BOULDER, Colo. (AP) — Mel Tucker arrived at Colorado from Georgia, vowing to give Buffs fans a long-forgotten taste of what big-time college football is all about.
Over a tumultuous and ultimately truth-challenged 72 hours, he did that in a most painful way — flirting with Michigan State, making overtures he wasn’t going there, then doubling down on his commitment to CU, before finally leaving for the Spartans for double the pay.
Tucker’s late-at-night departure to Michigan State and the lure of the Big Ten left the Buffaloes searching for another coach. It will be their third head coach in three seasons.
This all came a week after national signing day and left Colorado scrambling to retain what’s largely considered a top 35 class that Tucker had recruited but will not be on hand to coach. And it came just when things were looking up in Boulder.
“Look, I don’t feel jilted at all,” Colorado athletic director Rick George said Wednesday.
But George was certainly in the minority around Colorado, where a school that has spent nearly three decades trying to recapture the glory of its 1990 national title finds itself still squarely in the “have-not” category in the college football landscape.
Ex-Dallas Cowboys great Drew Pearson, the grandfather of CU recruit Toren Pittman, tweeted: “MEL TUCKER IS A CON MAN! He recruited my grandson to go to CU, said he wasn’t going anywhere then ups and leaves. Sat there and lied to my face he wasn’t going anywhere! So I want to beat him up today on social media.”