Joe Wickline joined the Longhorns in 2014 as offensive coordinator and offensive line coach. (RODOLFO GONZALEZ / AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

Joe Wickline, Oklahoma State trial likely after season

Posted July 25th, 2015

Story highlights
  • Pretrial conference scheduled for Oct. 23 in Payne County, Okla.
  • Attorneys for both sides likely to push for January or February court date.

Texas hosts Oklahoma State at Royal-Memorial Stadium on Sept. 26. Then the Cowboys will have home-court advantage in October.

An Oklahoma judge has scheduled a pretrial conference for Oct. 23 in the contract dispute between Oklahoma State and UT offensive line coach and offensive coordinator Joe Wickline.

According to a scheduling order issued by Payne County district judge Stephen Kistler, witness lists are to be exchanged between both sides by Sept. 1. Discovery must be completed by Sept. 20. The jury trial is expected to last three days.


Attorneys for both sides will likely want the trial scheduled for January or February, said one source familiar with the case.

OSU athletic director Mike Holder is seeking almost $600,000 in damages from Wickline. OSU believes Wickline, despite his job title, made only a lateral move to Texas and does not have “play-calling duties” as outlined in the buyout clause of the coach’s previous contract.

In earlier depositions, Holder said he believed that UT quarterbacks coach and assistant coach for the offense Shawn Watson was the Longhorns’ play-caller, not Wickline. UT coach Charlie Strong has said Watson was the “one final voice” on offensive issues.

The two sides attempted to settle out of court, according to court documents, but that apparently was unsuccessful.

Texas men’s athletic director Steve Patterson has been criticized for not settling with Holder. Patterson has maintained this was an issue between Wickline and Oklahoma State. The university is not named in the lawsuit.

“OSU’s argument is straightforward. Watson, not Wickline, calls the offensive plays for the UT football team,” OSU attorneys wrote in a court filing this week.

The spectacle of a trial between two conference members is sure to generate headlines in the thick of the college football season. Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby was asked if the litigation had merit. “I think for all the legal reasons, I’ll pass on that question,” he said.

Contact Brian Davis at 512-445-3957.