Tuberville Gives Trainer A Second Chance

Tuberville's hiring of former Auburn athletic trainer Arnold Gamber raises some questions.

LUBBOCK, Texas — Most people will tell you that anyone deserves at least a second chance, no matter what may have transpired in order for that person to be asking for another shot to prove otherwise.

Our world today constantly demands perfection and instant results, particularly when it comes to sports fans and their beloved teams. More often than we like to admit, people see things as "guilty until proven innocent," rather than what our legal system is intended for.

Texas Tech athletics announced the hiring of Arnold Gamber as the Red Raiders' newest head athletic trainer for football Wednesday.

It's no shock to most people, especially when you consider that Gamber spent 10 years with head coach Tommy Tuberville at Auburn and that he replaces Mark "Buzz" Chisum, who is of course the trainer questioned for the last seven months in an ongoing investigation into former head coach Mike Leach and the mistreatment of Tech wide receiver Adam James.

Chisum's been the team's head athletic trainer and is entering his 15th year at Tech, now the head trainer for cross country.

But Gamber is not exactly what some might refer to as a clean replacement.

Gamber is in an ongoing lawsuit against him by former Auburn offensive lineman Chaz Ramsey, a 2007 Freshman All-American who suffered a back injury in December of that same year while lifting weights at Auburn. A doctor allegedly recommended to Ramsey and his family by the Auburn staff diagnosed Ramsey with two herniated discs. One disc was reportedly pressing against his sciatic nerve, causing insurmountable pain to the 6-foot-4, 285-pound lineman.

He went ahead with the surgery in hopes of returning to football as soon as possible and, according to reports, began rehabilitation in May 2008, just six weeks after the procedure.

According to The Birmingham News, Ramsey said he began going through an "aggressive" rehabilitation program at the demands of the Auburn training staff and after two months found himself right back at "square one." Ramsey then accused Gamber of calling him "less than a man" and that Ramsey get used to using pain medication the rest of his time at Auburn.

The offensive lineman reported to Auburn team physician Dr. Michael Goodlett what was going on and Ramsey was ordered to report to Goodlett and not the training staff from then on. But the allegations of the mistreatment by Gamber and offensive line coach Hugh Nall ensued.

It got worse for Ramsey. He told The Birmingham News that he returned in the fall of 2008 to find his locker cleaned out due to allegations by Nall that Ramsey missed treatments and meetings without any excuse for not being there, allegations Ramsey continues to deny.

Ramsey was suspended, and after much debate but little contact between he and Tuberville or the rest of the staff, he decided to file for a release and transfer to another school. Auburn eventually granted him the release but Ramsey never received a scholarship offer and has not played since.

Ramsey filed a lawsuit in a U.S. District Court in Birmingham against Gamber and Nall in July 2009, seeking "compensatory and/or punitive damages."

Nall was recently cleared of the allegations in June but is no longer coaching. He currently works as an executive for a trucking firm in Georgia.

Both Gamber and Nall were let go after Tuberville left Auburn in December 2008.

RaiderPower.com was unsuccessful in attempts to reach Gamber. Tech football spokesman and assistant athletic director for media relations Blayne Beal said the department has no comment at this time.

According to NBC Sports, Leach attorney Ted Liggett is already filling his arsenal for how the hiring of Gamber after his allegations compared to that of Leach's mistreatment of James may be used to the legal team's advantage.

"One can taste the irony of this recent hire," Liggett wrote to College Football Talk via email.

Indeed, Liggett has a good point.

But Tuberville may also have the right to give Gamber a second chance, being that Tuberville was the man in charge at Auburn at the time and is probably well aware of the risk in hiring Gamber after what happened in Lubbock last season.

"I worked with Arnold for 10 years at Auburn and he and I have a great working relationship," Tuberville said in a statement released by Tech. "But most importantly he has great relationships with our student-athletes and puts their safety and well being above all."

Gamber's lawsuit is expected to be heard in court in February. Remember, innocent until proven guilty, not the other way around.

Travis Cram is the Managing Editor for RaiderPower.com. Follow his daily updates and news on Twitter. Join Raider Power on Facebook.

Information from NBC Sports and The Birmingham News were used in this report.


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