Christensen Suspended and Fined $50k For Comments

Cooper Neill

The big story from last week will not just go away. Instead AD Tom Burman is dragging this thing out.

Coach Christensen made some dumb comments after the Air Force game. He apologized for those comments the day afterwards.

“I want to apologize to Wyoming fans, the Mountain West Conference and the game of college football for my actions and for the comments that I made after our game against Air Force. I let my emotions, my passion for our football program and the frustrations of the first half of the season get the best of me, and my actions reflected negatively on our program.

“I have always tried to teach the young men in our program the importance of sportsmanship in our game, and with that said, I believe it is important to let them know that when you do make a mistake you need to stand up and take responsibility for your actions. That is what I am doing with this apology.”

Wyoming AD Tom Burman accepted that apology the same day it was issued.

The postgame actions and comments made by Coach Christensen do not represent Wyoming Cowboy Football in the manner we expect, but I respect Dave (Christensen) for issuing this apology. I know he wants to express to his team and to Cowboy fans everywhere his sincere regret in what happened on Saturday night and how proud he is to be their head coach.”

The Mountain West gave Christensen a warning for his conduct and he was allowed to coach the Cowboys the following week against Fresno State. Both the Mountain West AND Tom Burman had seen the video that was posted on YouTube last week. They all knew what Christensen had said and done before everyone else did.

The only thing that changed was that public saw what happened and all of sudden Burman was feeling some hit himself. Instead of being proactive about the situation Burman hesitated and today suspended Coach Christensen for a week and fined him and randomly chosen $50k. Something that could have been nipped in the bud right away will drag on for at least two weeks.

“After a long and difficult week of consideration, I believed it was in the best interest of the University and our Athletics Department to take this action,” said Burman. “The reputation of our University and of our athletics programs is of the upmost importance. Over the past week, I have reviewed the contract situation with our university legal department, I have spoken numerous times with President Buchanan and have consulted with other individuals in college athletics whom I respect.

“The other factor that was a very important consideration of mine was the well being of the young men in our football program. I think it is important to send the right message to them in terms of taking responsibility for your actions. This has been a difficult time for those young men. We hope that our fans will show their support for the team this coming weekend.”

When the video was released last week it created quite a stir across the internet. Of course the players saw it and distracted them from their game at Fresno State which they lost 42-14. Now we get to have this story last even longer and the Pokes face a ranked Boise State team without their head coach. Now basically Christensen and THE TEAM are being punished by having this issue continue another week. Everyone just wants to put this episode behind them as soon as possible.

Like Burman has shown with the timing of the Heath Schroyer firing, when the boosters aren't happy he'll make a move. How great would Burman look if he had laid down the same punishment a week ago? Once the video came out people would understand why he was punished and today we could be talking about hosting Boise State instead.

Offensive line coach Pete Kaligis (0-0) will put his perfect head coaching record on the line this week as he takes over as interim coach. I hope Coach Kaligis breaks out this ensemble again this weekend even if it is 30 degrees and snowing. This weekends game is broadcast on CBS Sports and it will be the largest TV audience Wyoming will play before this year. Unfortunately the announcers will spend plenty of time talking about the coach who isn't on the sidelines instead of the team on the field.

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