The power of symbols, and recruiting

A lot of y’all missed a point about the hullabaloo engulfing Texas with regards to “The Eyes of Texas”, or at least the reason I posted something about it.  It’s basically the same shit Ole Miss coaches had to deal with for years because of things like Colonel Reb.

It’s the recruiting, stupid ($$).

On the football field, does it affect the future? Babers believes it already has.

“Here’s the thing, this is going to be and it’s already been used as a negative recruiting tool. I know it is. It is happening,” said Babers. “And you know what? The schools are stupid if they’re not using it as a negative recruiting tool in Black households.

“So when you walk into the household with that Black mom and Black dad or whoever it is, and they ask you about this issue, and whether their son or daughter’s going to have to stand for ‘The Eyes of Texas’ and it is personal to them, because they are a person of color, y’all better have a clear, concise, and uniform message and you got to be ready for every question and don’t get stumped. That’s going to be an issue because right now, those seeds are being planted, in my opinion, by other schools.”

“You” in this case really means Steve Sarkisian, who’s caught in the proverbial spot between a rock and a hard place.  It’s clear he’s been told not to risk pissing off UT’s big donors and is going along with that.  Somehow, though, he’s got to find a way to balance that with a credible explanation on the recruiting trail in response to the big ass rocks other programs are lobbing at his.  That’s an awfully small needle to thread.

And if he can’t, and recruiting suffers as a result?  Two guesses on who will pay the price for that.  (Hint:  it won’t be the donors.)

64 Comments

Filed under Recruiting, Texas Is Just Better Than You Are.

64 responses to “The power of symbols, and recruiting

  1. Oh the donors surly will pay the price in seeing their program blow its potential and wallow in mediocrity. Donors have some soul searching to do, if the people like that are into that sort of thing… I’ll give you two guesses on whether they are or not 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. stoopnagle

    Now you know why Urbs is in Jax.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I thought it was bc he’s a shit tier human who covered up for a domestic abuser.

      Like

      • stoopnagle

        I guess that presumes Texas didn’t offer him a shit ton of money with some strings around what old white men will and won’t tolerate from the help?

        Or, maybe Texas didn’t want him to come coach because they had some hang-ups about his character?

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        • Neither would surprise me. I’ve seen absolutely nothing out of urban that makes me think he’s not a mercenary, so had Texas agreed to his demands, I think he would have taken it.

          Honestly, I think he was going to the NFL the entire time and the Texas flirtation was just to fuck with Herman.

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        • archiecreek

          Either way…
          The pays the same!!

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  3. I understand the schadenfreude towards all things U. Texas.

    But we are throwing rocks from a glass house if we, as Georgia fans, are going to laugh at how their traditions are being called up by the woke police.

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    • First off, I’m not laughing. I’m pointing out the problem a school like Texas faces trying to placate a donor base’s fee fees while recruiting at a high enough level to win (which is also a goal of the donor base).

      Second, thanks for illustrating my point about missing things with that “woke police” crack.

      Babers said when he was being recruited in 1999, he had friends whose parents didn’t want them to go to Texas because, growing up, they heard stories about Texas being a racist institution and taking pride in the fact that they had the last all-White national championship team, in 1969.

      I guess the players should just lie back and accept it. I mean, Texas is a special place. If you’re a talented player, you probably don’t have equal or better options, amirite?

      Liked by 1 person

      • I completely understand and agree with your point. I’m just watching this happen to Texas and wondering how it could come to roost at places like Georgia, Alabama, etc with the current social climate.

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        • I think an administration has to make an effort to lead all components at a school. The problem at places like Texas is the brass lets the donor tail wag the program dog. And that’s why UT is in the shape it’s in right now.

          It takes years of mediocrity to wake people up sometimes.

          Liked by 3 people

        • Also, inherent in your comment is a bias that the problem is caused by wokeness in general. Tell that to schools like ‘Bama, Georgia and Oklahoma that are ruthless on the recruiting trail. You really see somebody like Nick Saban tolerating Old South nonsense for a minute if it harmed recruiting? He doesn’t have time for that shit. 😉

          Liked by 2 people

        • I could totally see something like this happening at UGA. Opposing recruiters will go to a prospect’s house and say, you don’t want to go to a school where fans in the stands shout the N-word at you. You don’t want to go to a school that has a college named after a racist like Henry W. Grady.

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          • For the sake of argument, let us say you’re right. Sasser’s been kicked out of school. If people screamed about Grady, do you really think UGA has a bunch of donors who would obstinately block a change?

            In either case, neither rises to the level of a group at a school forcing players to take part in a ritual that they object to. Do you not see the difference?

            Liked by 2 people

            • Right, I get what you’re saying about the Eyes of Texas “ritual.” Let the players respond to that however they want to. Let the school decide to stop playing the song, if they want to, the way we stopped playing Dixie in the ’70s.

              But beware the wokeness. Does it matter, to an opposing recruiter, that Sasser was kicked out of school? UGA is still a place where the culture allows people like Sasser to yell what they will…according to the opposing recruiter.

              Hope our recruiters have some similar woke dirt on all the other schools.

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          • That’s why you throw that idiot off campus.

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        • theorginaldawgabides

          I understand your concerns, but what traditions particular to UGA football do you think could be a problem? The band long ago stopped playing Dixie and subsequently dropped the Dixie Redcoats as their name. Most recently they dropped the Gone with the Wind theme from their postgame concert. It seems we have been proactive in this area. I actually expected more fallout from the Sasser/Fields incident and I’m sure it was used on the recruiting trail by other programs, but it hasn’t seemed to hurt our recruiting overall.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Derek

            I’m sure it was a challenge for any of our recruiting competitors to claim that they had no Sassers on their own campuses. Sassers are everywhere. Trying to convince anyone of a different reality would fall on deaf ears.

            Liked by 1 person

          • I think this is a good point – I am struggling to find a “tradition” at UGA that, if eliminated (for any reason), would turn people off from the football program altogether.

            Nike has been chipping away at our unis and logos for decades. I don’t think anyone is going to die on a hill for “Glory Glory”. The hedges are just a weed really…Maybe we are in the clear?

            Liked by 1 person

            • originaluglydawg

              No one is in the clear.
              This isn’t about logic or reason or even right or wrong. It’s about Texas and if they will knuckle under to what some have decided is a racist song.
              It’s just “Dixie” all over again. “Just give in and all is forgiven”..even if you had to have you’re arm twisted off to do it. What shallow horseshit.
              There are absolutely horrible social issues being ignored while people are wringing their hands over the Cat in the Hat and Mr. Potato Head.
              Screw their silly wokeness. Honestly it’s divisive and counter-productive.
              They diminish the attention that real problems should be getting. I don’t know enough about the Eyes of Texas to even GAS about it.
              The thing being overlooked is this…Most people wanted to quit playing Dixie, to rename the band, and to kill the Colonel at Old Miss, to change the Georgia flag… but for the wrong reason. Not because it was hurtful to black kids, but because it was going to be used to hurt recruiting and be an economic burden on the state.
              Self gratification is commonly draped in faux altruism.
              You can make people change their behavior, but changing their hearts is a different thing.

              Liked by 2 people

              • “Silly wokeness”.

                “It’s time for you to put the foot down and make it perfectly clear that the heritage of Texas will not be lost,” wrote another donor who graduated in 1986. Their name was also redacted by UT-Austin. “It is sad that it is offending the blacks. As I said before the blacks are free and it’s time for them to move on to another state where everything is in their favor.”

                At least two people argued that because the Black student population at UT-Austin is small, their voices should not outweigh the larger wishes of the alumni base.

                “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!”

                Just the kind of message you want to send on the recruiting trail.

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                • originaluglydawg

                  Ref to the Cat in the Hat and Mr. Potato head comment.
                  That’s the wokeness I’m saying is silly. Maybe where I placed the comment made that fuzzy.
                  Some wokeness is important, useful and necessary.

                  Some is silly.
                  Texas is going through what we went through forty years ago with “Dixie”.
                  I don’t think it’s silly.
                  It goes to show that with enough dough, people can isolate themselves into a homogenous and closed society that can’t comprehend a changing world.

                  Like

        • stoopnagle

          Yeah, why Uga got to be WHITE? /s

          Liked by 1 person

      • ericstrattonrushchairmandamngladtomeetyou

        Bluto, there is nothing racist about the lyrics of The Eyes of Texas. I have read an explanation (possibly made up) that the song came from Robert E. Lee once saying “the eyes of the south are upon you” and somebody morphed that into The Eyes of Texas. Also, many years ago drunk students supposedly sang the song while wearing blackface. Those are the reasons given for perfectly normal words to be given a “racist” connotation. But can’t that be done with almost everything American? The Star Spangled Banner was written in Maryland, a slave state at the time. Does that make it racist? I’ll bet there are some woke MFs who will say yes to that. Already there are some who attacking Lincoln because he didn’t “do enough” fast enough and because in the Lincoln-Douglas debates he made a comment that seemed to indicate that blacks were not equal to whites. (Remember this was a political campaign and Lincoln was trying to win an election. The idea of equality was pretty extreme in the 1850s.) Ryan is right. Georgia is in the South and was once part of the Confederacy. These woke MFs will be coming for US soon even if they have to make shit up. God bless the Texans for having the guts to stand up and say “Enough!” I just hope we at Georgia have the guts when it becomes our turn because it’s coming for certain sooner or later.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Bluto, there is nothing racist about the lyrics of The Eyes of Texas.

          All that tells me is that you haven’t researched what the issue is with the song.

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          • PTC DAWG

            His point is that most anything can be twisted to fit a narrative…like this song.

            Liked by 2 people

            • No matter how you try to spin, it’s not the lyrics that are the narrative for the dispute.

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            • TEXBaller

              Truth!

              Some key findings:

              While conventional wisdom traced the title to a comment by Gen. Robert E. Lee, the committee concluded there was “very low likelihood” the line originated with Lee.

              Reviewing the creation of the lyrics in 1903, the committee found no evidence they were intended to show nostalgia for slavery but found facts supporting the song’s message of accountability.

              The song borrowed a popular melody of the time from “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad.” Evidence points to the melody being used because of its familiarity and popularity among students in the early 1900s. While some lyrics of the Railroad/Levee song are racist, the tune was selected at a time when borrowing well-known melodies was a common practice.

              There’s really not a story here any longer — except for shit-stirrers.

              Liked by 2 people

          • ericstrattonrushchairmandamngladtomeetyou

            I have researched this and it’s a bunch of made up horseshit.

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    • ASEF

      You’re missing the point.

      Yeah, there’s “woke police” in this. There’s also the equally obstinate and uncompromising element of some boosters. The two won’t compromise, and they’ll use each other to justify their obstinacy.

      Which means this shit never ends. And deep down, that’s how both of those extremes want it. Never-ending culture war.

      If the boosters allowed Sarkisian to do it, he could easily navigate a compromise where he removed the players from the center of that storm and neutralized it as a recruiting obstacle without dislodging the EoT tradition.

      But the boosters would rather read their quotes in the papers and brag to their friends how they sure showed those campus activists than, you know, win a B12 title and go to the playoffs.

      They’ll get their wish.

      Liked by 3 people

  4. Sark will be fine talking to the families about how Texas has haters just like Jesus did.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Tim B

    There are some things more important than winning football games.

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  6. whybotherdude

    Sark is in a rough spot. He should do what the players vote to do when it comes to the song, but do it as a team not splitting up the team. If he wins all will be forgiven, if he looses he is going to be fired either way.

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    • sounds like great leadership. /facepalm

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    • Wolfman

      I think we are all pretty sure how the players will vote. That’s why the donors have to send emails and wave their checks around, right? To keep that vote from being the deciding factor.

      Liked by 1 person

      • whybotherdude

        He can either force the team to do something they might not want to do and loose the team and his job or thumb his nose to the donors and loose the money but IF he can win he will either get another job offer when he is fired or be fired because he can’t win.

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    • TEXBaller

      Dude (LMAO), Sark has made the decision. “We’re going to stand and sing our school song”. THE END.

      Like

  7. Find the SZD episode on this. They go into all of this.

    After another 5 years of getting rolled up by Oklahoma, it will be some other coach’s problem. But Texas is gonna Texas.

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  8. MagnusDawgus

    Just how the hell did we luck out with a fight song that uses the music from an old abolitionist song?

    Liked by 1 person

    • DawgFlan

      This article is definitely worth a read: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/08/sports/ncaafootball/georgia-bulldogs-alabama.html

      As a lead-up to the Championship game the NYT did a deep dive on the history of “Glory, Glory” at UGA. The short version is:

      the tune goes back to even before abolition and the civil war
      in the late 1800s, “Glory, Glory” was most likely adopted by UGA and elsewhere in the south (Auburn, for example) as part of a re-birth of patriotism around the time of the US-Spanish war
      in the 1920-30s, the daughters of the confederacy made a stink of “Glory, Glory”, which may partially explain the use of dixie in the official fight song “Hail to Georgia” that was introduced in 1931 and also naming the band as the dixie redcoat band
      The dixie was removed from the redcoats name in the 70s, to much drama and aggrievement.

      Two personal asides:

      1) No one knows, sings, or cares about the lyrics to “Hail to Georgia” but it remains our official fight song, and to my knowledge retains the “down in dixie” line to this day. May definitely be an issue at some point, but since it is virtually a non-existent part of our current tradition, one would hope drama will be mostly avoided.

      2) The true history of the tune underneath “Glory, Glory” remains very much in doubt, but the consensus it likely originated as a negro spiritual or slave chant. If true, I guess there could be debate about cultural misappropriation. Still, it is so widely used by sports teams (not just in places like GA and AL, but also Colorado, the UK, Australia, etc.) we would only be part of a much larger conversation.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Hogbody Spradlin

    I’d like to say something serious about this, but . . . Nah.
    Well folks, that’s why Steve Sarkisian makes the big bucks.

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  10. I don’t follow Texas recruiting but I thought I read somewhere that they are doing well in recruiting for 2022 ( like in the top 10). For a data driven society with a capitalist mindset that says let the market decide, so far it doesn’t seem to be negatively impacting their recruiting. I think UT’s rabid fan base and boosters may change their tune…literally…if talented kids go elsewhere, but so far they have not been incentivized to do so. I don’t blame other programs for negatively recruiting against UT…I’m just unaware if it’s sticking or not.

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  11. uga97

    The Longhorn Network is watching this situation closely and the school has got to be getting nervous. You can bet the other B12 schools already have their “Texit” plan ready to jump to B10/ACC/SEC the minute UT self destructs over this. But the UT Austin Ego is too mighty high on its horse to let this happen right?

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  12. JaxDawg

    For anyone who has read some of the recent articles on this controversy and we’re left puzzled (as I was) as to why this is a controversy, see the link below. There are certainly things to disagree with in the article, but it lays out pretty clearly why this “popular tune” and it’s origins create some painful emotions in our fellow Americans who’s ancestors were enslaved.

    https://gen.medium.com/dinah-put-down-your-horn-154b8d8db12a

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  13. 123 Fake St

    Ole Miss got rid of Colonel Reb, but then trotted out their mostly black team in all Confederate Grey uniforms that they still wear today.

    The woke idiots have done a good job about repeating a lie long enough until it becomes fact. The Eyes of Texas when sung in a football stadium is not, nor ever has been racist.

    These idiots are ruining our country with their wholeness.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 123 Fake St

      Wokeness. Or Ass (w)holeness. Whichever.

      Like

    • Derek

      We survived the British Empire, two world wars, a civil war, slavery, the existential threat of thermonuclear war, but we’ll never, ever survive wokeness.

      I’ll give your ilk credit for one thing: No one else can generate shoe filling diarrhea from whole cloth nearly as quickly.

      The only thing we have to fear is every gotdamn thing is the operating motto.

      A partial list of things that have (will?) completely destroy(ed) America according to people likely to be eyes of Texas defenders:

      communists
      Desegregation
      Elvis
      MLK
      Pornography
      Abortion
      The Beatles
      Madonna
      Cardi B
      Wokeness
      The gays
      Men in dresses
      Women
      People of non-Northern European descent
      Catholics
      Sharia law
      Three year old boys in the ladies room with their mothers.

      Somehow we trudge through relatively unscathed despite the pearl clutch of the week that will DESTROY AMERICA!!!! and this time, we mean it!

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  14. whybotherdude

    Rumor is an Texas A&M beat writer started the entire Eyes of Texas is racist just to cause an issue to since Texas is scared to play them.

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  15. MGW

    I knew UT had some of the wealthiest boosters in America but until now I had pegged them as more of a coordinated “Alabama style” bunch than the moronic ego driven style like UT and Auburn.

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  16. bigjohnson1992

    Yawn. I wish people had better things to get upset about.

    Like