Texas A&M assistant coaches Jim Turner and Jeff Banks were suspended for two weeks without pay by the school for what they described as a “failed attempt at humor” in making presentations Wednesday at Chalk Talk, a women’s football clinic.
Some of the projection slides shown to the attendees of the event included sexist lyrics for the Aggie War Hymn, along with football-related terminology that could be construed as sexual references.
For one of the assistants, it’s not the only time he reportedly has had an attempt at humor go wrong.
During the NFL’s independent investigation conducted by Ted Wells into workplace misconduct involving the Miami Dolphins earlier this decade, Turner’s name surfaced. Turner had served as the team’s offensive line coach in 2012-13, and he was relieved of his duties by the team in 2014 after Wells’ report was released.
The report reads:
Dolphins’ Offensive Line Coach Jim Turner was aware of the running “joke” that Player A was gay, and on at least one occasion, he participated in the taunting. Around Christmas 2012, Coach Turner gave the offensive linemen gift bags that included a variety of stocking stuffers. The gifts included inflatable female dolls for all of the offensive linemen except Player A, who received a male “blow-up” doll. Martin and another player reported that they were surprised Coach Turner did this; Martin further said that he was offended that Turner had endorsed the humiliating treatment of Player A by participating in it. Incognito and others agreed that this incident with Coach Turner occurred. When interviewed, Turner was asked if he gave Player A a male blow-up doll. He replied, “I can’t remember.” We do not believe that Turner forgot this incident, which many others recalled.
Turner filed a defamation lawsuit against Wells and his law firm last August, according to multiple reports, but it’s unclear whether the matter has been resolved. He had been out of coaching the past two years before being hired by Texas A&M in February.
Debi Fincher, a past president of the Brazos County Aggie Moms’ Club, told the Dallas Morning News’ Ben Baby that she was at the Chalk Talk event this past Wednesday, and also had been to the event in prior years during Turner’s first stint with Texas A&M (2008-11). She said Wednesday’s presentation was similar to a previous one and it drew laughs from older women.
“It’s never been an issue,” Fincher told the Dallas Morning News. “I was surprised at the backlash.”