Single-game ticket sales begin today for the University of Texas’ home football games. Prices range from a low of $45 for seats to the Aug. 31 opener against New Mexico State to $85 for premium seats for home games against Ole Miss (Sept. 14), Kansas State (Sept. 21) and Oklahoma State (Nov. 16).
Fans can order only by visiting www.TexasSports.com or by calling 800-982-2386.
Kansas State linebacker Tre Walker drew attention in Monday’s opening session of the Big 12 media days by saying that Texas “laid down” in the fourth quarter of the Wildcats’ 42-24 victory last season in Manhattan, Kan.
Walker said: “Texas laid down against us. It’s what they do.”
A pair of Longhorns responded today.
“We’re Texas. We don’t quit,” said offensive guard Trey Hopkins. “We don’t have a reputation for being quitters.”
Safety Adrian Phillips said: “Everybody’s entitled to their opinion. They won the game. If he thinks like that, then that’s just his thought. It’s a new season, so when that game comes around, we’ll just have to see.”
The teams meet Sept. 21 in Austin. Kansas State has won the last five meetings between the schools.
Texas quarterback David Ash cleared up a lingering question today about the timetable of a rib injury that impacted him in last year's 20-13 loss to TCU on Thanksgiving night.
Ash said he suffered broken ribs on the eighth play of that contest but stayed in the game, eventually completing 10-of-21 passes for 104 yards, with two interceptions. He was eventually replaced by backup Case McCoy, who threw for 110 yards but also suffered an interception.
Ash wound up skipping Texas' next game, a 42-24 loss at Kansas State, before returning as the starter in a 31-27 victory over Oregon State in the Alamo Bowl to cap a 9-4 season. There had been conflicting reports last season about whether Ash was injured during the TCU game or the week before, against Iowa State. Here is Ash's recollection of last year's TCU game:
“The TCU game, I broke my ribs on the eighth play," Ash said. "I think I played till the third quarter, maybe the fourth quarter. It was a tough situation because, on the one hand, I knew I was missing a lot of throws that I normally would make. Where was that point that I was hurting the team? I don’t know. I learned from it. It was a tough situation. I did the best I could in a lot of ways. In a lot of ways, there’s so much regret.”
Texas president Bill Powers said today he is “absolutely confident” that the Longhorns’ programs will rebound next season in football, men’s basketball and baseball after down years during the 2012-13 school year. Texas finished 9-4 in football, 16-18 in men’s basketball and finished last in the Big 12 in baseball.
“The programs are good,” Powers said. “There will always be ups and downs, wins and losses. I’m looking forward to next season.”
Powers also said he was “very gratified” by last week’s support from members of the Texas legislature during hearings with system regents.
Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby announced today that his league will distribute a league-record $198 million in revenues to its 10 members for the 2012-13 school year.
The revenue distributions, announced at the conclusion of the Big 12 spring meetings in Irving, break down to approximately $22 million per school for the league’s eight charter members. First-year members TCU and West Virginia each will receive half-shares of $11 million as part of a four-year phase-in agreement put in place when those schools agreed to join the Big 12.
Even as half-share recipients, the $11 million represents a significant jump in revenues from last year for TCU and West Virginia. TCU was a member of the Mountain West last year, where it never earned more than $2 million in any school year. West Virginia competed in the Big East.
For the other members, the $22 million is the largest per-school take in Big 12 history. It also exceeds today’s announced distribution of revenues in the Southeastern Conference, which passed out $20.7 million per school ($289.4 million total) to its 14 members, including Texas A&M.
Bowlsby said the Big 12 distribution numbers, derived primarily from television contracts, bowls and NCAA basketball tournament appearances, will only increase in future years. Bowlsby said projected revenues will reach $30 million per school by 2015-16, the first year that TCU and West Virginia will receive full shares, and could top $40 million by the end of the league’s existing television contracts with Fox and ESPN that run through the 2024-2025 school year.
DeLoss Doods, Texas’ men’s athletic director and a long-time proponent of a playoff system for college football, applauded the creation of the College Football Playoff after the 2014 season as a “baby step” in the right direction.
But he said during today’s session at the Big 12 spring meetings that the four-team playoff field needs to be expanded before it can be viewed as a solution to crowning college football’s top team with a minimum of controversy.
“I’m kind of an 8-team person,” Dodds said, discussing his playoff preference. “I think there will be a lot of conversation about the fifth team that didn’t get in or the 11-1 team that didn’t get in because somebody’s 12-0 that maybe wasn’t quite as good as the 11-1 team. If you take eight, then you don’t really have that. The ninth team has got a concern but it’s not really like the fifth team.”
Dodds called implementation of the playoff “a good step” and said he has no interest in serving on the selection committee that will seed the four-team playoff field. But he said there are “a lot of good people out there” who have expressed a desire to serve on the committee and would do a good job in that role.
Dodds said he is not concerned about whether other leagues in the playoff mix schedule eight or nine conference games as part of their regular seasons. He also said Big 12 officials have not been pressured by administrators in other leagues to add a championship game to help determine their champion.
As a 10-member league, the Big 12 is the lone conference in the playoff mix that will not stage a championship game to help finalize its playoff representative(s).
“Some years, it’s going to be unlevel in our favor. Some years, it’s going to be unlevel in their favor,” Dodds said about the lack of a title game in football. “Anybody that tries to change that is going to get bit a few years later.”
Texas has added Martez Walker, a left-handed guard from Detroit, Mich, to its men’s basketball signing class, coach Rich Barnes announced today. Walker, who averaged 20.4 points per game last season for Pershing High School, is the fourth guard in a four-player class that Barnes described as being the culmination of a “concerted effort to improve our skill and athleticism on the perimeter.”
Texas’ top two scorers from last year’s 16-18 team, guards Myck Kabongo and Sheldon McClellan, will not return next season. Kabongo opted for early entry in the NBA draft and McClellan has announced plans to transfer to another school.
Other guards among Texas’ signees include Demarcus Croaker, Isaiah Taylor (Houston) and Kendal Yancy.
New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton said team officials were most impressed with the football IQ of Kenny Vaccaro, the former Texas safety the team selected with the 15th overall pick in Thursday night’s opening session of the 2013 NFL Draft.
Vaccaro, a big hitter known for his versatility during this college career, had success a blitzer, a run stopper and a cover man at Texas.
“He’s got very good football intelligence,” Payton said. “Part of being a pressure guy from the back end is anticipation, snap count and disguise. I think he’s an instinctive player, and you see that on tape. He’s got a high football IQ. I think that’s important ... He’s had a lot of snaps down over the slot and a lot of snaps where they were in the base package as opposed to the nickel package. He’s got that toughness and suddenness that you’d like at that position.”
Vaccaro becomes the 12th defensive back from Texas on an active NFL roster, most of any school, and is the first Longhorn to be taken in the first round since 2010, when Seattle selected safety Earl Thomas.
Ironically, Vaccaro said he’s already talked to Thomas about adjusting to the NFL and plans to follow his advice.
“Earl Thomas told me to come in, have a chip on my shoulder and put an impact on this league,” Vaccaro said. “(Thomas said), ‘Don’t just sit around and wait for someone else to take your job.’ I am excited ... This is just the beginning. I am ready to do whatever the Saints want me to do.”
Bob Shipley, the head football coach and athletics director at Brownwood High School for the past four years, has been named as Texas’ football analyst in the player personnel department, Longhorns’ coach Mack Brown announced today.
Shipley, father of current Texas receiver Jaxon Shipley, will assist with the coordination and implementation of the daily operations, administrative and logistical processes within the football program in the newly created position. Shipley also will assist with high school relations by updating recruiting lists, monitoring contacts and securing transcripts of prospects.
Shipley’s previous high school coaching stops have included stints at Coppell, Burnet and Rotan. During his stint at Burnet, he coached his son, Jordan, a Longhorns’ All-America receiver in 2009. Shipley will report to Patrick Suddes, a former Alabama assistant and Texas’ newly named director of player personnel.
TCU golfer Julien Brun is one of 10 semifinalists for the 2013 Ben Hogan Award, given annually to the nation’s top college golfer.
Brun, a sophomore from Antibes, France who won a European Challenge Tour event as an amateur last fall, made the list of semifinalists for a second consecutive season. He was joined Thursday by Texas freshman Brandon Stone as well as Stanford’s Patrick Rodgers, one of three finalists in 2012.
The three finalists for the Hogan Award will take part in a live announcement of the winner May 20 in Fort Worth. The announcement is part of tournament week activities at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial.
Three of Thursday’s other semifinalists made the list for a second consecutive year: Washington’s Cheng-Tsung Pan, Alabama’s Justin Thomas and Washington’s Chris Williams. Other semifinalists include North Carolina State’s Albin Choi, North Florida’s Sean Dale, California’s Michael Kim and Alabama’s Bobby Wyatt.
The list of candidates will be trimmed to three finalists on May 8, with those golfers honored during the live announcement of the winner in Fort Worth. No TCU golfer has advanced past the semifinals stage in Hogan Award voting.
But Brun, the No. 6 player in the Scratch Players World Amateur golf rankings, joins Williams (No. 1), Wyatt (No. 4) and Thomas (No. 5) among the highest-ranked Hogan semifinalists on the elite list.
Thursday’s list of semifinalists includes the top four players, as well as eight of the top 10, in the latest Golfweek/Sagarin individual rankings for college golfers. Brun is fourth on that list, which is topped by Kim, Dale and Stone.
Members of the Hogan Award selection committee consider a player’s record in both college and amateur events over the past year.