TCU head coach Gary Patterson was not pleased when his team suffered a 42-34 loss to SMU in the Battle for the Iron Skillet on Saturday. However, Patterson was more upset when SMU tried to plant its flag on the Horned Frogs' logo at midfield, leading to his special assistant, Jerry Kill, getting injured during the incident.
Kill suffered a concussion after reportedly being knocked down twice during the scuffle, including once by TCU players.
“I cannot substantiate that it was a SMU or TCU person, but it did happen,” Patterson said Tuesday during a news conference. “If we wouldn’t have had the flags, it wouldn’t have happened. OK?”
Drew Davison of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported multiple videos of the scuffle showed Kill being knocked over by his own players. Kill was diagnosed with epilepsy in 2005 and retired from head coaching in 2015 due to health factors.
Prior to Saturday's game, Mustangs wide receiver Rashee Rice ignited things by saying "No one comes to Texas for Fort Worth." After the SMU's upset victory, Rice ran with the school's flag and took it to midfield. From there, a small scuffle broke out between the two teams.
SMU corner Brandon Crossley then took the flag back to midfield and planted it on the Horned Frogs logo. Several TCU players rushed to stop him.
In response to Patterson, SMU athletic director Rick Hart—who did wish Kill a speedy recovery—denied his allegations of the team.
"We have thoroughly reviewed all the video available to us have found no evidence of amnion associated with SMU being involved in this incident," Hart said. "I was assured any insinuation that this occurred would be "walked back" by Coach Patterson during today's press conference."
Hart also pointed out that the Mustangs had no plans to plant their flag on TCU's field following the win.
"This is a complete fabrication," Hart said in a statement. "I can state unequivocally that there was no such plan. He [Patterson] points to the presence of members of our creative staff on the field as evidence. We had numerous videographers and photographers on the field during and after the game and they were simply following any number of players and staff to document the win for our ESPN+ series, "The Hilltop."
"I was on the field after the game, along with our coaches and President, and none of us were even aware there had been an attempt to plant the flag at midfield."
While Patterson was initially upset that his players were fighting, he changed his stance when he found out why they were fighting.
"I didn’t know when I came in here (for the postgame news conference), or when I went to the locker room, there had been a flag situation,” Patterson told reporters. “I just heard our guys had been fighting. Now, like I told them on Sunday in our team meeting, I was proud of them. The bottom line to it is that’s what you’re supposed to do at the end of the day. You’re supposed to defend what we’ve all worked for and what we do and how we do things.
"And I would expect, if my kids would act that way at SMU, I would expect them to act the same way if they tried to do it at their stadium."
TCU (2-1) faces Texas on Saturday while SMU (4-0) will return home for its homecoming against South Florida.
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