A changing of the guard at the University of Texas may provide a glimmer of hope for fans wanting to spend a few bucks on a frosty beverage at a Texas Longhorns football game this fall.
Greg Fenves, the new University of Texas president, is on record supporting the possibility of beer sales in Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. Fenves took over the position as president on Wednesday, and it did not take long for somebody to ask him about the topic.
Texas has been experimenting with beer sales at athletic events over the past year, but football has remained off limits. The larger attendance issues appeared to be the biggest hurdle, with Texas needing time to work a system for selling beer at athletic events before going into football beer sales.
“(Former Texas President) Bill Powers and I agreed that we really needed more of an experience of selling beer and wine at our basketball games, baseball and track and field,” Texas System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa said last July. That was when it was decided there would be no beer sales at Texas football games for the 2014 season, ending any speculation it may become a reality last fall. Fenves said this week the university has seen no evidence of security problems from beer sales so far. It is also worth noting Cigarroa had been opposed to the idea, but he is no longer the one who would need to grant approval. That task falls on his successor, William McRaven. If McRaven grants his approval, any proposal involving beer sales would still have to be approved by the board of regents.
A handful of schools have started selling beer at football games, and the results seem to be positive. Obviously the extra income is what drives the discussion, but monitoring the sales and preventing it from leading to a disruptive game day atmosphere is what is a concern. West Virginia and Minnesota have been doing this for a couple of years now, and other schools are openly reviewing the results while making a decision on whether or not it is something they will choose to get into moving forward, Texas included.
As Texas opens fall camp, new head coach Charlie Strong took some time to confirm the latest decisions regarding player suspensions and dismissals that have been thrown under a spotlight in recent weeks. Strong formally announced the suspensions of offensive tackle Desmond Harrison, wide receiver Daje Johnson and safety Josh Turner, but did not reveal how much time will be taken away from them except to say they “will miss games.”
Turner had been previously thought to have been dismissed but ultimately remained with the program before following through on a potential transfer. Bergeron’s dismissal came in late July. Strong then confirmed some dismissal news that had previously been reported. Running backs Joe Bergeron and Jalen Overstreet and defensive back Chevoski Collins have all been released from scholarships. In addition, wide receivers Kendall Sanders and Montrel Meander were once again confirmed to have been released from their scholarships by Texas, following a sexual assault investigation. the two receivers were initially suspended by the team.
Strong’s tough approach to discipline has been praised by Texas president Bill Powers and is having an overall positive impact on the future of the Longhorns football program. Texas needed a bit of a kick in the butt as a football program, and Strong continues to deliver it with a steel-toe boot.
Texas head coach Charlie Strong has been hard at work at resetting the tone for the way the Longhorns will be run. That has included removing a number of players from the roster that are not buying into Strong’s mentality or philosophies when it comes to representing the program with honor. Strong, already a coaching hire that left a number of Texas fans a bit skeptical, was given a vote of confidence from the top of the university Friday. University of Texas president Bill Powers took to a brief blog post to address his support for the way Strong has been handling the discipline in Austin.
“In recent days, criminal charges and violations of team rules have led Coach Charlie Strong to dismiss and suspend multiple students from our football team,” Power said. “These are unfortunate losses, but I fully support Coach Strong and the hard line on discipline he takes. Indeed, this trait is among the reasons he was hired.”
Strong has yet to win a single game in Austin just yet but receiving this kind of support from the top of the university has to be considered some sort of win. Then again, what else is the president to say about this topic? The school just hired Strong and players in need of a potential wake-up call are being handed just that.
“In Charlie Strong, we have the right person for the job,” Powers continued. “Young players across Texas and beyond know that when they come to UT Austin, they’ll live by Coach Strong’s rules or they won’t play football.”
As stated before right here on College Football Talk, the actions being taken by Strong now will only help the future of the program.
Well this should be interesting if noting else. With the college football keeping a close eye on the developments out of Austin, Texas, Texas head coach Mack Brown will speak at a football banquet tonight. Surely this is nothing out of the ordinary. Why wouldn’t a head coach speak to the football players at a football banquet?
What comes off a little odd, at least at first glance, is the news reported by The Dallas Morning News that new athletic director Steve Patterson, former athletic director DeLoss Dodds and university president Bill Powers are all scheduled to speak at the football banquet. In fairness, this may not be out of the ordinary either. It is somewhat expected for an athletic director to at least make a brief statement and appearance at most sports banquets, and for a program as valuable as the Texas football program it probably is not all that unheard of for the university president to be on hand either.
So what does this all mean? Is this any sign that Brown has reached the end fo the line? Probably not by itself. The speculation continues to be out there that Brown is coaching his final game when Texas faces Oregon in the Alamo Bowl. But the news that the school’s AD, president and former AD are also speaking does not seem to carry enough weight to suggest this is the final curtain call for Brown.
Regardless, the Mack Brown watch continues.