University of Arizona quarterback Khalil Tate says he doesn’t use Twitter often so when he does it’s usually regarding a matter of some significance. Such was the case when Tate caught wind that the school was targeting Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo to replace Rich Rodriguez, who was fired after last season amid misconduct allegations.
Tate was at odds with the possibility of Niumatalolo bringing the triple option offense that’s become his calling card along with him to Arizona. For him, that could have meant more exposure to hits and less exposure to NFL scouts, who see the option quarterback as not having the proper skill set for the big leagues.
“I didn’t come to Arizona to run the triple option, Tate tweeted upon hearing the news. And he later admitted that he did it with the intention of influencing the university’s decision about who to hire.
“I knew exactly what I was doing when I tweeted that out,” Tate said via Bleacher Report. “I don’t do Twitter. When I tweet something, I download the app, tweet, then delete the app from my phone. So when I tweet, it’s important. I had to make sure I was heard, make sure the team was heard, because my teammates didn’t want to run the triple option, either. So the idea was to tweet it out, let it get traction, then delete it. I knew people reading it would say, ‘Why did he delete it?’ But that just magnifies it more.”
Tate’s tweet ultimately hit its intended mark. He believes Arizona athletic director Dave Heeke would have gone with Niumatalolo if he hadn’t voiced his opinion. Former Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin, Tate’s first choice, ended up getting the gig instead.