acknowledges that he is getting up there in age, and after the lawyer pronounces the first two letters of Swoopes' first name, Strong says "Tyrone Swoops" (sic).

All three coaches said in their depositions that it is Watson's job to call pass plays with Wickline calling running plays. When the Longhorns have a substantial lead, Wickline’s role increases.

"If you're playing someone and you're just beating the brakes off them, we'll probably run the ball to get out of there. So he's going to handle the play calling," Strong said.

Texas finished the 2014 season at 6-7 and did win five of their those games by 17 or more points, but they were also blown out in five other games.

Oklahoma State athletic director Mike Holder said in his deposition in February that Wickline has to have more than “input” for him not to pay the balance of his contract.

"I wanted Joe Wickline to be the offensive coordinator in charge of calling the plays, the final decision-maker. I believe that's Shawn Watson's role," Holder said.

- Scooby Axson