SMU posted a billboard reading ‘Pony Up Fort Worth’ a day after TCU head coach Gary Patterson and SMU athletic director Rick Hart traded words in the media.
The billboard, which is now on westbound I-30 in Fort Worth, took the Mustangs’ ‘Pony Up Dallas’ slogan, which it has used for several years, and gave it a bit of a twist in what can be seen as an effort to needle its Iron Skillet rival.
It’s not clear who purchased the billboard.
The SMU players featured on the billboard included wide receiver Rashee Rice, who helped plant a City of Dallas flag on the field at Amon G. Carter Stadium after the Mustangs defeated the Horned Frogs. Rice is also from North Richland Hills, which is in Tarrant County, which is also home to Fort Worth and TCU.
After SMU planted its flag, a scuffle broke out between the two teams, leading to TCU assistant coach Jerry Kill being struck in the head by a helmet, leading to a concussion.
SMU head coach Sonny Dykes apologized for the incident after Saturday’s game, but that didn’t’ deter Patterson, who during his weekly press conference on Tuesday, stated that he believed that SMU planned the flag-planting ceremony after the game.
“You don’t think it was planned?,” Patterson said. “They (SMU) had a media person from their office that was out filming the flag getting set in the middle of the field. It’s OK. But don’t tell me there wasn’t a plan somewhere there.”
Hart responded to the allegation, calling it “A complete fabrication” in a statement released by SMU.
“While Coach (Gary) Patterson acknowledged that his postgame claim cannot be substantiated, he accused our program, multiple times, of planning to plant our flag on the field following our win. This is a complete fabrication,” Hart said. “I can state unequivocally that there was no such plan.”
Hart’s statement noted that he and TCU athletic director Jeremiah Donati spoke over the weekend about the incident and expressed that he was thankful that Kill was fine after the incident.
“As was stated after the game, we have a great deal of respect for TCU, its coaches, staff and student-athletes, and have addressed the flag-planting matter with our team,” Hart said. “We appreciate our rivalry with TCU and wish them the best the rest of this season.”
The rivalry game between the two teams has seen tempers flare before, but never quite like this.
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You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.
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