Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Don't Mess With Texas

The November 1, 2008 edition of Texas Monthly features an article entitled "Come early. Be Loud. Cash in."about the University of Texas Athletic Department and budget. The article describes in significant detail the incredible growth of the University's athletic program in the last few years and the significant strategic decisions made by Director of Athletics DeLoss Dodds to position the program for the success it is experiencing today. In another article, slightly more than a year earlier, the Austin American-Statesman did a similar budget analysis. Of particular note is that the Texas budget grew by approximately $19 million in just one year.


Less than a week ago Business Week reported that the University is also in negotiations to start its own institution specific television network that would benefit both athletics and the University at large.


UT now has one of the most recognizable national collegiate brands, is considered one of the top 50 schools in the country and one of the top public universities, at least a portion of the stature and notoriety of the University is due in part to its athletic success and branding where everyone is encouraged to be a Longhorn. Examples abound, including:
  • "Longhorn Confidential" provides behind the scenes look at college life (of course with appropriate University oversight).
  • The Longhorn logo has been adopted for the email system (see to the right); and
  • The Longhorn mascot Bevo has been adapted to provide Bevoware, computer anti-virus downloads.

The pride that the campus has in its athletic program is clear and that pride is then translated to other parts of the University where the incredible energy that surrounds an abundantly successful athletic program is shared with 50,000 students in a rich and vibrant research environment to make the University of Texas a place to be reckoned with, not only in athletics, but in everything else in undertakes. While there are sure to be critics who will indicate that the athletic budget is misplaced or excessive, this self funded entity which is sharing its profits with the academic side of the University is another example of the benefits athletics can provide when properly conceived in the broader mission of the University.
-ultimate sports insider

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