On Oct. 21, after Texas lost 13-10 in overtime to then-No. 10 Oklahoma State, Derrick Foreman – the father of Longhorns receiver Armanti Foreman – called out Tom Herman on Twitter.
“Looks like our 5 1/2 million dollar Coach is OVERRATED! Offense is still HORRIBLE and MORAL VICTORIES DON’T COUNT!!!” Foreman tweeted. “Y’all can let Herman sell yall this REBUILDING crap! Talent is there on Offense and Defense! He refuse to USE ALL TALENT and its showing!”
Herman’s response? Tweet all you want. He doesn’t care.
“We’ve made a point in our program to not listen to outside noise,” Herman said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “I think there’s a difference between hearing it and listening to it. I would be foolish if I thought that we could prevent our team from hearing things that are being said on the outside. In this day and age of message boards and social media, our guys are bombarded with messages. But we teach our guys the importance of not listening to it and how not to listen to it. At the end of the day, we believe that if we bunker down and have a bunker mentality in our program, really the only people whose opinions matter are the guys in the room. For me, the only people whose opinions (matter) is our players, coaches and my bosses. Right now, everybody loves everybody.”
Herman, who is 4-4 in his first season at Texas, means that, too.
“I say that not with tongue in cheek,” he said. “We are a very, very close unit. Our players love each other. Our players love their coaches. Our coaches love our players. It’s a shame, but I made it very clear when I got here – and when I was at Houston and everywhere else I’ve been – I will talk to parents regarding anything and everything about their sons’ life. My job is to build better husbands, better fathers, and better employees for this great country. I’ll talk to them about anything: social life, girlfriends, majors, job opportunities, class work, health issues – you name it. I will talk to parents about anything and everything – except playing time. I’m going to make sure we teach our guys how to grow up and how to be men and how to have a conversation with a guy that’s their boss – being myself and their position coach – as to what they need to improve to achieve the things that they want to achieve. We do that better than anybody – any program in the country – and we’ve got great relationships with our players. It really, to be quite honest with you, is literally a non-issue with us.”
Herman also addressed reports that he was disappointed with Texas’ student attendance at the Oklahoma State game. The 42-year-old said the story was blown out of proportion. Herman didn’t make a point of calling out students; a reporter asked if he was disappointed by the empty seats in the student section, and Herman simply said yes.
“Then the next day, my wife shows me headline that says ‘Tom Herman calls out student body,’” Herman said, chuckling. “It was the farthest thing from that. I was disappointed, but I know there’s a lot of factors that go into it – one of them being we got to win more games. I get that. But we do need to figure out – I had a meeting with athletic director just yesterday – on how we can cater to and market to our students a little bit better and make being at games enjoyable and make being at games easier to get there and get in and be early and have incentive to do so. We need DKR to be a true home-field advantage – much like most of the stadiums in the country that hold 100,000 people are. It starts with us. It starts with winning. But I think there’s a lot of key players involved that need to take a look at what we can do better.”
Texas plays No. 8 TCU (7-1) in Fort Worth this Saturday at 7:15 p.m. ET.