Sports

Texas coach Steve Sarkisian says viral monkey story is ‘not a distraction at all’

Days after a series of tweets unveiled a bizarre saga involving Texas Longhorns special teams coordinator Jeff Banks, a pet monkey and an injured trick-or-treater, Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian told reporters the story was “not a distraction at all” for the team.

It started with a tweet on Monday night that claimed Banks’ pet monkey “attacked and seriously hurt” a small child on Halloween night. Later tweets revealed the monkey belongs to Danielle Thomas, an exotic dancer who is reportedly in a relationship with Banks.

In a video that was later deleted but can be seen here, Banks said the child in question trespassed into a blocked area of her home, ignoring multiple signs to stop, and stuck their hand inside the monkey’s cage.

Banks has not spoken to the media since the story broke Monday night, and Sarkisian’s quick dismissal of the story Thursday is the only acknowledgement it has received from the program.

In an October tweet, Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports said Banks is a top candidate to replace Nick Rolovich as the head coach of the Washington State Cougars. Banks is a Washington State alumni and serves as assistant head coach and tight ends coach in addition to his special teams duties at Texas.




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