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Randolph Duke

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About Randolph Duke


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    I was born in 2011 as a poor, humble alter-ego of a snarky son-of-a-bitch. I enjoy college sports, but I enjoy the business of college sports even more. I love how underdogs can constantly compete with established programs in college sports and how there is no planning to to account for the unexpected variable depending on 18-22 year old kids will react in any given situation. Most of all, I like college sports because the experience or being a player or a spectator can give us memories to last lifetime. And, if we are lucky, we can be better individuals because we were part of something bigger than just ourselves.
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  1. And "Boom!" goes the dynamite! https://www.houstonchronicle.com/texas-sports-nation/college/article/Texas-A-M-Alabama-book-12th-man-legal-fight-15264638.php?utm_campaign=CMS Sharing Tools (Premium)&utm_source=t.co&utm_medium=referral History of Texas A&M's 12th Man challenged amid legal battle with school David Barron , Houston Chronicle May 12, 2020 Updated: May 12, 2020 12:49 p.m. An Alabama book publisher has upped the ante in his three-year legal dispute with Texas A&M by asking a judge to consider evidence he says will strike at the historical foundations of the Aggies’ cherished 12th Man tradition. Mike Bynum of Birmingham, Ala., says that two 1921 newspaper stories his attorneys filed as part of a proposed motion in U.S. District Court in Houston will show that A&M has misstated the facts surrounding the role of Texas A&M football and basketball player E. King Gill in the Jan. 2, 1922, Dixie Classic football game in Dallas. The 1922 game is famous in Aggies lore because Gill was summoned from the stands at Fair Park Stadium to join the undermanned A&M bench during a game against Centre College. Gill did not play, but his willingness to suit up when called upon is a cherished tradition at A&M, which has trademarked the 12th Man phrase with a description that concludes, “When the game ended, Gill was the only man left standing on the sidelines for Texas A&M.” Bynum, however, has submitted copies of December 1921 stories in The Dallas Morning News and The Houston Post that said A&M brought 25 players to Dallas for the Dixie Classic — not 16 or 18, as cited in previous accounts — and thus had sufficient manpower available even before Gill was summoned from the stands. “Those (1922 newspaper stories) are the best sources out there, and they should rule the day,” Bynum said. Based on the accounts of the 25-man roster, Bynum said, the Aggies had at least nine healthy players on the bench before Gill’s arrival. Accounts of the game agree that the Aggies used 15 players — 11 starters plus four subs for injured players — in the first half. A 16th player was not in uniform because of an injury suffered during pregame practice in Dallas. With the exception of Gill, no mention has been found of other players who did not enter the game. “Nevertheless, TAMU probably saw great value in embellishing on the historical facts, or failed to confirm them, to improve the story’s impact and to assert rights as the only team that could truly lay claim to a ‘12th Man’ story,” his attorneys said. Previous suit against A&M Bynum’s claim casting doubt on the accuracy of the 12th Man origin story is but another twist in his long-running copyright infringement lawsuit concerning a book that he copyrighted in 2010 and planned to publish about Gill and the 12th Man tradition. The two newspaper stories citing the 25-man roster are included in a proposed second amended petition that Bynum’s attorneys hope will be approved by U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen. Originally filed in 2017 against the A&M athletic department, the fund-raising 12th Man Foundation and three A&M employees, the suit’s only remaining defendant is Brad Marquardt, an assistant sports information director who according to the suit had Bynum’s unpublished book about Gill retyped and posted on an A&M website without Bynum’s knowledge or permission in 2014. Bynum is asking the judge to restore the 12th Man Foundation, the A&M athletic department and two other current and former A&M employees as defendants and to restore a portion of the suit accusing defendants of unconstitutional taking of Bynum’s property. His attorneys also claim that the case should be allowed to move forward with the additional defendants and charges based on the Supreme Court’s recent decision in a similar case in Georgia. That decision, they said, determined that state entities that take property without due process of law can still be sued even though they retain sovereign immunity against lawsuits. History of the 12th Man For latecomers to the 12th Man story, Gill was a member of the A&M football team in 1921 but was not included on the roster that traveled to Dallas in late December to play Centre College. Gill met the team in Dallas, his home town, and rode to Fair Park Stadium with A&M coach D.X. Bible. When they arrived, he was asked to serve as a press box spotter for Jinx Tucker of the Waco Tribune-Herald. However, with the Aggies having used four substitutes during the first half, Bible summoned Gill to the sidelines, where he remained as the Aggies went on to win 22-14. The story became a popular part of A&M culture via a radio broadcast in 1939, the year the Aggies won their only national championship, and became a tentpole for A&M’s corporate identity and for its athletics fund-raising arm, which according to Bynum has raised more than $1 billion since 2001. A&M obtained a trademark for the phrase 12th Man in 1990 and has filed assorted legal actions over the years to enforce its mark, including cases against the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks and Indianapolis Colts. Bynum, however, notes that the phrase was in use prior to 1922 in American football and that its use in English cricket dates back to the 19th century. Games during Gill's era were not staffed by the array of statisticians that monitor modern games. Bynum, however, said that A&M is guilty of more than an oversight in claiming that Gill was the only man available to play in the Dixie Classic. “It’s one thing to tell a friendly lie,” he said. “It’s another to raise money telling this lie, and that has what Texas A&M and the 12th Man Foundation have been doing for years.” In defense of 12th Man history Texas A&M’s media representatives referred inquiries about the history of the 12th Man story to John Adams, a Texas A&M former student who has written several books about the university and plans to publish a book on the Dixie Classic next January to mark its 100th anniversary. Adams, who said he years ago interviewed Gill, who died in 1976, and Joe Utay, the former Texas A&M player who organized the Dixie Classic, stands firmly with the traditional A&M tale that A&M brought 16 players to Dallas, not including Gill, and that Gill was the only healthy player available to play had the Aggies suffered another injury. Regarding the published stories in the Dallas and Houston papers citing 25 players who made the trip to Dallas, Adams said, “I have no idea where they got those numbers. I think they made them up.” He also takes issue with the 1974 book “The Twelfth Man: A Story of Texas A&M Football” by longtime Cotton Bowl executive Wilbur Evans and former A&M sports information director H.B. McElroy, published in 1974, that says the Aggies brought 18 players to Dallas. If correct, the 18-man roster, which also was cited in a 1956 Houston Press story about Gill, would mean that two players in addition to Gill were available to play in the Dixie Classic after the first-half injuries. Adams believes confusion over the Aggies’ roster size may stem from a roster of 24 names included in the game program, which he said was printed in December 1921. Regarding A&M's statement in its trademark filing that Gill was the only man available to play, Adams said some of the injured players may have remained in uniform on the sidelines and perhaps could have re-entered to prevent the Aggies from forfeiting the game. “But if you believe that, you’re really getting into the weeds,” he said. “I have accounted for 16 players, and I have looked for the 17th and 18th players (cited in the Evans-McElroy book) and haven’t found them.” Bynum, meanwhile, chooses to lean on the 1974 book and the 1921 newspaper accounts to assert the case that Gill, at best, was the Aggies’ 16th man. “Texas A&M has continued to tell this lie to raise their importance on the American sports stage and for financial fund-raising and promoting the value of a trademark, which they lied to obtain,” he said. “The $1 billion that A&M has raised through the 12th Man Foundation has been based on a lie.” A writer’s history Bynum is best known in Texas sports circles as editor of the book “King Football,” a history of Texas high school football that included two significant corrections to the historical record. One included the revelation that Gordon Wood, the longtime high school coach who was believed to be the first Texas coach to compile 400 career victories, actually had compiled just 394. The second was that the first known game involving a Texas high school team occurred not in 1894, when a team from Galveston Ball played Texas A&M, but in 1892, when Ball played a team coached by John Sealy known as the Galveston Rugbys. Bynum said he had been working on a book about the 12th Man origin story for more than a decade when he gave his research to Whit Canning, a longtime writer for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, to compose the story. He said in his lawsuit that he submitted the story, which designated him as the owner of the copyright, to Marquardt in 2010 while seeking assistance for photos from the Dixie Classic. Marquardt, in an email to Bynum, said he was asked in January 2014 to provide a story that detailed A&M’s 12th Man history to counter the publicity being generated by the Seattle Seahawks, who had licensed the number “12” from A&M as part of its game-day presentation. Marquardt said he found Bynum’s manuscript in his files, had it retyped and published without informing Bynum of his plans. Original ruling on suit Judge Hanen in April 2019 said the A&M athletic department could not be sued because it does not have a legal existence separate from the university, which says it has sovereign immunity against lawsuits. He also said Bynum had not exhausted his potential remedies against the university in state court. The 12th Man Foundation was dropped because Hanen said the group had no supervisory authority over Marquardt. Hanen also dropped as defendants Alan Cannon, the school’s sports information director, and Lane Stephenson, former director of the A&M news and information service. Bynum’s motion filed this week seeks to have all four restored as defendants and to restore the charge that defendants violated federal law by taking property without compensation. While he continues his lawsuit against what he says was A&M’s unlawful taking of his property, Bynum said he had no desire to diminish Gill’s role in A&M history. “King Gill always tried to downplay all of this but considered it an honor and thought it was good for Texas A&M,” he said. “But at some point, A&M crossed the line and turned a good thing into a big lie by saying he was the only guy on the sidelines, and that’s just not the way it was.” Gill family spokesman Charles Nicholas of San Antonio said family members remain understandably proud of Gill, who was a physician in Corpus Christi after graduating from A&M. Nicholas said his great-uncle never sought attention from the Dixie Classic, and he had no opinion on the possibility that other players on the sideline could have been available to play in the game. Other questions Bynum, for that matter, is not the only researcher to question the validity of A&M’s claim that Gill was the only player who could have entered the Dixie Classic and its claim that the 12th Man phrase had been in continuous use at A&M since 1922. The researcher, who uses the pseudonym Randolph Duke, has established a website called aggypedia.com, which includes Gill’s assertion in 1964 that he had never heard of a 12th Man tradition prior to 1939. The Gill family chooses to steer clear of judging the value of Bynum’s claim but agrees with him that Gill is and should remain a significant figure in A&M’s cultural history. Even if other players were available at the Dixie Classic, Nicholas said, “I don’t think it changes the spirit of what he represented. It was a selling point to bring people together, and the end result has been a tremendous spirit among the Aggies. “It’s the overall symbolism of it. The 12th Man tradition is the 12th Man tradition, and he is identified with it and always will be. Maybe there were other players on the sidelines, but when you call a guy out of the press box, that’s different.”
  2. If you are on Twitter, follow David Barron from the Houston Chron for the next few days. @dfbarron You will understand when the time is right.
  3. Nice video, but they should have used the graphics with this moment of zen from a leader far more important to Longhorn football that just Tom Herman. A moment of zen from our true leader.
  4. You would be amazed at how many young people seek post secondary education to advance their dreams of pursuing a career in sports management, sports marketing, kinesiology, and other fields related to the field of sports entertainment. College athletics programs aren’t just about letting hood rats skate through their time on campus to win games so fat, rich alumni can brag to their cronies about how their team is going. So while you are defending the prestige of a college degree in dance theory, music, agricultural leadership, general studies, or the myriad of other majors offered by the various universities out there, some of us will appreciate the sports entertainment business is large, growing, and in need of highly educated people to help the many, many multi-billion dollar sports entertainment organizations and sports related businesses move forward. And please, don't cite me bullshit articles about the UT endowment. I know the PUF financial assets exceeded $22B last month, the Long Term Fund is approaching $12B (up more than $2B in a year, impressive, isn't it?) and that the lands contributed slightly less than last year but more than $1B to the PUF for the second year in a row. Add in the smaller funds, and the figure quoted in the article you referenced is laughable. The audited endowment financials were posted on Nov 27th. I studied them over the weekend. I know about the UT endowment funds quite well without your having a bullshit year-old article about them. Have a nice day.
  5. Many in academia are well known for being jealous, petty, territorial, and overly impressed with themselves. And they are, in general, easily replaceable. Coaches are judged on their performance and paid for delivering demonstrable results. That level of accountability never has, and never will exist in academia. What anyone’s degree stands for is determined by how it empowers them to reach their goals in life. Whether or not some tenured, pinhead prima donna approves of the pay rate of other university employees means nothing. Like I said earlier, if any academic wants to give up their feathered, tenured nest to coach football, they should shut up and do it. If they did, I guarantee you they would immediately start griping about how football coaches should be paid more.
  6. The same academics who complain of how successful football coaches are compensated would never give up academia to enter the world of coaching. How do we know this? Because every academic has the opportunity to do so and none of us has ever heard of any academic giving up academia to become a coach. Tom Herman makes about 4% of gross revenue of the area of the university he manages. I assure you, if any of the academics who supposedly despise Tom Herman (or any high level college coach) want to give up tenure, put in 80+ hr weeks, begin recruiting elite students nationally, and either be in the conversation every year for a Nobel Prize or be fired, they too would be paid 4% of their department’s gross revenues once they established a promising track record. I can’t think of any NCAA coach who shows up on the first of September, looks at a roster of players the school administrators have assembled for them, spends 15 hrs per week for two 14 week “seasons,” takes vacation from May until September, and has guaranteed employment for life.
  7. I have no clue what path all this is going to take. As shown with Horny and Leitao, Herman has shown he can make the wrong decision and not care how much alumni goodwill he squanders. CDC is going to let Herman do what he feels he needs to do, but I’m fairly confident CDC will let Herman know if his staffing decisions don’t deliver results, his continued tenure at UT will not be a sure thing. He wont do it until after NSD, but CDC will make some calls in the spring to gauge the interest of possible candidates, should Herman not be retained past the 2020 season. No one should doubt that. Especially Tom Herman. We will see how Herman reacts when it is an open secret in the college football coaching ranks that his job is being shopped, and probably to at least one individual Herman will be coaching against in 2020.
  8. CDC doesn’t have the time or knowledge to micromanage the football program. That isn’t going to happen. That still leaves the fact that Herman isn’t going to be fired, and that he needs someone with a high level knowledge of college football to help him self scout better as well as to generally consult with Herman on a number of other aspects of running the program. Herman is oblivious to his weaknesses as a head coach. He needs the help of someone who has been there to help him get past his problem. Dragging down every sport by having the AD (who has never before coached football) neglect his daily obligations to instead coach football isn’t the answer. Neither is firing Herman at this time, and neither is doing nothing. I understand the frustrations, but I’m not seeing many other viable answers.
  9. Think this through logically. In May, CDC presents the BOR a contract extension and raise for Tom Herman predicated on his exemplary stewardship of the football program. The deal has a current buyout of $25.5 mil. In Nov, the BOR gives CDC a contract and extension for his leadership of UT athletics. That deal has a current buyout of $18 million. Do you really think after giving Herman a raise in May, and CDC a raise in November, that in December the Regents will sign off on firing Tom Herman and paying him out? You can’t imagine the embarrassment that would cause in the world of college athletics. It would make UT a laughingstock. Herman could end the season with three more loses and he still won’t get fired. It will not happen that Herman gets a huge vote of confidence in May and fired without cause in December. So, how does CDC endure the problems with the football program get identified and dealt with? Certainly not by doing nothing and letting Herman continue with business as usual. Therefore, if firing Herman is out of the question, doing nothing is out of the question, and CDC micromanaging the football program is out of the question, what’s the answer?
  10. Balancing the demands of running the Iowa State or Baylor programs differs fundamentally from balancing the demands of running the program at Texas. Just the added demands of media and alumni makes running UT’s program more demanding. That being said, Tom Herman isn’t performing up to expectations as the head of the UT program. For a number of reasons, firing Coach Herman isn’t an option at this time. But allowing Coach Herman to lead the program without significant additional oversight also isn’t an option. Tom Herman needs to start delivering answers as to how he intends to address his weaknesses as the leader of the UT program. And he needs to start delivering them now. Any failure on his part to begin to rebuild trust and confidence in his abilities to lead the program will only serve to solidify the belief held by increasing numbers of individuals each and every week that the Tom Herman era at UT Austin has been a costly failure. Ee are at a point where CDC needs to show he was the right choice to lead UT athletics and the the confidence place in him by the Regents when he was granted his recent raise and extension was warranted. CDC is being paid at the highest levels of his profession. He needs to deliver leadership at a commensurate level and address the Tom Herman issue.
  11. Going from 1st and 10 to 2nd and 35 during a crucial late game drive wasn’t because of defensive starters suffering injuries. Nor was the multiple PI calls when Iowa State was on their game winning drive. Nor was the offsides on 4th and 4. Texas doesn’t lead the conference in sacks allowed because of defensive injuries. Special teams being among the worst in the nation isn’t because of defensive injuries. The team is being poorly coached. CDC won’t fire Tom Herman now, but Tom Herman has shown he isn’t capable of leading the team on his own. Just as Mike Perrin was brought in to put the athletics department into effective receivership, someone needs to be brought in to supervise how Tom Herman is running the football program. We have to put the training wheels back on until Tom shows he can do it by himself. I have no interest in publicly humiliating Tom Herman, but so far he has failed. And I have no interest in putting up with any more of his post failure press conferences where he makes it clear he isn’t getting it that the problem lies at his feet.
  12. Someone with a high level understanding of college football needs to be brought in to oversee Texas football and to advise CDC on how to best chart the future direction of UT football. I am not in favor of firing him at this point, but it is clear he can’t be allowed to have complete control of the program. He simply is failing in too many aspects related to the game day performance of the team. Tom Herman doesn’t seem to be handling some of the basics well. Effectively, his leadership of the program needs to be put into receivership. He needs to be put on notice of how he is failing, and given the help he needs to correct his weaknesses. It doesn’t appear he has mastered the problem of having the team ready to play during the initial stages of any game. The constant problem with penalties shows the team lacks discipline and that Coach Herman is failing to adequately coach the mental aspects of the game. This is especially troublesome considering Herman’s “Mensa” reputation. The defense isn’t being taught basic fundamentals of tackling. The coaching staff has no ability to self-scout. The offensive play calling needs to be addressed. The problems are evident. So is the fact that Tom Herman isn’t addressing them effectively. He needs help to see if his weaknesses can be addressed. If not, he has to be let go and we have to move on to new leadership.
  13. The Surly crew will be at Lee Harvey's Friday night. Not sure what anyone else has planned, but you know where some of us will be. I will be there with a cigar in my pocket, just in case Aaron lets us know we are all (extended) uncles/ aunts (and the kid looks more like him than the mailman). The code word is "OU SUCKS"
  14. So much for "the nicest fans in all of college football." A friend of mine parked his car in College Station near the aggy campus and thoughtlessly left two tickets to the next A&M home game on his dashboard, in plain sight. Some thoughtless asshole smashed out the driver's side window and left four more.
  15. https://www.duffelblog.com/2019/09/texas-am-corps-of-cadets-found-guilty-of-143-years-of-stolen-valor/?utm_source=Normal+Subscribers&utm_campaign=e5b73310f4-Duffel_Blog_Daily&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_6d392bc034-e5b73310f4-23799241&goal=0_6d392bc034-e5b73310f4-23799241&mc_cid=e5b73310f4&mc_eid=8bd9ac752b Air Force Texas A&M Corps of Cadets found guilty of 143 years of stolen valor COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The student body of Texas A&M University was rocked today by news that their Corps of Cadets is guilty of stolen valor and has been for 143 years. Authorities reached a guilty verdict after discovering that despite wearing uniforms in public, displaying military medals, and being big time hardos, less than half of cadets go on to serve in the military. “The fact that these kids and this institution have let this go on for over a century is unconscionable,” says lead investigator Winston Hughes. “While it does not appear any of the cadets were able to translate their fake military status into getting laid, the vast majority did attempt to get free apps at the local Chili’s every Veterans’ Day.” Stolen Valor is typically defined as an individual wearing a military uniform and impersonating a member of the armed forces despite never having served. Texas A&M released a statement clarifying that, while the majority of their Cadets don’t commission into the armed forces, some do and all of them take their “dress up and march around stuff” very seriously. The school also stressed the importance of imagination in developing young minds. “Whether that involves imagining you go to Hogwarts or imagining you attend a military academy, the principle remains the same,” Booster Club President Jimbob Joe Houston notes. Houston was also quick to point out the school’s status as a Senior Military College, a special designation granted to several institutions after the Civil War authorizing their students to wear fancy boots and get high and tight haircuts unironically. However, detractors point out, that authorization is for individuals who are actually going to join the military and does not cover those who are live-action role-playing as soldiers from the Spanish-American War. The nail in the coffin for A&M’s stolen valor case was the fact that unlike other Senior Military Colleges—such as the Citadel or the Virginia Military Institute—it’s possible to be a student at the school without being a fake ROTC weirdo. “Over 69,000 students will attend class this year in College Station while only about 2,500 will dress up and ask people to thank them for their service” Hughes notes. When reached for comment, member of the Corps Josh Taylor was unapologetic. “How am I stealing valor by just wearing a uniform? Like I owe some kind of service to the country?” Taylor says. “I bought these boots with my parents’ own money, and donated my time to appearing on ESPN football broadcasts all fall. The nation has been compensated.” “If anything, you could say I’m overcompensating”
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