April 23


Football still ranks first, education last in TX

I have reconnected with my periodic companion Billy “Spades” Bockmist. He is skeptical and as graceless as a goat. When something doesn’t look right, I call Spades. Spades’ cliché is “All that glitters is not gold.” What makes pyrite gold is the fool who does not test it. Dig deeper and apply the acid test.

College football season was my favorite time of year. This year is different. Notre Dame’s gaudy new helmets haven’t restored its luster.

FBS football has “realigned” in a way that shames arbitrageurs. I expect Gordon Gecko to finish his “good” greed trilogy as the CEO of the Longhorn Network. Aggies have seceded to the Old Confederacy along with Border State U, Mizzou. West Virginia has lampooned the memory of Horace Greeley by moving ridiculously far west. On the whole, it looks as though the Big 12 realignment accounted for at least $65 million in paid exit fees. Departing schools fled because Texas wields a bigger stick. They give “endowment envy “an enlarged meaning. New schools came for pay days. Apparently size does matter.

UT and A&M have graduation gaps of 22 percent and 20 percent between the more successful general enrollment and their lavishly supported football players. Within the player population, UT and A&M have graduation rate disparities of 26 percent and 47 percent between the more successful Caucasian players and the less successful African-American players. Texas is fabulously wealthy and A&M is rich. Both enjoy immense fan bases. They can state economic cases for what they do. So why are UTSA and UIW venturing into the FBS pit in search of treasure?

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