Chip Brown of HornsDigest.com on Thursday posted a lengthy airing of grievances from many in and around the Texas athletics department against Longhorns athletics director Steve Patterson. The screed begins with the story of 50-year Texas graduates, on a tour of campus as part of their reunion weekend festivities, being asked by Patterson to pay $25 to step on the football field.
Things devolve from there for Patterson, centering mainly on his reported mishandling of donor relations, at-all-costs international brand-building while penny-pinching in other areas of the athletics department, and his curious handling of a much-needed new tennis facility. You should read the whole thing and draw your own conclusions.
Brown paints a picture of a Texas athletics department that is supportive of Charlie Strong but, apparently, that support does not extend to the AD's office.
On the firing of long-time football SID John Bianco:
This week, Patterson fired longtime sports information director John Bianco, who had been at Texas 23 years and was trusted by football coach Charlie Strong – without consulting Strong, sources said.
“Bianco and his wife totally hit it off with Charlie and his wife,” said one source close to the situation. “Charlie doesn’t trust very easily. But he trusted John, because John always had Texas and Charlie’s best interests at the forefront.”
And here is Brown on Strong seeking raises for his quality control assistants - and getting shot down by Patterson. Keep in mind this is at an athletics department that took in more than $161 million in revenue and nearly $7 million in profit last year.
Sources said football coach Charlie Strong, who saw his and his coaching staff’s personal ticket allotment cut from eight to four last year, fought to increase the salaries of his eight quality control coaches from $24,000 to $50,000 after last season.
Texas has the lowest salaries in the Big 12 for its quality control coaches – even behind last-place football finisher Kansas ($45,000).
Strong’s request was denied by Patterson, and six of Texas’ eight quality control coaches who had built relationships with the rest of the staff, left to find better paying jobs, the sources said.
It isn't easy scratching out a living on $24,000 a year, and especially not in Austin. A $26,000 raise for eight QC assistants amounts to $208,000 total - 0.129% of the Longhorns' annual revenue.
Again, read the story and draw your own conclusions, but the picture Brown paints of Texas' athletics director isn't a positive one.