TCU Coach Gary Patterson after double OT loss to Arkansas
Quarterback Kenny Hill’s celebration gesture in the end zone was part of his religious belief, TCU coach Gary Patterson said, and something he would have liked to have known about before the game.
“If he wants to do something like that, he just needs to let me know. That way I can do a better job of backing him up,” Patterson said Monday during the Big 12 coaches conference call with reporters. “We’ve learned a lesson.”
Hill made a gesture with his right hand, bringing it from his left shoulder near his throat and down across his chest, after a 5-yard touchdown run to put TCU ahead late in Saturday’s game against Arkansas. The celebration was sign language for rising kings, a TCU spokesman said.
The celebration drew an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, assessed on the kickoff, and Arkansas used the short field to tie the game and then win in two overtimes 41-38.
It’s one of those things where it’s too bad it happened. We all need to learn from it, try not to do it again.
TCU coach Gary Patterson on the celebration penalty assesssed on Kenny Hill
Patterson said the Southeastern Conference crew wouldn’t have picked up the flag had Patterson told them it was a religious gesture, but that he could have advised the officials before the game. He also said he and Hill could have talked about whether to make the gesture.
He said Hill did it after a previous score, as well.
“LT used to just hand the ball,” Patterson said, referencing LaDainian Tomlinson, TCU’s all-time touchdown leader. “Act like we’ve been there. That’s been a TCU tradition forever, if you watch our guys. It’s one of those things where it’s too bad it happened. We all need to learn from it, try not to do it again.”
Patterson said he and Hill talked before he came to TCU that he would draw extra scrutiny. He said Hill has not disappointed him.
“To be honest, he’s been unbelievable,” Patterson said. “I haven’t had any problems with how he’s acted and done things or anything. He’s been unbelievable, and every week, he just keeps getting better as a leader.”
The Big 12 selected KaVontae Turpin of TCU as its Special Teams Player of the Week.
Turpin had 69 return yards, including a career-long 64-yard kickoff return to put TCU in position for a potential game-winning field goal against Arkansas.
TCU vs. Iowa State
11 a.m. Saturday, FS1