Skip to main content

Pet Monkey of Texas Special Teams Coach’s Girlfriend Allegedly Bites Child on Halloween

In Tuesday’s Hot Clicks: an unbelievable story involving Longhorns assistant Jeff Banks, Franz Wagner’s impressive dunk and more.

File this under “only in college football”

The Texas Longhorns’ underwhelming football season took an unexpected turn Monday night.

A Houston-based photographer named Tom Campbell tweeted he had heard from a “reliable source” that a pet monkey belonging to Texas special teams coach Jeff Banks had bitten a child on Halloween.

Usually a rumor as patently absurd as this one coming from someone with no history of breaking college football news and no clear reporting background wouldn’t be worthy of attention. (Campbell does hold a journalism degree from Texas A&M and has had photographs published by mainstream outlets, but he isn’t a college football reporter.) Except Banks’s girlfriend decided she should hop on Twitter and confirm elements of the story in an attempt to clear his name.

You see, the monkey doesn’t belong to Banks. It belongs to his girlfriend, Danielle Thomas. The animal is a white-faced capuchin named Gia with her own Instagram page, who used to perform alongside Thomas when she was a pole dancer known as the Pole Assassin (who was featured on The Jerry Springer Show).

After Campbell’s tweet had started going viral, Thomas rushed to defend herself. She explained that she had set up a haunted house in her yard for Halloween and one of the kids ventured beyond the course of the display and to the area where the monkey is housed. Thomas also confirmed that she was told a child had been bitten but described the bite as “small” (sic throughout):

“I had a haunted house on one side gated off/ he had no permission to go pass the gate i had no idea he went in my back yard,” she tweeted before deleting her Twitter account. “neither did i know anything about a bite ! Until a doctor of neighborhood told me the treat a small bite. No parent have contacted me about it !”

“A 11 /12 year old child should know better then to enter someone yard without permission and old enough to also follow the rules,” she added. “The rules were when u get to the gate turn around and come back out for candy every other parent and child did so !”

“People lie so much it's ridiculous ! Stop believing everything u hear ! And more of what u see ! SMH !” another tweet read.

The icing on the cake was a video Thomas posted walking through her backyard explaining the route the child took to the monkey’s cage and how it was impossible for the child to be bitten without sticking their arm in the cage.

If Thomas’s aim was to clear Banks’s name, it might have worked. There’s no indication that Banks was involved in the situation at all. Still, it’s a tricky situation for a guy who was recently linked to the Washington State coaching job to find himself in. 

The best of SI

Get ready for the college hoops season with our ranking of every men’s team, from No. 1 to No. 358. ... The Von Miller trade will have an impact on more than just the two teams involved. ... Ranking each of this year’s NBA City Edition jerseys.

Around the sports world

Florida fans are up in arms after Dan Mullen said he would wait until after the season to worry about recruiting. ... That viral LeBron doppelgänger from Sunday night’s game is actually former NBA player Patrick Christopher

Gotta get a second monitor, Michael

I didn’t know Franz Wagner could do this!

The intensity of South American soccer fans is unrivaled

I don’t think 300 people have my phone number

The trade deadline must be especially hard for NFL players because trades involving players are so rare

I’ve never heard of this guy before, but I’m happy for him

Not sports

Scammers made off with more than $2 million after duping people into buying a Squid Game cryptocurrency. ... A man in England arrived home to find that his house had been sold by someone pretending to be him and the entire inside had been stripped bare. ... Influencers in Shanghai are pretending to be in Los Angeles by posing outside of a Costco

This will be the best minute you spend today

Archaeologists in England discovered rare Roman artifacts under an old church

A good song

Email with any feedback or follow me on Twitter for approximately one half-decent baseball joke per week. Bookmark this page to see previous editions of Hot Clicks and find the newest edition every day. By popular request I’ve made a Spotify playlist of the music featured here. Visit our Extra Mustard page throughout each day for more offbeat sports stories.