A TCU assistant athletic director apologized Friday after posting inflammatory remarks about the Texas A&M bonfire tragedy on his Facebook page.
Greg Featherston, who works in the compliance department, posted the comment Wednesday.
Featherston “shared a link” on the social media website that was commenting on A&M’s plans to leave 12 seats empty at Kyle Field, which is being renovated, to honor the 12 students who died in the bonfire collapse in 1999.
Featherston posted a message he said he didn’t write “but could have.”
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The message said, in part: “If the number of students that were victims of what amounted to drunken, negligent homicide on the part of that cow college didn’t match so perfectly with the cult’s favorite number, I doubt you would have seen anything like this done.”
The message concludes: “See, this way it’s a passive tragedy that ‘happened’ rather than an active atrocity that was committed. This fits into the real aggy honor code of lying, cheating, and stealing.”
In his apology posted to Facebook on Friday afternoon, Featherston said the remark was in bad taste and should not have been re-posted. Featherston was not available for further comment, a TCU athletics spokesman said.
“I was on campus in Austin at the time of the tragedy, attended every vigil held on campus with UT students and A&M students who drove over from College Station. A very sad time for both institutions,” Featherston wrote.
The tragedy occurred Nov. 18, 1999, when students were working on the bonfire, a mammoth stack of wood that was to be ignited Thanksgiving night before A&M’s game against the University of Texas. The stack of wood collapsed at 2:42 a.m., killing 12 students, including two from Tarrant County: Jerry Don Self of Arlington and Chad Powell of Keller. Another 27 students were injured.
The post caught the attention of Aggies and was posted on Texas A&M fan sites.
“It was not my intention to disrespect the fallen students or minimize the magnitude of the disaster,” Featherston concludes in his apology. “I sincerely apologize for my lapse in judgment with regard to the re-post.”
TCU’s administration also condemned the post in a released statement.
“Comments made by TCU employees on their personal social media accounts do not represent the university,” the release states. “Greg has apologized for this post on his personal Facebook page. We expect our employees to behave in an appropriate manner. This behavior clearly does not live up to our standards.”
TCU athletic director Chris Del Conte said he “personally apologizes to anyone who may have been hurt or offended by these comments. They don’t reflect TCU or our athletic program.”