DeLoss Dodds has put in more than 30 years as the athletic director at the University of Texas. During his tenure, sports teams under the Texas banner have won more than 100 conference championships.
Athletic achievements by different sports teams are excellent ways to boost the spirit of a university, but everybody knows that men’s football and basketball anchor the athletic programs and are the key to a school’s reputation as a winner or loser.
Right now, Texas is in dire straits. Neither of the school’s two marquee sports are leading by example. Mack Brown has led the football team to two straight losses to start the 2013 season 1-2 after a second disappointing result Saturday against Ole Miss. The last game of the 2012-13 Texas men’s basketball season was a loss in the first-round of the College Basketball Invitational, the third ranked postseason tournament after the NCAA tournament and the NIT.
Those results are inexcusable for a premier state university like Texas.
This is obviously destined to be Brown’s last season. Everything has turned against him in terms of the team’s performance. He has a weak team with the wrong kind of identity. The Longhorns simply aren’t physical enough. Even strong links from the past are turning against him. Heisman winner Ricky Williams who was not originally recruited by Brown but played multiple seasons for him, has said he thinks it is time for a change in Austin.
A freak injury to Colt McCoy in the 2010 BCS title game against Alabama may have cost Brown a second national championship. A win that night probably would have bought him a little more time with the public during these lean years, but it didn’t happen and the state and its alumni have too much pride to keep Brown. Any great recruiting he did in the past to land players like Vince Young has not been working lately and this is a “what have you done for me lately” business.
All of Texas football’s problems bring a brighter spotlight onto the men’s basketball team. Rick Barnes’ rope that he is hanging onto is razor thin. He’s done less in his time than Brown. Both started their Longhorn coaching careers in the same year, 1998.
Barnes has one Final Four appearance on his resume and that came way back in 2002-03. He was also able to land Kevin Durant for one season. Otherwise, Barnes has had a mostly average coaching stint. He has landed in a few of Elite Eights and Sweet Sixteens have been mixed with several first- and second-round losses.
Last season’s Texas men’s basketball finale was pitiful. Barnes should have been let go then.
Dodds has stayed with the status quo and now it appears he may part ways with the school, as well. At least, that’s what rumors are suggesting. It could be a clean slate all the way around in 2014 for Texas, with the athletic director, football coach and men’s basketball coach gone.
Howard Alperin is Managing Editor of AmericanizeSoccer.com
The post Mack Brown turns up the heat on Rick Barnes appeared first on Midwest Sports Fans.