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Duck

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Posts: 623 Member Since:03/04/11 Maverick

#3 [url]

Sep 22 13 7:12 AM

Re: Blogging

These are great. I have really enjoyed reading all three of the stories. This Harless Wade story really gives a sense of the time in which it was written. I was in Jr. High, but remember the radio coverage that Pistol Pete Pedro was getting out in West Texas. Did you catch Wade's reference to Pistol Pete's skin color? This was in the days of a mostly all-white NCAA. It would be another four years before Jerry LeVias at SMU became the first black star in the Southwest Conference.

During my time on campus, we played West Texas State, led by Eugene "Mercury" Morris, who later went on to stardom with the Miami Dolphins.

Another West Texas football power in the old days was Hardin Simmons University. They played in three bowl games after the 1948 season, a record that I doubt will ever be repeated. http://www.chron.com/sports/college-football/article/Hardin-Simmons-made-bowl-season-history-in-48-1617904.php

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Duck

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Posts: 623 Member Since:03/04/11 Maverick

#8 [url]

Oct 12 13 7:18 PM

Re: Blogging

More great reporting. I had forgotten that Jarvis McKyer played on offense. His brother Tim played for several years in the NFL. Does anyone remember the name of the third McKyer brother who played at UTA?

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Duck

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Posts: 623 Member Since:03/04/11 Maverick

#14 [url]

Nov 24 13 2:52 PM

Re: Blogging

As usual, this is very well done. But it breaks my heart to read it. Often times, I have heard it said that athletics is like a window into the university, through which alumni and neighbors can maintain a connection to and interest in the school. To stretch that metaphor, I feel like a door was slammed in my face in 1985, and sometimes it has been very hard for me to keep my positive feelings for UTA alive. I don't know if anyone on Cooper Street would notice or care if I just pulled the plug on UTA and quit attending events. I keep thinking, "Maybe next year," but next year never seems to come.

Remember, several of us were involved in Pete Carlon's athletics alumni (ex-letterman's club was considered too sexist). Every few weeks we would meet and discuss various things we could do to hasten the return of football. We got on board with the student-led athletics referendum in 2004, and after that continued to fight the good fight, such as by sponsoring alumni reunions of old teams. I remember at one time being particularly bummed out when Pete told us that he did not think we would be able to resurrect football before 2006. But eventually I came to the realization that the administration was in no way interested in bringing football back, and that it has never really been a question of finances. What it is, I will leave to your imagination.

Perhaps it is somehow related to whatever or whoever it is that keeps trying to tick me off by changing the colors, alma mater and mascot. Or the administration insiders who worked so hard to make sure that Club Football could not succeed. If the ultimate aim is to build school spirit and loyalty, there's nothing rational going on here.

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Duck

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Posts: 623 Member Since:03/04/11 Maverick

#16 [url]

Nov 25 13 10:27 PM

Re: Blogging

Yes, Fo, that is a somber post. I generally agree with the sentiments from Randy Galloway, that our once great U was turned into a commuter school during that era (almost 30 years ago), and that student indifference and poor attendance contributed to the downfall of our football program. Fortunately, we are no longer that same commuter college. Because of the on-campus building boom that was started during President Witt's tenure and continued during the last ten years under Spaniolo's leadership, we have seen a dramatic transformation.

It remains to be seen how much better student participation will be, but I think we get some clues by comparing our home basketball crowds with those of Texas State, UTSA and other peer universities. Given nice facilities and decent match-ups, our crowds have increased, and should continue to give us optimism that we could see strong support for football at Maverick Stadium.

Back in the days before we had dedicated athletics fees, President Nedderman was having to siphon money from institutional accounts to make up a large annual shortfall, and the news accounts of the day said that that money shortage was a prime reason that Nedderman pulled the plug. Maybe there was some merit to his way of thinking at that time, but in our current circumstances, money would not be such an insurmountable issue. As I see it, the main hurdle is to convince the current administration that there is sufficient support forthcoming from the students and community, including alums, to make football worth the effort.

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FoUTASportscaster

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Posts: 987 Member Since:07/27/11 Maverick

#17 [url]

Nov 26 13 7:29 AM

Re: Blogging

From your first post, I have to say that some of our differences lie in our experiences. I respect your opinion and always have, but I have never viewed our admin as anti-football. I don't know lick about Amacher, but when I interviewed Witt, my feeling was indifference. Spaniolo wasn't anti-football in my view, but he recognized the need for a new multi-purpose venue. It isn't just for sports, as the U gets revenue from concerts and events. It also provides a proper local for graduation. In my opinion, Spaniolo did more for UTA athletics than any other president.

Also consider that the student led-referendum would have only provided funds for day-to-day operations, and even then, UTA would have needed $500,000 from outside sources. Start-up costs would have to come from somewhere, and unlike the arena, nothing can come from the UT system.

There's no doubt football is a very expensive sport. When Nedderman announced the end, boosters set a goal of raising a million, but only got 2/3rds (no doubt that would have helped). Of that, Vandergriff pledged six figures.

I do agree with your assessment that the student atmosphere has changed. And like I have said in another thread, the moves the athletic department and admin have made seem to only make sense in the larger context of adding the sport.

I had a good chance to talk to the current President at a couple of athletic functions this year. He is very much receptive to the idea and has said that if someone gives him the money, he would add it now. As it is, he is very much like me and wants it down right and not at the expense of any other sport. While we had football, we were the Nicholls State of the conference. I can't stand losing so if we are going to field a sport, let's field it to win it.

Duck, I have an idea that I'd like to talk with you about, so let's try to mesh our schedules to make a game at the same time. I need your input on something.

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UTArlingtonMaverick

Posts: 197 Member Since:08/09/11 Grad Student

#18 [url]

Nov 26 13 8:53 PM

Re: Blogging

Fo, I love that statement by Pres K. Friendly, optimistic, and good humor.

FYI UNT contributes $8 million per year from institutional funds for operations (which is on top of student fees, gifts, athletic revenue, etc.) that is in the typical range for a have-not and about what we would need to do to play at the 1a level.

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FoUTASportscaster

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Posts: 987 Member Since:07/27/11 Maverick

#20 [url]

Nov 27 13 7:18 AM

Re: Blogging

UTArlingtonMaverick wrote:
Fo, I love that statement by Pres K. Friendly, optimistic, and good humor.

FYI UNT contributes $8 million per year from institutional funds for operations (which is on top of student fees, gifts, athletic revenue, etc.) that is in the typical range for a have-not and about what we would need to do to play at the 1a level.


I'm going to question that number. We have a budget that is roughly $10 million with 14 sports. Arkansas State's budget is roughly $14 million for 16 sports.

But either way it is probably irrelevant what other schools. Had the proposal gone through from 2004, the student fee would have been raised to cover the costs of three new sports. Using the Nienas report as the source, we would have been short roughly $500,000. While those numbers are for both 1-AA and are not adjusted for inflation, the guarantee games the typical SBC team plays today pays out $1-1.3 million. Also factor in the payout for the playoffs that G5 schools would get is over a million for the worst performing conference (that hasn't been the Sun Belt the last two years) I don't think there would need to be more than one guarantee.

The key is the student fee. There were about 25,000 students enrolled in 2004. There are now 33,000, so that is also a greater revenue source. It also helps that right now, we have more athletic sponsors than at any other time. I don't know if the addition of football would bring on more, but it would make them disappear.

Now take this for what it is worth, a guy who isn't on the inside, but the biggest obstacle will be start-up costs. Equipment, uniforms, renovations, expansions, etc. Once the one-time costs are out of the way, then UTA will be alright budgetary speaking.

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