Houston star defensive lineman Ed Oliver missed his fourth straight game Thursday night, a win over Tulane. In the first half of that game, coach Major Applewhite told Oliver to take off a black jacket that was reserved for players who were dressed out to play. The going into halftime of the Cougars’ 48-14 win over the Green Wave.
On Friday evening, both parties issued statements on the incident.
“Ed is a passionate human being, and that is why he is the best player in the country,” Applewhite said. “Last night was not indicative of his character and it was a passionate moment within our program. We can, and we will, both learn from this situation as we move forward together.”
Oliver — who did not return to the sideline in the second half — took responsibility for his part, and committed to finishing off the season strong with the Cougars.
“Last night is not who I am,” he said. “I’m very passionate about the game of football and last night there was a misunderstanding. I was caught in an emotional moment. I have the utmost respect for Coach Applewhite and I appreciate the support of Coach Applewhite and my teammates during this time. I love my brothers, my team and my city and I’m looking forward to moving forward with them together. Go Coogs!”
Below is footage from Thursday’s game of the two incidents.
Oliver, a junior, announced this spring that this would be his last season with the program. The 6-foot-3, 292-pound native of Houston is rated as the No. 2 overall prospect in the 2019 draft class according to the CBS Sports draft prospect rankings.
The Cougars will visit Memphis Friday to conclude the 2018 regular season.