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A pair of university leaders in Texas propose the state's programs to break from NCAA, form Lone Star State's own athletics association

West Texas A&M's president, athletics director tout the potential move

Texas is big, bold, brash; different.

The Lone Star State proudly marches to a singular identity quite unlike any other in the United States.

Now, Texas has a pair of higher education administrators urging that the state again embarks on a lone path: West Texas A&M President Dr. Walter Wendler and West Texas A&M Athletics Director Michael McBroom propose in an op-ed piece in the Amarillo Globe-News that the state’s more than 40 Football Championship Subdivision, NCAA Division II and NCAA Division III programs would be better served if they broke away from the NCAA and formed their own statewide alliance.

The duo from the Canyon, Texas, university write, in part:

“Texas has 53 colleges and universities competing in three National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) divisions. These institutions belong to 11 different conferences comprising many out-of-state members from coast to coast and one international member. While such extended membership may be necessary and appropriate at the Division I FBS level (the "bigs"), different thought processes might apply to the organization of FCS, Division II and Division III athletic programs (the rest) in Texas.

“A strong Texas athletic association might provide positive leadership rather than reactive responses in intercollegiate athletics while driving a more significant economic impact to host communities and states alike.”

The state of Texas, with a population of more than 29 million and more than 268,000 square miles in land mass, could likely find a path toward the execution of such an ambitious, unprecedented plan.

Aside from the state’s major college athletics powers, Baylor, the University of Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, TCU, Houston and SMU among them, programs such as 2021 Conference USA champion UTSA as well as 2021 spring FCS national title-winner Sam Houston State and Mary-Hardin Baylor, the NCAA’s 2021 D-III champion, also have generated gridiron success. There’s athletics prowess among myriad other state institutions as well.

So Wendler and McBroom could be on to a visionary plan.

They further ask, “The tortuousness of NCAA bureaucracy chokes the life out of purposeful state identity and seems bent on achieving national norms guided by/for a small number of programs. Is Texas well served? A Texas athletic conference for the FCS, Division II and Division III football programs might better serve. Let's take NCAA President Mark Emmert's challenge to heart "If we were going to build college sports again…what would we change?”

They posit that “A comprehensive, statewide organization of intercollegiate athletics into a reasonable and thoughtful association might attract bright and talented student-athletes from across the country and globe while retaining Texas' best.”

To read their full comments on the plan, you find their column here on the Amarillo Globe-News Web site