These days, and especially today, it seems like Texas A&M is everywhere. ESPN has been in town since Thursday. CBS will show today’s game to a national audience. Every national publication has a seat in the Kyle Field press box, and the Texas A&M name is in every newspaper and website in the country.
The holy trinity of Kevin Sumlin, Johnny Manziel and the SEC has been a tide (no pun intended) that lifted all boats not only within the Texas A&M athletics department, but for the entire university.
Take a look at these figures from Friday’s USA Today column by George Schroeder.
“Texas A&M’s licensing revenues were up 23% in 2011, when the Aggies announced they were leaving the Big 12, and then up 22 percent from that in 2012,” writes Schroeder. “Football-related donations increased from $15.7 million in 2011 to $17.7 million in 2012; the school has budged for $18.6 million this year.”
From a university perspective: “Texas A&M experienced a 10 percent rise in applications for this school year, which isn’t unusual for schools with athletic success. But A&M issued a standard number of offers of admission – and expected, based on history, that 8,700 students would accept. Instead, more than 10,000 did, leading to the largest freshman class in school history.”
We understand donations to the university have reached record figures.
Texas A&M isn’t the first school to have its national profile boosted greatly by the success of its football program, nor will it be the last. In fact, it feels like we have stories like this at least once every season, and that’s great. After all, isn’t that ultimately the point of college football? If the football program is truly the front porch of the total university house, it’s always good to have the kind of porch that makes the entire home more attractive.