The Texas Senate met on Monday to discuss the economic impacts of Oklahoma and Texas leaving for the SEC. At this point, there doesn’t appear to be much the state legislature can or will do, but at least this may give some guidance to the remaining Big 12 programs in Texas, which includes Baylor, TCU and Texas Tech.
Representatives from those universities, plus Texas president Jay Hartzell were all set to appear, along with Big 12 officials, led by commissioner Bob Bowlsby.
As you can imagine, Hartzell became the punching bag for many in the Texas state legislature who were trying to win over their non-UT constituents and maybe even score some major points on the fan message boards.
Texas senator Lois Kolkhorst may have had the line of the day for TCU fans and Texas haters, when she had this back and forth.
Kolkhorst: “What’s your athletic budget?”
Hartzell: “Over $200 million.”
Kolkhorst: “Where’s that put you in the US?”
Hartzell: “Probably first”
Kolkhorst: “And that’s without a winning football team of late”
Hartzell: “In spit of our football team. We’ve been winning, just not like we’d like to win.”
Kolkhorst: “3-7 against the Horned Frogs. Maybe your fanbase would rather lose to Alabama than TCU.”
Granted, she’s off a bit on the record. Texas is 2-7 vs. TCU since the Horned Frogs joined the Big 12, but you get the point.
And you can leave it to Kolkhorst, who got her B.S. from TCU and as her bio states, “Her professional career began in athletic administration at TCU, prior to her and her husband relocating to their hometown of Brenham to start a number of small businesses.”
Kolkhorst has served in the Texas legislature in both the House and Senate for the last 20 years, and if this is the lasting, memorable line for the fifth generation Texan, so be it. Because we all know there’s nothing petty like Texas politicians squabbling over college sports.
On a more newsworthy front, Hartzell admitted during the hearing that Texas reached out to the SEC this spring. There’s belief from Bob Bowlsby this could violate the Big 12’s bylaws, but whether or not that actually gets pursued remains to be seen. Regardless, the hearing isn’t likely to change the outcome of Oklahoma and Texas leaving the Big 12, but it’s created plenty of newsworthy moments, while also providing some good one liners.