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Less than 6% of our current student body is black,” wrote Larry Wilkinson, a donor who graduated in 1970, quoting a statistic UT-Austin officials have stated they’re working to improve. “The tail cannot be allowed to wag the dog….. And the dog must instead stand up for what is right. Nothing forces those students to attend UT Austin. Encourage them to select an alternate school ….NOW!”
A day after the Tribune released the emails, Hartzell released the following statement:
People who target our students with hateful views do not represent the values of the Longhorn community. A few extremist views in the sample of emails the Texas Tribune reported on do not speak for the 540,000 proud Longhorn alumni who actively support our students and university. Out of the many emails I received this fall, a very small number included comments that were truly abhorrent and hateful. I categorically reject them, and they bear no influence on any aspect of our decision-making. And she lived happily ever after Dog poster
The fact that we don’t all agree on our school song doesn’t mean that we don’t all belong. Next week, the Eyes of Texas History Committee will release its report. Equipped with a common set of facts, we will then continue the conversation about our song. Having spoken to students and faculty on the committee, I truly believe we can be a model for how communities address complex problems and move forward together.
Former coach Tom Herman knew that forcing players to sing a song that may be offensive to them was a near-impossible ask. While he attempted to keep both sides calm, he strongly supported his players and pushed against them being told to “shut up and play” on Saturdays.
Herman was fired for performance, but the content of these emails clearly show there was pressure beyond the field on how boosters want the program to run.
Now Steve Sarkisian inherits a precarious position. Texas likely isn’t the only school with boosters who share this mindset, but Longhorns donors do seem to be louder about it. He has already said the song will continue to be sung after games this year.
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