Texas offensive line coach Joe Wickline heads into Notre Dame Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015. (RODOLFO GONZALEZ / AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

Football

Watson’s demotion could mean trouble for Wickline’s legal battle

Posted September 8th, 2015

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Based on Tuesday’s news, should Oklahoma State’s lawyers start looking for a check from Texas offensive line coach Joe Wickline?

Wickline’s breach-of-contract lawsuit with Oklahoma State has hung over the Texas program for months. OSU attorneys have argued in legal documents that Wickline is not Texas’ top play-caller, as was required by his previous contract to avoid paying almost $600,000 in liquidated damages.

Texas men’s athletic director Steve Patterson has said numerous times that the lawsuit is an issue between Wickline and Oklahoma State, and not Texas. The university is not named in the dispute.

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However, the Longhorns have contended from the start that Wickline was helping quarterbacks coach Shawn Watson call plays. On Monday, during his weekly press conference, head coach Charlie Strong said, “I know Shawn is the coordinator, but there’s other guys involved, even myself is involved.”

During Tuesday’s press conference, Strong said Watson was being stripped of play-calling duties. Those would be turned over to receivers coach Jay Norvell.

“Normally, two minus one equals one. But not in this case,” said Austin attorney Sean Breen, who has represented Oklahoma State in the past.

Strong said that Norvell would be the team’s sole play-caller going forward. He said both Watson and Wickline “were upset” about the decision.

It does not appear that either side will settle before the case goes to trial, possibly early next year. The Payne County, Okla., judge has established a series of dates where both sides must exchange witness lists and complete their discovery.

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