Photo By Steven Chapman

Accountability is Changing Texas Tech's Culture

The scene following Texas Tech practice Wednesday was further evidence of how the culture appears to be changing within the program and everyone is being held accountable.

"Weigh in and weigh out!" barked Texas Tech strength and conditioning coach Rusty Whitt to a group of exhausted Red Raiders who had just finished doing 300 yards of board pushes back and forth across the field following practice Wednesday as a form of punishment. 

Board pushes would look a lot like bear crawls to Uncle Rico's out there whose gridiron glory is long behind them. The player is on his feet, with knees bent, body bent over forward with his hands clutching a small wooden board on the ground just out in front of his head and then he runs.

It looked excruciating, especially after practice under the hot Texas sun. The gathered local media gulped as they stared on watching the punishment unfold while waiting to interview players.

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After practice punishment of this sort has been around as long as the sport itself, but what made this sight noteworthy was that the entire running back position group did it together. If one guy lets the team down everybody suffers, so everyone has to pay the price. In this case a freshman forgot to do the mandatory weigh-in before practice so the entire position group was punished. 

"A freshman didn't weigh in, it was really supposed to be him doing 300 yards of board pushes, but you know it's a team thing, it's a family thing so we got in there with him to help him out, helped him push through," said senior running back Quinton White, who graduated on Saturday. 

Even former star running back and new position coach DeShaun Foster pushed a board back and forth across the field with his players while commanding his guys to push harder. 

"It's great honestly, because you see other position groups getting punished and their coach is just sitting there talking to them while he got right down there and did it with us," White said. "That shows a lot about his character." 

RB Quinton White (23) on the carry at Texas Tech fall camp.

Accountability. It's a word that has echoed off the walls up at the Texas Tech Football Facility all offseason. Sounds good in theory, but Wednesday's post-practice punishment is a perfect example of why head coach Kliff Kingsbury and others are optimistic the program has turned a corner. 

When asked if the whole position group would have endured the punishment with their teammate in the past, White didn't hesitate to answer.

"I'll tell you like this; if somebody in the running back room got punished (in the past) I am inside in the cold tub or something, I'm not even staying out here. But that's just the maturity level of our team now, it's just if one fails, we all fail. We have to do something together and pick each other back up."

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