Weather Alert

In emails, Texas A&M president Michael Young says restarting football rivalry with Texas is ‘unlikely to happen’

https://sportsday.dallasnews.com/college-sports/collegesports/2019/02/20/emails-texas-am-president-michael-young-says-restarting-football-rivalry-texas-unlikely-happen?f=r&utm_source=pushly

A month ago, Texas A&M president Michael Young said he was in favor of restoring the Aggies’ annual football game with Texas.

However, several A&M fans were unhappy with the rekindling the rivalry. Based on Young’s recent emails on the topic, it doesn’t appear they will have to worry about seeing the Aggies and Longhorns share the field in the immediate future.

In multiple emails obtained by The News through an open records request, Young said the A&M-Texas football game “is unlikely to happen.”

“We have no plans to renew the rivalry game at this time for very practical reasons,” Young wrote on Jan. 22.

In a January interview with the Austin American-Statesman, Young and Texas president Gregory Fenves were asked about restarting the rivalry. Both men said they were in favor of renewing the “Lone Star Showdown.” A&M and Texas haven’t played since 2011, the Aggies’ final year as a member of the Big 12, which includes Texas.

According to the Statesman, Young said A&M has been supportive of the notion since A&M joined the SEC.

However, emails show that sentiment shouldn’t produce any optimism for those wishing to see the annual in-state game restarted.

After his interview in Austin, Young received a handful of emails from A&M fans against the idea of sharing the same field with the Longhorns again. He issued the same exact response to each email, including one person who said Texas should “die in their pathetic conference and irrelevant schedule.”

In each response, Young delivered the exact same response as to why the two teams will not play each other in the foreseeable future.

“The topic is of interest to many for or against and we’re open to the discussion in line with what is best for the schools,” Young said. “There are a variety of reasons that this will be unlikely to happen, including separate conference schedules and scheduling many years out.”

Young could not be reached for comment Wednesday evening.

Administrators from both universities have made similar comments over the years while their respective athletic directors continue to fill future nonconference schedules. Texas recently announced a home-an-home series for 2028 and 2029 against Georgia, an SEC school.

Texas is contracted to play at least one “power five” opponent every year until 2030, while A&M has one booked until 2028.

However, each school could opt to buy themselves out of contracts with future opponents if they wanted to schedule each other. For example, if A&M opted out of its home-and-home series with Arizona State for 2026 and 2027, the Aggies will owe the Sun Devils $2 million.

According to USA Today, no two schools earned more money during the 2016-17 school year than the Longhorns and the Aggies. In 2017-18, athletic departments at each school saw an increase in total operating revenue, according to NCAA reports obtained through open record requests.

Texas reported a total operating revenue of $219.4 million, while A&M was close behind at $212.4 million.

On Thursday, the A&M student senate will hold a vote to see if students support restarting the rivalry. Texas held a similar vote in 2017, with 96.7 percent of voters in favor of playing A&M again.

Earlier this week, A&M chancellor John Sharp wrote an op-ed in the Houston Chronicle that said his biggest priority regarding the two schools was making sure each was funded equally.

Connect With Us Listen To Us On