Tulsa coach Todd Graham is the most hated man in Houston.
Cougar athletic director Mack Rhoades, along with several of his coaches and players, have alleged that Graham ordered Golden Hurricane defensive ends Cory Dorris and George Clinkscale to fake injuries during Saturday night's game at Tulsa, won by Houston, 46-45.
Steve Campbell of the Houston Chronicle writes: "Again and again, Dorris and Clinkscale went down with disabling injuries that required the referees to stop play. Again and again, Dorris and Clinkscale mustered the strength and courage to come back from their afflictions — sometimes returning to the game on the next play. Again and again, Tulsa defenders were so distraught by the sight of their fallen comrades that they gathered with the coaches on the sideline for guidance and spiritual support.
"With no regard to their personal safety or well-being, Dorris and Clinkscale re-injured themselves and returned to the field until what turned out to be a bitter end for the home team. Tulsa coach Todd Graham apparently had no regard for the safety or well-being of Dorris and Clinkscale, either, because he allowed them to keep playing despite repeated injuries.
"Either that, or Graham was coaching his players to fake injuries so Tulsa could gain what amounted to illegal timeouts. It has to be one or the other. So what is it, Tulsa fans? Either your coach has no regard for the ethics of the game, or he callously sends players into the game at great risk to their well-being."
Campbell noted that "Dorris and Clinkscale kept falling to the ground within seconds of a certain member of the Tulsa contingent reaching to the ear either as a signal or to scratch a persistent itch."
Houston offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen said: "We view it as cheating."
Graham was Tulsa's defensive coordinator when he was hired as the Rice head coach in 2006. The Owls were 1-11 in 2005, but Graham engineered a stunning turnaround. Rice finished 7-5 and earned a berth to the New Orleans Bowl.
Graham was named Conference USA coach of the year and was given a new contract. Within days of signing it, he left to become coach at Tulsa.
When he brought the Golden Hurricane to Rice for a Nov. 24, 2007 game, the Owl band was waiting. Its halftime show was titled "Todd Graham's Inferno," which implied that Graham had entered a special circle of Hell when he abandoned Rice for Tulsa.