Texas A&M was notably without one of its top play-makers during Saturday’s loss to Auburn. Muhsin Muhammad III, better known as ‘Moose,’ was not on the field.
Following the game, when asked why his top pass-catcher did not play, Jimbo Fisher declined to answer. On the other hand, Muhammad was more than happy to share the reason.
He said that he was benched because he was wearing sleeves.
Jeff Tarpley of 247 Sports confirmed that the reason for Muhammad’s benching was because of the sleeves.
“Gigem 247 was told immediately after the game that Fisher had a rule about skill position players wearing sleeves and that this kept Muhammad out of the game. This information was provided prior to the posting of [Muhammad’s] tweet.”
While neither Fisher nor the program has commented on the decision, if true — which it sounds like it was — then it couldn’t be more absurd. It also doesn’t make all too much sense based on recent history.
Muhammad wore sleeves during multiple games in 2022, and in years prior. Let’s check the tape.
Moose Muhammad during the Orange Bowl on Jan. 3, 2021:
Moose Muhammad vs. Arkansas on Sept. 24, 2022:
Moose vs. Mississippi State on Oct. 1, 2022:
Moose vs. Alabama on Oct. 8, 2022:
Moose vs. Florida on Nov. 5, 2022:
It’s important to note that Muhammad didn’t wear sleeves in every game. He was without them in A&M’s games against Ole Miss and South Carolina last month, among others.
That doesn’t really change anything.
Muhammad was wearing sleeves during the Aggies’ game against the Gators on the first Saturday in November. He was benched for wearing sleeves during the Aggies’ game against the Tigers on the second Saturday in November.
Was the rule put into effect during the midweek? Was it something that wasn’t enforced all year?
There is a belief that the no-sleeve rule applies to skill players during cold weather or wet weather games. It was definitely chilly in Auburn on Saturday and there was a dampness in the air.
However, it was not pouring — it didn’t even rain — and the temperatures did not dip below freezing.
And to further confuse things, Texas A&M posted a photo of Muhammad in pregame. He was wearing sleeves, but they were either only on his wrists, or had not yet been pulled up to his elbows.
Either way, wouldn’t a reminder about the rule have done the trick?
It seems like an exchange similar to this would have sufficed:
Coach: “Hey Moose, remember that we don’t allow skill players to wear sleeves.”
Muhammad: “Oh yeah! Thanks for the heads up. I wouldn’t want to be benched for wearing sleeves!”
Instead, Texas A&M decided not to play one of its best wide receivers, if not its best wide receiver, because he got confused about an egregious, ridiculous rule that did not allow him to wear sleeves, even though he wore sleeves earlier in the year and throughout his career. Allegedly, at least.
Oh, and the Aggies lost while passing for just 121 yards. Great job, Jimbo!