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Cleve Cleaved

Mack Brown bad cop Cleve Bryant is finally officially off the university pay roll.

Cleve has been with Mack Brown since the beginning of Brown's tenure (and was on an earlier Mackovic staff) and his role was primarily that of hatchet-man. If that hatchet was a two-handed halberd wielded by a Swiss guard indiscriminately on random peasants. Mind you, every public figure needs a heavy and no trains run on time without them. They allow you to remain a nice guy while the bad cop gets to reportedly say no, obstruct, intimidate, demand a media credential, shoot eye daggers at a reporter who asks something impertinent (like: what is our offense doing?), hassle players in the doghouse, kick out a inoffensive Burnt Orange Nation blogger from an open spring scrimmage, and generally act as the enforcer.

The problem is when a bad cop forgets that it's a role and begins to actually enjoy it. He confuses his surrogate power acquired through the leader's grant with his own fiefdom and his attack dog routine with merit. Power isn't just an aphrodisiac, it's also an amplifier. And if you have a hint of sadism about you, it won't be long before you're acting badly just because you can.

Speaking of mindless sadism, one of the cool things about Barking Carnival (read: only cool thing) is that we attract readers often smarter than the average bear that often include various personages in the know who write large checks to UT athletics and summer in places I can't pronounce. They tell us things, we don't tell the things they don't want told, and we reciprocate by making them laugh by comparing our offense to a cloaca or reminding them that their sons are eerily like Clipper Cooper.

So when rumors began to swirl some time ago about someone on our staff acting unkindly to a support staff member and the aggrieved had hired Gloria Allred, who specializes in the public representation of the money-grubbing aggrieved, I picked up the phone. And when conversations like these ensued, I knew good things weren't in store:


Me: What's the deal with this staff sexual harassment thing I'm hearing?

Kazillionaire: Haven't heard specifics yet. Sounds absurd. Say what you will about our coaches, but they are professionals and absolute gentlemen. It's BS.

Me: Yep. It makes no sense to me.

Kazillionaire: Did they say who it was?

Me: I spoke to ________. He thinks it's Cleve.

Kazillionaire: ....

Me: Hello? Did I lose you?

Kazillionaire: (long sigh) This will be bad.


Now Cleave is pursuing a wrongful termination case. The most concerning thing for me is that Mack Brown fought for him until the end, proving that the recruiting trail and game preparation weren't the only areas where he didn't understand what was going on with his staff.