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“From The Bench” with McPhaul...

 

I have some good news concerning a new sponsor.  I have been contacted by several pharmaceutical manufactures that specialize in anti-depressants.  They are under the impression that there is a good market for them on Hornsports.com!

 

I don’t’ care who you are, that is funny.

 

***

 

With the jokes out of the way let me get a bit serious for a minute. When I was asked to join the Hornsports ownership team I did so; with the understanding that this site was going to be a refuge of sort from all the disrespectful & negative behavior that has gone on for years on some other sites. I and many of our members have yearned for a site that can view a glass half full instead half a glass half empty. The old coaching regime made it very hard for some of us to maintain that perspective.

 

We now have what we wished for: a new coaching staff. For the life of me I cannot fathom that some of my Hornsports brethren have already deemed them a failure six months into their jobs. I would suggest that some of us need to take a very hard look and what it is you believe you are contributing to the site & community. If you can't constructively articulate an opinion - negative or positive - please think twice before posting. There isn't any need to repetitively repetitively post the same position - again, negative or positive - because you're likely affecting the entire board and that's not productive for any of us. Please fix it or the administration will.

 

***

 

I was fortunate enough to speak with one of my sources within Belmont on Thursday.  Now that I help run a web site I rarely reach out to this particular source but, given some of the topics on the board over the last week, I made the call:

 

After reviewing some of the points made on the board, the response was I got was, "WOW! Where should I start?"

 

In summary, here are the points from my call...

1)  How do any of your members know who is under-performing?  I take it because they read on some website it must be true?

 

2)  Let me address what Patterson has to deal with.  The employees at Texas are government employees and some of them have received sterling job evaluations for ten to twenty years.  Do any of the members comprehend how difficult it is to fire a government employee with that kind of track record?  Do your members understand the legalities involved?

 

3)  Apparently not...DeLoss Dodds was here for thirty plus years but, Steve is supposed to have “changed” everything within six months?  That is not realistic.  I understand that we live in a microwave society but, the real world does not work that way.

 

4)  Your members are sorely mistaken if they think Patterson is ignoring anything. However, he is not going to go off half-cocked and give some half-baked reporter the time of day, making it appear what was written has any merit. Former A&M AD Bill Byrne was one that took that sort of bait and he came off as an emotional amateur hillbilly. Thankfully that’s not what we do at Texas.

 

5)  National sportswriters are going to kick this program while they can - it's that simple. I would hope that your readers are smart enough to see that.

 

6) "Regarding Patterson & Strong's stance on academics...every AD & University President is taking the same hard line but, don’t let that fact get in the way."

 

The other issue I wanted we talked about is the idea that Charlie Strong's hire isn't generating buzz or delivering immediate recruiting results. Here is what I heard:

 

1)  Anyone that believes that is not paying attention - the LHN has done a wonderful job of sharing with the Texas fans who Charlie Strong is and what he stands for. Evidently your members would rather believe to sportswriters that are writing opinion pieces with agendas. Those writers are never going give Charlie his due until he wins, and even then it's questionable if they will.

 

2) I keep a saying from Lao Tzu above my desk and it reads:

If you are depressed then you are living in the past.

If you are anxious you are living in the future.

If you are at peace, you are living in the present.

 

Reality is Texas hired a football coach first and foremost.  A coach that had the second best record in college football for the last two years combined.  Charlie Strong is going to get his recruits.  Texas did not hire a coach because he sounds good in front of the media - they hired a coach to rebuild a program and return the Longhorns to winning on & off the field.

 

3)  "I know Kevin and I know Art, if you really believe than are any more engaging than Charlie then you have not spent any real time around any of them.  It is absolutely amazing that our fans believe we can make up the ground work that both Kevin and Art have put in the last two years and three on some of these kids in five months.  Recruiting is based off of relationships and track records which we have just begun.  I will say this, when it is said and done, the next class will be around a top ten class and the following year is shaping up to be a top five class."

 

***

 

Friend of BEVO

McPhaul:  Welcome Home, although I know you wish you were still in Omaha.

FOB:  Thanks and yes, we were not ready to come home.

 

McPhaul:  Our return next year looks promising.

FOB:  We have some talent returning next year and some good HS talent coming in.  It should be one of Texas most talent team in years.

 

McPhaul:  Any concerns?

FOB:  Yes, some other school luring Skip Johnson away.

 

McPhaul:  How serious of a threat do you think this is?

FOB:  It’s a serious threat and not only in college but, the pro’s have taken notice too.  Not sure whether you are aware but, Skip has said thanks but, no thanks to several interviews.  Quite certain the offers and the money are going to increase.

 

McPhaul:  Ok, let’s cut to the chase.  Augie has one more year left on his contract and has asked for an additional three year extension to his current contract.  Do you believe he will get it?

FOB: It's a complex situation....the team loves  Augie but, this is Skip’s team.

 

McPhaul:  So, what is your take on Augie requesting an extension?

FOB:  Not something the administration wanted to deal with but, apparently they may need to work something out.

 

McPhaul:  I know you have to run so, thanks for taking the time.

FOB:  Let’s grab lunch next week.

 

McPhaul:  You buying?

FOB:  Don’t I always?

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Not really. But I do like being called out. Has Saban been hired yet?

if you're referring to me, i didn't call anybody out and never thought saban was coming.

 

if you're referring to mcphaul, yeah he whiffed on saban but he owned it. and refuting point-by-point the pants-wetting criticisms of some posters is hardly a call out.

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Good one. Your friend at Belmont is dead right.

 

Augie is my age. I still work some, but not full time. I can understand his reluctance to give it up. The situation reminds me a bit of back in the 1950s, when track coach Clyde Littlefield was getting older. His success was much like Augie's. Froggie Lovvorn was the assistant and freshman coach.  Coach Littlefield stayed on, much like Augie. But Littlefield was far superior to Lovvorn. Maybe Texas can create a kind of emeritus situation for Augie. I hate to see him forced out after making it well into the Series in Omaha, and with good recruits coming in.

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Thanks for the talk about our site and about Patterson and Strong. I just wish that some of our members would stop their talk about HornSports on the TOS in a negative way. Seems they are one way here and the other way there....Do you understand my friends.

 

I like the new pill company

 

HOOK'EM LOVE me some HORNSPORTS

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Well done, but I also feel McPhaul's contact inside Bellmont doesn't understand where some of the criticism of Bellmont and the expectations of reform are coming from.

 

I think if our friends in Bellmont were to conduct a survey to determine the common perception of their performance, the results would be a shock to them. Words such as "bureaucratic" and "bloated" are widely used to describe Bellmont. There is a great frustration among the fans that the image of UT is not what it once was and that the cow college down the road is seemingly head and shoulders above Bellmont in matters such as marketing their overall program and managing the image of their football program. I am not surprised that McPhaul's contact inside Bellmont was defensive and expressed that many of the employees had been performing at an exemplary level for decades. I have no doubt each and every one of them believe they are performing brilliantly and we should be thanking them for their efforts. The disconnect between how Bellmont employees see themselves and how outsiders see them is expansive. Personally, I am searching to identify what aspects of the program are examples of excellence. If any Bellmont employees would care to offer examples, I would be interested in their opinion.

 

Earlier this month, Kristi Dosh published a piece about various college athletics programs and their levels of spending. The link is provided below. It is an interesting read. One of the charts listed various AAC member schools and examined their spending on individual sports, both men's and women's, as well as each school's average spending per athlete. Among the college coaches quoted in the article is Jerritt Elliott of Texas. The article mentions the average spending per athlete by all public FBS schools. It was $107,677. I looked at the financial reports and noticed the average spending per athlete for aggy was $132,826. For OU, the figure was $195,000. For UT, the number was $233,108. For the life of me, I can't understand how an efficiently run athletic program is spending more than twice the national average and far outspending its peers. If anyone inside Bellmont wants to explain why the average spending per athlete is as high as it is, I would be interested in their opinion.

 

The money is being spent, but other schools are seemingly doing a far better job at managing their brand and the public perception of their program. I look for the areas of excellence. I clearly see the areas of perceived excess.

 

Maybe the spending in Bellmont will continue for years to come, unabated by restructuring or reforms. Maybe McPhaul's contact within Bellmont is correct and we shouldn't expect anything to change anytime soon. If that is the case, I hope Steve Patterson tempers his insistence that the game day experience is not being priced high enough. At the very least, i would love for him to give a number for average spending per athlete he feels reasonable and consistent with what he considers a responsibly managed program. Maybe managing the department to such a number would blunt public opinion the budget of UT athletics department is bloated and excessive.

 

Personally, I want words like "dynamic", "innovative" and "creative" to come to mind when I think of the leader of the athletic department of the University of Texas. McPhaul's contact within Bellmont certainly doesn't believe we should expect dynamic change anytime soon. I hope we can see "innovative" or "creative" soon.

 

I am not trying to be negative. I am trying to offer the basis for an opinion that the athletics department needs to be reformed without delay. It is just a matter of until Patterson will come to the donors and fans seeking more money. If he wants us to support such a request, maybe he can make the request having, since he first took over the program, managed the department with fiscal responsibility and with an eye to minimizing the need for additional funds.

 

http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Journal/Issues/2014/06/09/Colleges/College-spending.aspx

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Well done, but I also feel McPhaul's contact inside Bellmont doesn't understand where some of the criticism of Bellmont and the expectations of reform are coming from.

 

I think if our friends in Bellmont were to conduct a survey to determine the common perception of their performance, the results would be a shock to them. Words such as "bureaucratic" and "bloated" are widely used to describe Bellmont. There is a great frustration among the fans that the image of UT is not what it once was and that the cow college down the road is seemingly head and shoulders above Bellmont in matters such as marketing their overall program and managing the image of their football program. I am not surprised that McPhaul's contact inside Bellmont was defensive and expressed that many of the employees had been performing at an exemplary level for decades. I have no doubt each and every one of them believe they are performing brilliantly and we should be thanking them for their efforts. The disconnect between how Bellmont employees see themselves and how outsiders see them is expansive. Personally, I am searching to identify what aspects of the program are examples of excellence. If any Bellmont employees would care to offer examples, I would be interested in their opinion.

 

Earlier this month, Kristi Dosh published a piece about various college athletics programs and their levels of spending. The link is provided below. It is an interesting read. One of the charts listed various AAC member schools and examined their spending on individual sports, both men's and women's, as well as each school's average spending per athlete. Among the college coaches quoted in the article is Jerritt Elliott of Texas. The article mentions the average spending per athlete by all public FBS schools. It was $107,677. I looked at the financial reports and noticed the average spending per athlete for aggy was $132,826. For OU, the figure was $195,000. For UT, the number was $233,108. For the life of me, I can't understand how an efficiently run athletic program is spending more than twice the national average and far outspending its peers. If anyone inside Bellmont wants to explain why the average spending per athlete is as high as it is, I would be interested in their opinion.

 

The money is being spent, but other schools are seemingly doing a far better job at managing their brand and the public perception of their program. I look for the areas of excellence. I clearly see the areas of perceived excess.

 

Maybe the spending in Bellmont will continue for years to come, unabated by restructuring or reforms. Maybe McPhaul's contact within Bellmont is correct and we shouldn't expect anything to change anytime soon. If that is the case, I hope Steve Patterson tempers his insistence that the game day experience is not being priced high enough. At the very least, i would love for him to give a number for average spending per athlete he feels reasonable and consistent with what he considers a responsibly managed program. Maybe managing the department to such a number would blunt public opinion the budget of UT athletics department is bloated and excessive.

 

Personally, I want words like "dynamic", "innovative" and "creative" to come to mind when I think of the leader of the athletic department of the University of Texas. McPhaul's contact within Bellmont certainly doesn't believe we should expect dynamic change anytime soon. I hope we can see "innovative" or "creative" soon.

 

I am not trying to be negative. I am trying to offer the basis for an opinion that the athletics department needs to be reformed without delay. It is just a matter of until Patterson will come to the donors and fans seeking more money. If he wants us to support such a request, maybe he can make the request having, since he first took over the program, managed the department with fiscal responsibility and with an eye to minimizing the need for additional funds.

 

http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Journal/Issues/2014/06/09/Colleges/College-spending.aspx

No,no, no my man,  

 

You took it all wrong.  He was anything but defensive.  He was trying to share with you the level of work involved to make the changes "YOU" expect to see.  Do you understand that?

 

You and I need to be on the same page concerning that perspective before I go any further.   I'm not going to argue apples & oranges.

 

Darrell

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No,no, no my man,

 

You took it all wrong. He was anything but defensive. He was trying to share with you the level of work involved to make the changes "YOU" expect to see. Do you understand that?

 

You and I need to be on the same page concerning that perspective before I go any further. I'm not going to argue apples & oranges.

 

Darrell

Maybe I am misreading what your contact said. I don't see how anyone can argue Bellmont needs reform and now. I am just disappointed we aren't seeing dynamic change. I was expecting Patterson had a plan to change things and that he was going to effect change sooner as opposed to later. I would be surprised to see much change in Bellmont during the football season, simply because the level of activity. The prospect of having had a leader in place for a year and not having personnel changes already made is going to be disappointing.

 

By the way, I forgot to add in my numbers discussing average spending per athlete. Texas is at $240,000/ athlete. Stanford, who has won the Director's Cup twenty straight years and has a far greater grant-in-aid cost than UT, is at $103,500. Where are we spending all the money, other than salaries and benefits?

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Maybe I am misreading what your contact said. I don't see how anyone can argue Bellmont needs reform and now. I am just disappointed we aren't seeing dynamic change. I was expecting Patterson had a plan to change things and that he was going to effect change sooner as opposed to later. I would be surprised to see much change in Bellmont during the football season, simply because the level of activity. The prospect of having had a leader in place for a year and not having personnel changes already made is going to be disappointing.

 

By the way, I forgot to add in my numbers discussing average spending per athlete. Texas is at $240,000/ athlete. Stanford, who has won the Director's Cup twenty straight years, is at $103,500. Where are we spending all the money, other than salaries and benefits?

 

My Brother,

 

No one is argue with you that changes need to be made.  You say NOW!  And, YOU want to see DYNAMIC changes.

 

My source was trying to educate you on what is involved in making those changes.

 

He said, you don't make DYNAMIC changes in six months when the culture has been built the last thirty two years,  It is impossible.  

 

Do you you understand what you are asking for?

 

  I need to know that you and I are talking rationally before I get into a discussion with you.  

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