TCU-SMU kerfuffle over plant-the-flag scuffle escalates

The very public war of the words between rivals SMU and TCU escalated Tuesday with a flood of accusations from TCU coach Gary Patterson stemming from an on-field scuffle following the Mustangs’ 42-34 win.

© Jerome Miron, USA TODAY Sports Gary Patterson has accused members of the SMU football team of injuring TCU assistant coach Jerry Kill.

Patterson suggested SMU planned to plant the school flag at midfield at the Horned Frogs’ stadium, which SMU athletics director Rick Hart called “a complete fabrication.”

“I can state unequivocally there was no such plan,” Hart said in a statement.

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Patterson also accused SMU players and staffers of directly or indirectly injuring assistant coach Jerry Kill, who was diagnosed with a concussion suffered during the melee, Patterson said.

In his postgame remarks on Saturday, Patterson said that Kill was hit in the head with a helmet by an SMU player. 

“I do need to find out who the player is that hit Coach Kill with a helmet is,” he said Saturday. “I will find that out.”

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Hart said he had discussed the matter with TCU athletics director Jeremiah Donati, who assured Hart that Patterson would “walk back” the allegations that an SMU player was responsible for Kill’s injury. 

Instead, Patterson continued to assign blame to SMU for the kerfuffle, which has added even more spice to the rivalry between two schools battling for recruits and recognition inside the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.

“At the end of the day, whether it’s SMU, TCU, I can’t substantiate it,” he said. “But at the end of the day it wouldn’t have happened if we didn’t have the flag situation.”

And then SMU CB Brandon Crossley takes the flag back to midfield and plants it on the TCU logo.

Some TCU players rush back to the logo, the flag breaks and it’s returned to SMU.

Just rivalry things:

— Joseph Hoyt (@JoeJHoyt) September 25, 2021

In his statement, Hart said the school had “thoroughly reviewed all available video” and found no evidence that any member of the Mustangs’ traveling party was responsible for the incident.

Hart added that Donati agreed there was “no evidence to support Coach Patterson’s initial claim.”

Said Hart, “While Coach Patterson acknowledged that his postgame claim cannot be substantiated, he accused our program, multiple times, of planning to plant our flag on the field following our win. 

“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.”

SMU coach Sonny Dykes apologized for the attempt in his postgame comments. 

“I think our guys tried to plant the flag at the middle of the field,” said Dykes, who served as an analyst under Patterson before taking the SMU job in 2018. “If they did, they shouldn’t have. I’ll talk to them about that. I apologize for that.”

Follow colleges reporter Paul Myerberg on Twitter @PaulMyerberg

Oklahoma kicker Gabe Brkic (47) celebrates after converting the game-winning field goal as time expired to lift the Sooners over West Virginia. Miami receiver Romello Brinson (0) makes a diving circus catch for a touchdown over Central Connecticut State defender Dexter Lawson Jr. (10). Illinois quarterback Brandon Peters (18) loses control of the ball for a fumble during the first half against Purdue. Washington State quarterback Jarrett Guarantano (18) gets sacked by Utah linebacker Devin Lloyd (0) and cornerback Malone Mataele (15). Army linebacker Malkelm Morrison (2) blocks the punt attempt by Miami (Ohio) punter Dom Dzioban (31) during the first half. Clemson quarterback DJ Uiagalelei (5) gets taken down after a first-half run against North Carolina State. Connecticut running back Nathan Carter (26) hurdles his way past Wyoming safety Esaias Gandy (5) during the second half. Purdue receiver TJ Sheffield (8) somersaults into the end zone to score during the second half against Illinois. Louisville defensive back Kei’Trel Clark (13) hauls in an interception late in the fourth quarter to seal the win over Florida State. Arkansas celebrates after beating rival Texas A&M to win the Southwest Classic. Colorado State Rams tight end Trey McBride (85) runs with the ball after a catch as Iowa Hawkeyes linebacker Jestin Jacobs (5) goes to make the tackle during the second quarter at Kinnick Stadium. Texas A&M Aggies quarterback Zach Calzada (10) and Arkansas Razorbacks linebacker Grant Morgan (31) fight for the loose ball during the second quarter at AT&T Stadium. New Hampshire Wildcats wide receiver Burke Griffin (18) attempts a pass reception as Pittsburgh Panthers defensive back Noah Biglow (28) defends during the fourth quarter against at Heinz Field. Coastal Carolina Chanticleers wide receiver Jaivon Heiligh (6) dives for the goal line in the NCAA football game of Massachusetts and Coastal Carolina at Brooks Stadium. Virginia Tech Hokies wide receiver Kaleb Smith (80) is tackled by Richmond Spiders defensive back Aamir Hall (16) during the second quarter at Lane Stadium. Penn State Nittany Lions tight end Theo Johnson (84) leaps over his Villanova Wildcats defender during the first quarter at Beaver Stadium. Mississippi State Bulldogs defensive end Aaron Odom (17) sacks LSU Tigers quarterback Max Johnson (14) during the second quarter at Davis Wade Stadium at Scott Field. Bijan Robinson #5 of the Texas Longhorns scores a receiving touchdown while defended by Eric Monroe #11 of the Texas Tech Red Raiders in the first quarter at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. Bowling Green Falcons wide receiver Austin Osborne (18) reacts after their win against the Minnesota Gophers at Huntington Bank Stadium. Minnesota Gophers tight end Brevyn Spann-Ford (88) reacts after a play during the first quarter against the Bowling Green Falcons at Huntington Bank Stadium. Pittsburgh Panthers wide receiver Jordan Addison (3) catches a pass against New Hampshire Wildcats defensive back Randall Harris (4) during the first quarter at Heinz Field. Northwestern Wildcats wide receiver Stephon Robinson Jr. (5) runs the ball against the Ohio Bobcats during the first half at Ryan Field. Georgia Bulldogs tight end Brock Bowers (19) dives into the end zone past Vanderbilt Commodores cornerback Jaylen Mahoney (23) for a touchdown during the first half at Vanderbilt Stadium. Vanderbilt Commodores players take the field before the game against the Georgia Bulldogs at Vanderbilt Stadium. Notre Dame Fighting Irish wide receiver Kevin Austin Jr. (4) receives a pass for a touchdown against Wisconsin Badgers cornerback Faion Hicks (1) during the first half at Soldier Field. Notre Dame Fighting Irish fans celebrate a touchdown by lifting each up during the first half against the Wisconsin Badgers at Soldier Field. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish enter the field prior to the first half against the Wisconsin Badgers at Soldier Field. Appalachian State Mountaineers running back Nate Noel (20) runs the ball past the Marshall Thundering Herd at Kidd Brewer Stadium. Appalachian State rallied for a 31-30 win Thursday night. Virginia tight end Grant Misch (85) attempts to catch pass as Wake Forest’s Gavin Holmes (24) defends during the first quarter at Scott Stadium. Wake Forest won the game, 37-17. Liberty wide receiver Demario Douglas (3) tries to get past Syracuse’s Justin Barron (23) after a catch in the second quarter at the Carrier Dome. UNLV quarterback Doug Brumfield (2) runs the ball against Fresno State in the first quarter at Bulldog Stadium.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: TCU-SMU kerfuffle over plant-the-flag scuffle escalates

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