Texas football players and student groups have been looking for major changes in the wake of the murder of George Floyd and changes are coming to the University of Texas.
The University did announce that “The Eyes of Texas” will still be sung as the school song at Royal-Memorial Stadium. However, the field will be renamed for Black Heisman Trophy winners Earl Campbell and Ricky Williams, plus Julius Whittier, the first Black football letterman at the school, will be getting a statue at the stadium.
Texas Longhorns head coach Tom Herman supported all the moves today on Twitter.
Interim UT president Jay Hartzell did address the controversy surrounding “The Eyes of Texas” and its history, saying, “The Eyes of Texas,’ in its current form, will continue to be our alma mater. Aspects of its origin, whether previously widely known or unknown, have created a rift in how the song is understood and celebrated, and that must be fixed. It is my belief that we can effectively reclaim and redefine what this song stands for by first owning and acknowledging its history in a way that is open and transparent.”
The song was performed at minstrel shows by performers in blackface during the early 1900s. Former Texas defensive lineman Sam Acho had tweeted that “most Black players hated singing that song.”
Texas also announced the renaming of the math, physics and astronomy building that was named after former professor Robert Lee Moore, who had expressed segregationist views. Texas will also honor Heman Marion Sweatt, the school’s first Black student.
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