Buzbee expressed his displeasure on Twitter, too.
“Sumlin has got to go,” he tweeted, followed by the hashtag #firesumlin.
Sumlin, 53, has three years and $15 million left on a contract that runs through the 2019 season. He insisted that he was not thinking about his critics and that his only focus is on his team before a home game against Nicholls State on Saturday night.
“I’m not in the business of really paying attention to anything outside of this program,” he said. “And comments, whether they’re good or bad, my focus is on what we can do to be better. I really don’t have time to get involved in things that are said about the program or about me or whatever. I’ve just never been that kind of person.”
The Aggies often talk about ignoring outside noise, but it is unlikely that they could be shielded from comments like those from Buzbee.
“You have to block it out when you’re at this level,” running back Trayveon Williams said. “But it hurts because that’s your leader and that’s your coach.”
Sumlin was already on the hot seat entering this season after going 8-5 in each of the last three years after starting 5-0 each time. The nationally televised collapse against U.C.L.A. certainly increased the pressure. Sumlin said he knew it was imperative that his team put what happened behind it quickly so things do not snowball for the Aggies before they enter Southeastern Conference play on Sept. 23 against Arkansas.
“When you look at the whole picture, everybody’s frustrated about what happened Sunday, and nobody’s more frustrated than me and upset about it than the players,” Sumlin said. “But there are some things out of that that we can learn from and get better from, and that’s what today’s about.
He added, “We’ve got 11 more games that are guaranteed, and I think the key is not to let this situation create another situation this weekend.”
The Aggies will move on without quarterback Nick Starkel and the senior free safety Donovan Wilson. Both players had surgery to repair injuries sustained in the loss to U.C.L.A.
The true freshman Kellen Mond took over after Starkel was injured on Sunday, but Sumlin would not say if Mond or Jake Hubenak would start on Saturday. He did say that he expects both of them to play as A&M tries to sort out the situation in the next two nonconference games before the meeting with the Razorbacks.
The Aggies were off on Monday, and as they returned to practice on Tuesday, Sumlin said he was trying to help his team look forward and refrain from wallowing in the loss to U.C.L.A.
“What happened happened, and we’ve got to fix it,” he said.
And regardless of what is being said about Sumlin outside the team, it was clear on Tuesday that his players stood firmly on his side.
“Without a doubt, I would never want to play for another coach but Coach Sumlin,” Williams said. “He’s a great man, great leader, and I came here because of him. So I’m always going to support him and be behind him.”