Louisiana Tech linebacker issues apology for violent acts in Friday night game

SUSPENDED BULLDOG:  Senior linebacker Brevin Randle, shown making a tackle at Nebraska, apologized Monday for his troubling actions in Friday night’s game at UTEP. (Photo courtesy Louisiana Tech Athletics)

By DOUG IRELAND, Journal Sports

RUSTON – Suspended Louisiana Tech football linebacker Brevin Randle issued an apology Monday afternoon for his violent actions against a defenseless UTEP lineman in the wake of a second-quarter play during the Bulldogs’ Conference USA game Friday night against the Miners at the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas.

Randle, a graduate transfer who arrived at Tech earlier this year, has been indefinitely suspended since Saturday morning. He maliciously shoved a downed UTEP offensive lineman, Steven Hubbard, then stomped on his head in Friday’s contest.

In his statement released through the Louisiana Tech Athletic Communications office, Randle said his actions were “unacceptable” and that he took “full accountability.”

Game officials did not notice the flagrant acts as they were focused on determining which team had possession of the football in a pileup only a few feet away.

Randle, a transfer during the offseason from Stephen F. Austin, fell on Hubbard, who was on his stomach on the ground at the end of the play. As Randle got up, he shoved the prone Hubbard in his upper torso, then got to his feet and stomped on Hubbard’s helmet while exiting the pileup. Hubbard’s legs and body twisted in obvious pain for a few seconds after he was stomped on.

“I want to apologize and take full accountability for my action towards Steven Hubbard and the UTEP football program,” Randle’s  statement said. “I am aware that my action was unacceptable, and does not align with what Louisiana Tech or I stand for.

“Although one play does not define me as a person or a player, I take this as a lesson to learn from and hope others can learn from me because I will never condone behavior of this matter. I hope this finds your heart well as I plan to use my time away from the game I love to reflect on how I have impacted Steven, my university, team and family,” Randle said in the statement.

Neither coaching staff apparently noticed the flagrant foul at the time, but UTEP coach Dana Dimel said he was informed about it at halftime from the game’s lead official, according to the El Paso Times.

The referee did not confer with Tech coach Sonny Cumbie, who was unaware of the incident until after the game. Randle played after halftime. He finished as the Bulldogs’ leader with three tackles for lost yards and had a quarterback sack among his six total tackles, tied for fourth on the team.

The incident was replayed on the CBS Sports Network telecast, and clipped and posted on social media, raising the ire of fans and media. It has generated millions of views and heavy commentary.

Cumbie placed a cell phone call while at the stadium Friday night to Dimel, offering his apologies, sources said.

Early Saturday afternoon, Louisiana Tech provided a statement from university vice president and athletics director Dr. Eric A. Wood, announcing the indefinite suspension of Randle as a joint decision between the AD and coach. Cumbie later Saturday posted a statement on his X (formerly Twitter) account that publicly apologized to Hubbard, Dimel and the UTEP team for Randle’s actions.

Randle is the team’s second-leading tackler, with 46 stops, and leads Louisiana Tech with eight tackles for lost yards. He is a resident of Marshall, Texas, where he starred at Marshall High School. He played in 37 games at SFA, but only four in 2022, and is listed as a redshirt senior at Tech.

His personal X account, @BrevinRandle6 as listed on his official bio on the LaTechSports.com website, was apparently disabled at some point Saturday and remains inaccessible.

The Bulldogs won the game 24-10. They play at home Thursday against Western Kentucky, then visit Middle Tennessee next Tuesday, ending a stretch of three games in 11 days. Afterward, Louisiana Tech doesn’t play again until a home game Tuesday, Oct. 24 against New Mexico State, a 14-day span between contests, and has 11 days before the following game, Nov. 4 at Liberty.