Karl Malone rants after La. Tech turns down bowl bid

Published: Sunday, Dec. 2 2012 6:50 p.m. MST

Karl Malone talks with members of the media prior to being inducted into the Utah Sports Hall of Fame Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2012 at Energy Solutions Arena.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

Enlarge photo»

Apparently, Karl Malone believes he likes bowling more than his old school's athletic administrators do.

Louisiana Tech, the WAC program that had BCS-busting aspirations this season, had an invitation to participate in the Independence Bowl against rival ULM. However, the school was holding out hope it would be invited to a different bowl.

The Indy Bowl reportedly wanted an answer Saturday, sooner than the Bulldogs were willing to give. By Sunday, none of those preferred invitations were given, leaving Malone's old school left out of the NCAA's football postseason party despite going 9-3.

That led to the Mailman delivering an interesting Twitter rant in which he showed his respect for La. Tech athletic director Bruce Van De Velde is about as low as it used to be for Greg Ostertag's work ethic.

"I am Bulldog to the core," Malone wrote. "I am heartbroken and embarrassed that our university would do this to Tech Nation. To our football and staff this is exactly what is wrong with our university."

In further tweets from @TheDeliverer_32, Malone continued to vent about his old school's predicament. The Hall of Famer also offered to replace Van De Velde, USU's former AD, at La. Tech.

"Now it's time to get former athletes to run our program," he tweeted. "I'm 6-9 and not hard to find."

More tweets from the former Utah Jazz star:

• "TechNation what I have been saying for a long time,start hiring former tech athletes to get the pride back into The university and athletics."

• "Whoever made this desicision (sic) have the (guts) to tell the guys why. As one alumni of La. Tech I want to know why."

• "To Bleed tech Blue, you got to be Tech."

In 2007, Malone donated $350,000 to Louisiana Tech's athletic department and took on the position of assistant strength and conditioning coach and director of basketball promotion.

On Nov. 17, Utah State defeated La. Tech, also Paul Millsap's old school, in overtime, 48-41, en route to its WAC championship.

Van De Velde offered further explanation to the USA Today, saying because the Independence Bowl's sponsor is La. Tech graduate, he thought he had more time to decide and that the bowl committee "would wait for us."

It didn't, instead inviting Ohio of the MAC.

"We never declined (the bid). We just asked for more time," Van De Velde told the national publication. "They felt like they had to move, and I understand. But we felt like we needed time to see how this played out."

Now La. Tech players will sit home this bowl season while 40 teams with worse records and 10 teams at .500 or with losing records will go bowling.

"We were pretty sure we were headed to the Liberty Bowl or the Heart of Dallas Bowl, but what happened was Northern Illinois moved up to the top 16, and that caused a domino effect that knocked Oklahoma out of the Sugar Bowl," Van De Velde said.

"We thought that if Kent State got beat Friday night, and Oklahoma and Kansas State won, the Big 12 would get two into the BCS and we'd be playing on New Year's Day or in the Liberty Bowl. The Heart of Dallas then filled, and then the Big 12 had an extra bowl-eligible team, and the Liberty Bowl chose them (Iowa State) over us."

Utah State got the WAC's only bowl tie-in in the conference's final FBS season, and the Aggies will play Toledo in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. Second-place San Jose State, which lost to USU but beat BYU, will face Bowling Green in the Military Bowl.

Next season, Louisiana Tech is headed to Conference USA, which has five bowl tie-ins.

EMAIL: jody@desnews.com TWITTER: DJJazzyJody

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