Gary Patterson has been consistently tight-lipped during most of his time at TCU, but few thought before last week that the words he did utter might be laced with half-truths.Patterson admitted in Friday’s Fort Worth Star-Telegram that he lied to reporters about senior Tommy Blake’s condition, saying the star defensive end was out with a stomach bug when he was actually hospitalized.
It’s much more than just a little white lie, though, because he didn’t just lie to reporters.
He lied to the fans.
It may have started as a lie to a couple of reporters, but that information was passed along to every football fan who picked up the next day’s paper.
The worst part about the whole thing is that he didn’t see anything wrong with it. Had he lied about it, taken it back and acknowledged the mistake that would be one thing.
Instead, he flat-out said he saw nothing wrong with telling whatever version of the truth was most convenient at the time.
Patterson told the Star-Telegram: “I don’t have a problem saying that I made something up.”
That could cast doubt on past statements and maybe even future ones.
Sure he was in a hard place. Student privacy laws create sticky situations, especially when compounded with medical privacy issues.
That makes the initial lie almost understandable – except that he told the original fib 10 days ago and didn’t correct himself until late last week.
And it’s not like this was Patterson’s first go-around with reporters. He’s handled plenty of scandals as head coach.
He had to have known the question was coming when one of the star players didn’t show up. Even a “no comment” would have been better.
Patterson has become the face of the university through the years. It’s likely more people can identify Patterson than the chancellor.
To have one of the most prominent people at the university lying in public, to the public, is just plain inexcusable.
Editor in chief Andrew Chavez for the editorial board.