Former TCU lineman offers measured, impassioned defense of program

Former TCU offensive tackle Jeff Olson is pictured in this file photo.
Former TCU offensive tackle Jeff Olson is pictured in this file photo. Star-Telegram archives

Former TCU lineman Jeff Olson shared an impassioned but measured defense of his alma mater Tuesday night, six days after Kolby Listenbee filed a lawsuit.

Olson, who graduated in 2011 after starting all 13 games at left tackle and played on the Horned Frogs’ undefeated Rose Bowl-winning team in 2010, voiced his support for TCU’s program in a string of posts on Twitter.

But he also came to the defense of Listenbee, who has been the target of some nasty attacks by fans after he accused TCU coach Gary Patterson and former assistant coach Doug Meacham of abuse and harassment. The Big 12 is also named in Listenbee’s lawsuit. TCU sued Listenbee to have the school removed from the lawsuit.

“After a few days of letting the outrage simmer down, I thought I’d share my (probably dumb) thoughts on the recent TCU lawsuit,” Olson began in his first post. “I could not have asked for better care than what I received at TCU and I would struggle to find a better staff anywhere. Like countless players, I fought through injuries and told half-truths to ensure I’d stay on the field.”

Olson defended Patterson specifically, along with TCU’s training staff.

“Is he tough? Yep. Know what else is tough? Life. You don’t get a 2nd or 3rd rep like you do at practice,” Olson wrote. “I’m sad that a player felt he was harassed or pressured to play. I’m MORE sad that he received misguided advice to file a lawsuit, as well as seeing the insults hurled at the player by fans. Kolby’s a great dude that I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with a bunch of times.”

Olson said he has a hard time believing Listenbee “was harassed by the staff.”

“But what if he was? I’m not speaking specifically of TCU, another school, or even this exact situation,” he wrote. “Imagine voicing your issues and being torn down by hundreds of keyboard warriors.”

Olson told the Star-Telegram that he spoke out because he was first angered by the allegations, but later also angered by the online attacks aimed at Listenbee.

“It’s a bummer that people are diminishing everything he’s done for the Frog football team, but I understand their frustration,” he said. “Nobody knows what really happened except Kolby, the coaches and training staff.

“I just wanted to voice my support for the people that I know and have been around, while at the same time wanted people to take a second before bashing Kolby more than they already have.”

Stefan Stevenson: 817-390-7760, @StevensonFWST