COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin said Saturday night that his wife and four kids didn’t feel safe after receiving a racist and threatening letter at their home this week.
His wife, Charlene Sumlin, posted a picture of the letter , which had a return address in Houston, on Twitter on Thursday night. The handwritten letter read: “You suck as a coach! You’re a (racial epithet) and can’t win! Please get lost! Or else.”
“When you cross the line like that with people that have nothing to do with decisions that are made when it comes to my job, that’s not OK,” Sumlin said after Texas A&M’s 24-14 win over Nicholls State.
The letter came days after Texas A&M blew a 34-point third-quarter lead in a season-opening loss to UCLA. That loss led to waves of criticism directed at the coach. Noteworthy among those critics was university system regent Tony Buzbee, who took to social media to call for Sumlin’s firing.
The 53-year-old Sumlin, who has three years and $15 million left on his contract, said he’s used to dealing with critics, but that there is no reason to involve his family.
“I’ve done this a long time and I get lots of mail. I get a lot of it at the office, both positive and negative,” he said. “I get criticism, which that’s part of the job. I get suggestions. That’s part of the job … (but) for that to come to my home and for her to open it and read that, I think that is completely different. My wife and kids have never called a play. My wife and kids have never done anything football-wise that led to us losing a game or winning a game.”
He added: “The racial piece of that is one part of it, but the open-ended threat at the end at my house I’ve got to draw the line there.”
The Brazos County Sheriff’s Office has opened an investigation to find the person who sent the letter and Sumlin thanked them for the work they’re doing. He also expressed gratitude to those who have sent him kind messages in the days since the letter arrived.