“You’ve never heard me speak up for a kid if they did something wrong before today,” Patterson said at his weekly Tuesday press conference. “If this happened, then he screwed up.”
Patterson said he refuses to let the media cast a shadow over Tuaua for his alleged actions.
“I’m not going to let you guys call him a bad person,” Patterson said. “If he made a mistake, he made a mistake.”
Patterson said that Tuaua has been among the most praised players on team by the community.
“Outside of football, in our community, Mike Tuaua is the most-liked kid on our team besides Trevone Boykin,” Patterson said. “Am I happy with what happened here? No, but you know how I handle these things. I move forward.”
Tuaua, along with reserve wide receiver Andre Petties-Wilson, was accused of causing bodily harm to a TCU student and stealing a case of beer that the student possessed at the time of the incident. The incident occurred on Sept. 4, a day after the team’s opener in Minneapolis against the University of Minnesota.
Patterson said the incident was “not even close to what happened south of here,” likely referring to the controversy surrounding former Baylor defensive end Sam Ukuwachu.
Patterson said Tuaua and Petties-Wilson were suspended immediately when the team’s staff was advised of the situation on Sept. 7. Patterson had not given any reason for Tuaua’s absence the last two weeks prior to Tuesday’s presser.
“It’s not my responsibility to tell other people he was suspended,” Patterson said. “I didn’t need Stephen F. Austin nor SMU or anyone else to know that we were down another senior. My job is to protect the university and my football team.”
Patterson added that he also has the duty to act as a father figure to all his players.
“Right or wrong, just like a parent, I’ve got his back,” Patterson said.