The man the University of Texas should hire has not heard from the University of Texas about its new vacancy as director of athletics. TCU’s Chris Del Conte told me via text he has not heard from anyone associated with UT. He is not seeking the job, either.
Whether or not he would return a phone call is a different matter.
The Austin American Statesman’s Brian Davis and Kirk Bohls broke the story this morning that University of Texas president Gregory Fenves fired AD Steve Patterson. Expect a massive party at an undisclosed bar on Sixth Street in Austin tonight among UT athletic department employees.
UT is firing Patterson because, by all accounts, he was glib, aloof, and in general a horses’ butt to everybody. And football is losing. If football is winning, Patterson could have shot puppies, as well as pulled some of the stunts he reportedly outlined by Chip Brown of Scout.com.
A big knock on Patterson was that he was a wretched communicator. There is no better communicator than Del Conte.
If UT cannot convince the guy it should have hired rather than Patterson, Mr. Oliver Luck, to take the job right now the guy they need to call is Del Conte. Nobody plays well in the reality of today’s current big-time collegiate economic landscape that is run by fat-cat donors, quiet commercialism and TV any better than CDC.
I doubt he would leave TCU and Fort Worth for Austin, but I could not blame him if he did. It’s Texas. Texas is one of the top two or three jobs in the United States.
The time would be right for CDC to leave TCU. He has overseen the department’s inclusion into the Big 12 complete with massive fund raising projects and stadium/arena renovations. CDC has been a fantastic ambassador for TCU locally and nationally; he gets that college sports is about money and more specifically indulging self-important boosters that believe their money buys them a voice. It buys them a voice because it does.
He also understands this is still college, and the “employees” are kids. CDC is not perfect, but he gets all of it whereas Steve Patterson clearly never did. I hated that hire from Day 1.
Proving that the University of Texas athletic department has more money than all but Apple, the school will pay Patterson through 2019 just to go away. That is about $6 million in return for clearing out. How can I get that job?
The director of athletics that should never have been hired was fired after less than two years on the job. This means the guy that hired head football coach Charlie Strong is gone. What a 22-month career. The guy he replaced, DeLoss Dodds, lasted 32 years.
All new AD’s alienate the old guard because they usually clean house, don’t care about non-revenue sports, raise ticket prices, and pay more attention to the bottom line more than the previous guy. Patterson did all of the above, but he was too full of himself to realize he had to play nice with the many powerful rich white guys that give millions to run that department as well as least look like he cared about the students.
Did I mention football was losing?
CDC is as much of a capitalist as Patterson, but not nearly as obnoxious about it. Forget selling beer at Longhorns’ games - Patterson would sell crack with a Longhorn logo if he thought he could get away it.
UT is a political landmine job. All of those old rich guys have egos the size of this state, and they all want their phone calls returned five minutes ago. Patterson is a pro guy who was not versed in the new realities of this arena, and he clearly did not want to deal with it.
So UT dealt with him.
Now it has to find the right guy to replace DeLoss, and there is no better candidate than Chris Del Conte.