The “Eyes of Texas” drama continues to unravel down in Austin.
Texas Longhorns athletic director Chris Del Conte said Wednesday he expected players to “stand together as a unified group” to show appreciation for the school and fans during the playing of the school song “The Eyes of Texas” after games.
The one thing missing from Del Conte’s statement? What happens if the players don’t do as they’re expected to do.
The song has become an issue within the program after several football players and other athletes said over the summer they no longer wanted to sing it. The song has come under scrutiny as it 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.”
As for Del Conte, he said this weekend, “I have had many conversations with our head coaches outlining my expectations that our teams show appreciation for our university, fans, and supporters by standing together as a unified group for ‘The Eyes,’ while we work through this issue.”
This past weekend, following Texas’ four-overtime loss to the Oklahoma Sooners, QB Sam Ehlinger was one of just a couple players seen singing “The Eyes of Texas” after the game on the field.
The controversy continued from there as Herman had to address the media about it on Monday and said that players and coaches would be asked to stay on the field and recognize their fans in the stands. But Herman made sure to say that those players who did not feel comfortable doing so will still be allowed to leave.
Del Conte and Herman appear to be on different pages on the issue, which is not a good place for the program to be.
The athletic director added, “Like all families who see the world through different lenses, we have plenty of work to do on this subject and will continue to do so, but rest assured, our student-athletes love and respect this university very much and are competing their hearts out for it.”
On the field, Texas has lost two-straight games and has a bye week this weekend before taking on the Baylor Bears on October 24th.
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