TCU coach Gary Patterson said he was "a little bit hurt" by allegations in a lawsuit filed by former player Kolby Listenbee and defended how the school handles player injuries.
Speaking Sunday to reporters after TCU's first weekend of spring practices, Patterson didn't go into detail about the lawsuit, which accuses him and other TCU officials of pressuring Listenbee to play through a pelvis injury in 2015, but said he's "excited to tell our side." The lawsuit, filed in January, seeks more than $1 million and names Patterson, former TCU athletic director Chris Del Conte, the Big 12 Conference and others.
"I was a little bit hurt," Patterson said Sunday. "I'm one of those coaches that put everything in my life into kids. Growing them up, giving them opportunity."
Patterson, who has led TCU's program for the past 17 seasons, said the program and its medical staff never puts winning ahead of player safety. He said the lawsuit hasn't impacted TCU's recruiting efforts at all, and that former players want to defend him but that he has told them to "lay in the weeds for now."
Listenbee's lawsuit includes accounts from several other former players alleging they were pressured to play through injuries.
"Bottom line to it is that it's always been about the program," Patterson said Sunday. "It's never been about winning. Winning is important but never in front of someone's health."