Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has taken college football by storm since he took over in the second half of the Crimson Tide’s national championship comeback. He’s looking like the runaway Heisman Trophy favorite. He’s also the first Alabama quarterback from Hawaii.
ESPN’s College GameDay aired a feature on Saturday that seemed ready to tell the story of Tagovailoa’s family life in Hawaii and the road to Tuscaloosa. Instead, it made for a disturbing viewing experience as Tua’s father, Galu, detailed how be molded Tua into a football star with a “Bible and the belt” philosophy.
Early in the story, Galu discussed how he forced Tua to throw lefty despite his son being right-hand dominant. The reason: Galu was a lefty.
Tua said his father’s strict discipline applied to both school and sports. When Tom Rinaldi followed up for clarification on what he meant, the Alabama quarterback said the “belt was involved” when he threw an interception or failed to get a certain grade.
“Two things in a Tagovailoa is your faith and your discipline. It’s simple,” Gula said, laughing.
“He means the Bible and the belt. You gotta work, son. You gotta do better. The evaluation from dad is the most honest,” his mother, Diane, added.
The feature also shed light on how Tua ended up at Alabama. Gula made the decision. Regardless of what Tua favored, he said his father had the final say.
The story understandably had viewers criticizing ESPN and the Gula.
When the segment concluded, ESPN’s Desmond Howard made a joke about it and called Galu a, ” Hawaiian Joe Jackson.”