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Texas coach Rodney Terry apologized for 'classless' comments and rant

Texas Coach Rodney Terry speaks to the media during the NCAA college Big 12 men's basketball media day Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2023, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Texas Coach Rodney Terry offered an apology to UCF and its players Saturday after calling them "classless" days earlier. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

On Wednesday night, Rodney Terry fumed at the podium and began a rant in which he proceeded to call UCF Knights players "classless," said it looked like they "were just hoping to win" and told players in the handshake line, “Don’t do that s***.”

Well, three days later, Terry was apologizing for what he said after Texas was stunned on its home floor by UCF in a 77-71 loss.

"I had no intention of trying to show up anyone or offend anyone in terms of what occurred at the end of that game," Terry said following Texas' win over No. 9 Baylor on Saturday. "[UCF head coach Johnny Dawkins] has a good program, and they're having a good year. Personally, if I offended him or his program, or anyone for that matter, that was not my intention."

The entire episode began following the final whistle of the Longhorns' game against the Knights. UCF overcame a 15-point, second-half deficit to upset Texas at home.

A few UCF players got together in a circle and celebrated their win by doing the "horns down" hand gesture. Texas is known for its Hook 'Em Horns sign, and opponents regularly do the "horns down" when they beat the Longhorns.

No player on the Knights was in the face of a Texas player, and the celebration was confined to where the UCF bench was located.

As Knights players made their way through the handshake line, Terry proceeded to confront players he saw doing the "horns down" gesture and called them "classless."

Still displeased with what transpired, he took his issue to the news conference to further address the matter.

“When you do those kinds of things, it looks very classless and it also looks like you were just hoping to win,” Terry said. “We never go into games trying to hope to win. We go into games expecting to win. So we don’t act like that. We expect to win. We don’t jump up and down and act like we won the national championship. We sure don’t step on anyone’s home court and act crazy and try to show them up in any way. We don’t do that.

“You guys won. Hey, we shake your hand and tip our hat to you, but we’re not going to let you act that way in our building. You’re not going to put your horns down and do all that nonsense.”

When Dawkins was made aware of the comments by reporters, he said “If there’s any action that needs to be taken on my end from our staff, I will do that.”

Terry closed out his comments Saturday by also apologizing to the Longhorns' community for his behavior and initial reaction to the situation.

"We have a lot of passion for who we are and what we are representing," Terry said. "We try to do that in a class manner, at the highest level. If I offended some of our fans as well in not handling myself in the right way ... I apologize to our fan base as well, and understand what it means to be the head coach at the University of Texas and what our brand stands for."