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Randolph Duke

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Randolph Duke last won the day on March 23 2020

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About Randolph Duke

  • Birthday 01/01/1980

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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. Today marks 163 years since “the cherished design of the Republic and the State of Texas” was realized and The University of Texas, Texas A&M’s parent institution, was established by the Texas Legislature. Today also marks 163 years since the establishment of the Permanent University Fund, the endowment fund overseen by the University of Texas Board of Regents for the benefit of The University and its branch institutions. The PUF was initially funded with $100,000 of the money given to Texas via the Compromise of 1850. During the Civil War, the Legislature raided the PUF leaving just $0.58 in cash and a handful of state warrants (IOUs) of dubious value as the fund’s assets. The Fourteenth Amendment stated “neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States.” There was extensive discussion whether the warrants held in the PUF were worthless pursuant to this clause. It was left to the Legislature to determine how The University established in 1858 would be funded. This would be worked out and, in 1883, the first institution of higher education in Texas created “Of the people of Texas, by the people of Texas, and for the people of Texas” opened its doors. “One star, one state, one University.” What started in 1858 “Changed the World.”
  2. I have a concern that the same people who couldn't evaluate Tom Herman objectively a few years ago are again the loudest voices in the room. I know of at least one individual who, from the start, was deeply concerned about Herman's stupefying insistence on expending his goodwill with the alumni when he just had to bring a rape apologist and a high school drug dealer onto campus. The alumni held their collective noses because we were told we had to sacrifice integrity to beat TCU and OU. The loudest voices in the room shouted down any criticism of "St. Tom the Intellect." They were wrong. I remember at least one person who was concerned Tom Herman had an issue getting his team focused on the game at opening kickoff. While the talent was there, horrible starts against an inferior opponent (especially early in the season) cost Tom dearly. The loudest voices in the room shouted down any criticism of "St. Tom the Intellect." They were wrong. I am very much on record as being very opposed to the now familiar argument that if UT doesn't overlook ethical and character problems the program will be incapable of defeating TCU or OU in football. I thought those in favor of ignoring warning signs were wrong a few years ago. I believe those same people are again the loudest voices in the room and pushing for "St. Urban the Innocent." I believe those people are wrong today. TCU didn't have to dive into an ethical sewer to build a program that has seemingly broken UT athletics and driven it to desperate decisions. TCU hired an AD who had the vision to play the long game. Oh where can UT find such a proven AD to lead our program? Urban Meyer is bad news. Very bad. I disagree with those who can't solve this problem without essentially placing UT athletics on the precipice of being a scumbag program. It is a bad lesson to teach that whenever one's intellectual abilities find their limitation, the best course of action is to act unethically. A very bad lesson. The Urban Meyer warning signs are clear. Ignore them with an understanding doing so will carry a very dear cost.
  3. By the way, the athletics department financial reports mandated by the Dept of Education were due Oct 15. They will be released on the DoE database in a few weeks. The NCAA financials (far more detailed) are due Jan 15. When those numbers hit, expect the real fun to begin. It will be an era of negative recruiting unseen in our lifetimes, as it will reveal the futures of a number of programs. Texas has to be at the top of the list of financially solvent programs when the dust settles. Programs are going to have to cut back on facilities, coaches and personnel. That is the environment when you hire the best coach you can find and really make your push. Blowing out the top of the market on Urban Meyer when the coaching salary market has turned is not good long-term fiscal management when a strong financial position could be hugely advantageous.
  4. I hoped that recruit enjoyed last night's LSU game. A lot of programs are not being open and honest about their financial situations and whan that reality hits, many programs are going to be radically changed. Michigan needs to cut ties with Harbaugh, but UM athletics is facing the reality of a horrific cash flow situation that, if funded with additional debt, will radically change the fortunes of UM athletics. Many, many other programs are going to have to make significant financial cuts they are not discussing publicly, and certainly not disclosing to recruits. It should be frightening that UT athletics, the wealthiest program in college athletics, could not make its most recent payment on its roughly $200 million in public debt. Since last spring, when the financial ill-winds began to blow, the donors have not stepped up to fill the void. Cash flow from operations is not sufficient to pay current obligations. UT Athletics is struggling to pay its bills and will have MANY deferred obligations to pay once any free cash flow again materializes. Donors have not stepped up to fill the void. Evidently the financial reserves have been expended. The money is not there to meet the payments on Tom Herman's existing contract. Those are the facts. When UT is struggling to pay Tom Herman, the answer is not to spend yet more, hiring yet another head coach. There are bigger issues at hand than whether UT football is 4-2 or 5-1. There is a major round of realignment coming up in a few years. A number of current D1/FBS programs are not going to be able to afford to participate in college athletics to the degree they have been. Also, I have heard no talk about identifying those people involved with the hiring process who got it wrong about "St. Charlie the Pure," "St. Thomas the Enlightened," and who now want to bring in "St. Urban the Innocent." A lot of very loud voices have demonstrated an incredible level of ineptitude and a special flair for taking a program with fabulous advantages and, by hiring the wrong coach, ensuring the program embarrassingly underperforms. Before any coaching decisions are made, we need to eliminate the "Jerry Jones" element from the decision making process. Coming out of the chapter of college athletics that has affected by Covid will a strong balance sheet should be the first and foremost consideration of Jay Hartzell, CDC, and any UT supporter who truly cares about the program. I'm hearing a lot about spending large sums of money on today's immediate complaints. I'm not hearing much about how to use the current situation to confer significant, long term structural advantages for UT athletics. "St. Urban the Innocent" does not help UT athletics long term. Just wait until the other athletics programs start having to admit their financial situations. The recruit who cancelled UT because they couldn't "answer tough questions about the future" and who evidently sees safety in Ed Orgeron's arms is about to F@#K up massively. UT athletics can't be yet another party who "f##ks up massively" over the next three or four years while the financial shock waves resonate through college athletics and the spectre of major conference realignment draws ever closer.
  5. The "cash cow" delivers roughly $10 mil/yr into a $3.1B budget. To break that relationship down, for an individual making $100k/yr, your "cash cow" would drop a whopping $0.03 into their pocket. You seem to have your financial understanding backward. Bellmont is the one that could not pay its most recent capital debt payment. The university isn't in dire financial straits. Your "cash cow" is. UT can have a football program without becoming Texas A&M. (Or, possibly not). There can be football at UT without having to turn the program over to a sociopath who would degrade the name, brand and reputation of the school from Day 1. When Bellmont gets its financial house in order, begins again to be able to dependably make its debt payments, repays the deferred salaries it owes (yes, including to Tom Herman), and gets back on financial footing, then CDC can begin to make the case that he is unable to hire anyone ethical to lead the athletics programs. Until then, I think it is unreasonable for CDC (or anyone else) to demand a known sociopath be made the highest paid public employee in Texas. The alumni were told to shut about ethics when Herman insisted the football team could not win unless Casey Horny was hired. Then the alumni were told to shut about about not wanting a felon who peddled controlled substances to minors on school grounds on the UT campus because the football could not win unless Leitao was on the team. Now, we are being told the football can't win without again going even deeper into the ethical sewer. We've been told enough that we can't win unless we toss our ethics aside. Maybe its about time to realize those who insist on wallowing in the ethical sewers just so the football team can win are not the ones we should be listening to.
  6. If doesn't matter where the money is coming from. If Bellmont didn't have the money to make its scheduled capital debt payment, and didn't have the money to meet its payroll without layoffs and salary deductions, yet has $40 million to blow on a reprehensible human being to coach its football team, then the question should be asked if the leaders at UT have a grip on what is important. It would be reprehensible for Bellmont to take pay away from employees and to then hire Urban Meyer, of all people. The whole message that "people don't matter, football matters" is a rather bad message when promoting a public university. If integrity means so little to Jay Hartzell and Chris DelConte that they would hire Urban Meyer, especially when UT athletics isn't capable of paying its debt obligations, then the wrong individuals are in senior leadership positions at Univ of Texas. It is extremely bad form to blow off paying your public debt obligations because you want to hire a shiny new sociopath to coach your football team.
  7. The academic budget of UT Austin is well in excess of $3B/yr. Academics brings the money in, and if the president of the university forgets that, it will be to his disadvantage. People forget the stink that Herman's insistence on hiring Casey Horny brought. People also forget the Bellmont employees who were recently let go because of the financial problems were real people. 70 positions eliminated. The pay reductions for Bellmont staff just hit with today's payroll. CDC's exact word were "Strong measures have been taken to mitigate expected revenue losses. These actions amount to a $13.1 million savings for the department budget." UT athletics had to skip a debt payment to help balance its books. And yet some expect the alumni to cheer blowing the better part of $40 mil on hiring one of the most odious people connected with college athletics. Simply amazing.
  8. As I said in the recruiting thread: I cannot fathom the transgression such that Urban Meyer would be a step up in ethics and integrity. Fewer than 60 days ago, CDC announced the loss of quite a few jobs inside Bellmont to save far less money than it would take to remove Herman and replace him with Meyer. The faculty has to do without merit raises, the university is just beginning to have to make very painful budget cuts, and Jay Hartzell's fist major decision would be to hire Urban Meyer, who comes with not inconsequential baggage. People have lost their minds.
  9. I cannot fathom the transgression such that Urban Meyer would be a step up in ethics and integrity. Fewer than 60 days ago, CDC announced the loss of quite a few jobs inside Bellmont to save far less money than it would take to remove Herman and replace him with Meyer. The faculty has to do without merit raises, the university is just beginning to have to make very painful budget cuts, and Jay Hartzell's fist major decision would be to hire Urban Meyer, who comes with not inconsequential baggage. People have lost their minds.
  10. 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.”
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.

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