Oregon’s athletic director says that Willie Taggart lied about having contact with Florida State.
Taggart on Tuesday agreed to become the Seminoles’ next football coach, replacing Jimbo Fisher, who left for Texas A&M. Prior to agreeing to take the job, Taggart was making it seem like he wasn’t going to leave Oregon despite reports of FSU’s interest in him. In fact, Taggart on Friday strongly denied having any contact with Florida State.
“Why wouldn’t I be? I’m the football coach,” Taggart said Friday when asked if he’d be back at Oregon next season, via Safid Deen of the Orlando Sentinel. “You guys are asking me like you’re trying to get me out of here or something.”
When asked if Florida State had contacted him about the vacancy, Taggart responded “no, so can we move on now?”
Speaking with the media on Tuesday, Oregon AD Rob Mullens said that Taggart was contacted on Thursday and therefore was lying on Friday.
Rob Mullens, Oregon AD, says Florida State contacted Willie Taggart on Thursday. On Friday, Taggart said he hadn’t yet been contacted.
— John Canzano (@johncanzanobft) December 6, 2017
On top of denying the contact, Taggart sent the following tweet Saturday, which made it seem like he was focused on Oregon and not FSU.
Looking forward to a great day tomorrow with our team. Practice, find out where & who we play in the bowl game, 2017 Team banquet and then back on the road recruiting. Go Ducks! #TheMovement18
— Willie Taggart (@CoachTaggart) December 3, 2017
That is a misleading tweet given that Taggart ended up leaving for Florida State.
Taggart certainly has the right to take whatever job he wants, but ferociously denying contact and sending a tweet like that were both very misleading acts. Maybe he will learn from this experience not to repeat the same mistakes so that his exit isn’t as awkward if he leaves another job in the future.