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Texas president outlines SEC appeal; Senator says 'Maybe your fan base would rather lose to Alabama'

As University of Texas president Jay Hartzell addressed the Texas Senate Monday, he found himself in the crossfire of multiple senators as the Longhorns prepare to move to the SEC.
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The gatherings, already, are featuring the harmony of a Hatfields and McCoys family reunion.

Awkward, with an everybody-pile-on-the-insults mentality.

The University of Texas is on its way out of the Big 12 Conference, leaving that conference and its blindsided commissioner Bob Bowlsby fuming about bylaws, broadcast partners and feelings of inadequacy.

On Monday, Texas president Jay Hartzell had to address the 31-member Texas Senate regarding the state's flagship school and its jettisoning its conference home to pursue admittance – no later than 2025, almost certainly earlier – into the Southeastern Conference.

“This future move is the right thing, Hartzell told the Senate floor in a six-hour hearing that featured numerous media outlets on hand, “for our student-athletes, our programs and our university in the face of rapid change and increased uncertainty.”

Changes already are sweeping college athletics this summer, what with the NCAA getting its whistle handed to it in losing a unanimous United States Supreme Court decision (Alston vs. NCAA) as well as the ongoing Name, Image and Likeness changes that are now allowing student-athletes to market their personal brands and images for monetary gain.

Texas, and partner-in-flight University of Oklahoma, are seemingly expediting those changes with their impending moves to the SEC; the league already is looking at its future of at least 16 members after unanimously approving to accept the Longhorns and Sooners last week.

“We came to view that due to the changing landscape of college athletics and the strong position of the Southeastern Conference,” Hartzell told the Senate, according the Texas Tribune, “that the SEC might be a better home for the university, providing us with greater certainty and less risk.”

Hartzell wasn't spared insults in his address to the assembly, being called “Cousin Eddie” by West Texas Senator Charles Perry and getting absolutely dressed down by Senator Lois Kolkhorst.

“What's your athletic budget,” Kolkhorst, a Texas Christian University alum, asks Hartzell.

“It's over $200 million, It's probably $220, $225 million in that range,” Hartzell responds.

“Where's that put you in the U.S.?” Kolkhorst follows up.

“Depending on how you count, probably first,” Hartzell answers.

“And that's without a winning football team of late,” Kolkhorst deadpans.

“It's in spite of our football team,” Hartzell responds, adding, “We've been winning, just not like you'd like to win.”

“Three-and-7 against the Horned Frogs,” Kolkhorst retorts. “So … maybe your fan base would rather lose to Alabama than to TCU.”

TCU is 7-2 against rival Texas since the two resumed playing on an annual basis in 2012, and they're scheduled to meet this fall on the Horned Frogs' Fort Worth campus.


Texas leads the overall series with 52 wins against 27 losses and one tie between the two teams.