On Friday, former West Texas A&M head football coach Don Carthel spoke in a press conference, during which he described the circumstances surrounding his dismissal on Thursday.
The most striking revelation from the conference is that Carthel characterized the dismissal as a conflict between himself and West Texas A&M director of athletics Michael McBroom, rather than a problem with NCAA.
On Thursday, McBroom told media that Carthel was dismissed for an NCAA violation. Carthel's account seemed to contradict McBroom's statement.
"I recently made an error in judgment in a conversation with Mr. McBroom about an incident that occurred this past summer," Carthel said.
"Earlier this month, while attending the (Lone Star Conference) Media Day in Dallas, two student-athletes and I attended a Texas Rangers baseball game together. To insure compliance with NCAA rules, when we returned from Dallas I had the two student-athletes reimburse me for the tickets to the game. Later, when I was asked by Mr. McBroom if reimbursement was made by the young men before the game, I answered yes, thinking that perhaps I had made a mistake in not collecting the money before the game. I later learned that what I had done was not an NCAA violation. I also encouraged the two student-athletes to say the same thing that I had said, not wanting their careers to be jeopardized by my erroneous assumption. In hindsight, I now wonder why the young men and I were even asked about whether reimbursement occurred before or after the game, since it was irrelevant. As long as the money was reimbursed, there was no NCAA violation. To the Buffalo Nation, my coaches, my team, all the former players, the two student-athletes in question, and my family, I want to say, I am very sorry for letting you down," said Carthel in the statement.
McBroom said on Thursday that the dismissal was a response to an NCAA rule violation that occurred over the summer. The regulation in question was Bylaw 10.1, a general ethics rule, McBroom said.
The Amarillo Globe-News reported that McBroom on Thursday said Carthel violated the rule by “knowingly furnishing or knowingly influencing others to provide false or misleading information in the course of an NCAA investigation.”
In today's statement, Carthel said that "over the past several years" his relationship with "the administration at WT" had become "strained and unhealthy."
Carthel did not have a contract and was an at-will employee of the university. Carthel said that he offered to coach the 2013 season and resign, but was given a choice only between immediate termination or resignation.