Steve Patterson

Shaka Smart was introduced as the head men’s basketball coach at a Friday press conference. Smart joins Texas after six seasons at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Photo Credit: Marshall Tidrick | Daily Texan Staff

When men’s athletic director Steve Patterson was looking for a new head basketball coach, he said he felt Shaka Smart was the only man for the job.

“We said: ‘Who do we really want?’” Patterson said. “Somebody who’s a great, dedicated coach; somebody who plays an exciting style of basketball and is really interested in developing the entire group of student-athletes both on the court and off the court; somebody who is consistent in operating in an ethical fashion; somebody that we really wanted to bring to the University of Texas. We thought of Shaka Smart.”

On Thursday, Smart, the only candidate interviewed for the job, agreed to join Texas’ basketball program. He replaces former head coach Rick Barnes, who was asked to leave UT earlier after a 17-year tenure last week.

Patterson said Smart received a seven-year contract, with the first six years fully guaranteed, with an average annual compensation of about $3 million. As part of the buy-out with Virginia Commonwealth University, Texas will pay the Rams $500,000 and either play them in a home-and-home series or pay another $250,000.

Smart quickly became one of the hottest coaching commodities in the country when he led the 11th-seeded Rams from the play-in game to the Final Four in 2011. His teams were consistently good over his six years as a head coach. He won at least 26 games in every season and made the NCAA Tournament in each of his final five years in Virginia.

Many schools had tried to pry Smart away from VCU, but all were unsuccessful.

“To be honest, I didn’t know if I would ever leave VCU because of the relationships that I had there with the players and the coaching staff,” Smart said. “It really took a world-class institution, a world-class athletics program and a phenomenal place to convince my daughter, my wife and myself to make this move.”

But Texas was a “no-brainer,” Smart said.

“When the opportunity was presented to me to be the head coach here at Texas, I quickly realized this was something different,” Smart said. “This athletics department is all about championships, and I knew I was going to have the opportunity to work with a great group of young men.”

Smart is the first African-American head basketball coach at Texas. Texas will now be the third Division I school with African-American head coaches in both basketball and football, joining Stanford and Georgia State.

Smart said he feels the weight of his position as a “first.”

“I take that very seriously,” Smart said. “I grew up and was able to learn from and benefit from some terrific role models [and] some great mentors. … I hope that in this role as the men’s basketball coach at the University of Texas, I can play this role for someone else in this terrific state.”

Smart said he is going to bring his style of “havoc” basketball with him from Richmond, Virginia, which means a lot of pressing, fast breaks and overall aggressiveness.

“I can tell you right now, when you come to the Erwin Center to see us play, you’re going to see an exciting style of basketball,” Smart said.

However, Smart knows  he will have to adjust that style a bit with his new roster — one that has a plethora of skilled big men.

“That means maybe you adjust what you do to fit those guys’ strengths,” Smart said. “But at the same time, we’re not going to get away from what I believe in. We’re always going to be aggressive. We’re always going to be highly competitive.”

After the deal was announced, players said they agreed Smart’s confidence and style of play will have exciting implications for the program.

“My immediate reaction to hearing about Coach Smart was excitement,” junior forward Connor Lammert said. “We are turning a new page in the book and are real excited about it.”

Photo Credit: Marshall Tidrick | Daily Texan Staff

Update: Shaka Smart has become the Longhorns' newest head coach, according to a press release issued Friday. 

Smart becomes the 24th head coach of the program, replacing Rick Barnes, whom Texas let go of last weekend. He will be formally introduced at a press conference Friday.

Texas men's athletic director Steve Patterson, who flew to Richmond, Virginia, on Thursday to meet with Smart, said in a statement that the program is excited about the new addition.

"We are extremely excited today to announce that Shaka Smart will be joining us in Austin as our head men's basketball coach," Patterson said. "He is a smart, driven, dedicated coach and developer of young men who the entire basketball world has watched with admiration for some time."

Smart leaves Virginia Commonwealth after six seasons, where he made an appearance to the Final Four in 2011 and claimed a 7-5 record in the NCAA Tournament.

"I'm looking forward to building on the past success of Texas basketball," Smart said in a statement. "This is a proud program that goes back over 100 years, I embrace that history. There is tremendous potential in this program, and my job is to work extremely hard to ensure that we realize that potential. I can't wait to get to work."

Original Story: Texas men’s basketball reached a deal Thursday to make Shaka Smart its next head basketball coach, according to multiple reports.

Smart, 37, has spent the past six seasons as the head coach at Virginia Commonwealth. He burst into the national spotlight in 2011 when he led the Rams to the Final Four. He’s won at least 26 games in each of his six seasons at VCU and made the NCAA Tournament in each of the last five years.

Although he never won a regular season conference title in his time at VCU, Smart boasts an impressive 163–56 career record in his six seasons as a head coach and is 7–5 in the NCAA Tournament.

According to multiple reports, Smart accepted the position at Texas after meeting with his team late Thursday night, launching him into what is only his second head coaching position. Athletic director Steve Patterson was rumored to have had his eyes on Smart from the start, flying to Richmond, Virginia, earlier Thursday for a meeting.

The deal-making hit a bit of a hitch after Smart’s team meeting got delayed for two hours, but, at the end of the day, Texas got its guy.

Before his stint with the Rams, Smart spent time as an assistant coach with California University of Pennsylvania, Akron, Clemson and Florida stretching back to 1999.

Texas football head coach Charlie Strong also served as an assistant coach for the Gators’ football team while Smart was with the basketball team.

Thanks to his immediate success at VCU and his charismatic personality, Smart emerged as one of the hottest commodities in the coaching market in recent years. UCLA, Maryland and Illinois attempted to bring Smart aboard to no avail in years past. Some believed Smart was content with remaining at VCU, but coaching at Texas, a team with seemingly endless resources, proved to be too big of an opportunity for Smart to pass up.

The Longhorns could contend right away under Smart’s leadership, as they expect to return much of their roster from this past season next year. Smart likes to run a high-pressure defense called the “Havoc” defense, a system that athletic guards such as sophomore Isaiah Taylor and junior Demarcus Holland figure to thrive in.

Smart replaces Rick Barnes, whom Texas let go Sunday after 17 years. Barnes, who is the winningest head coach in program history with 402 wins, was told after the Longhorns’ loss to Butler he would return as Texas’ next head coach. However, Barnes said, “things changed,” and he was later dismissed. Barnes accepted the head coaching position at Tennessee this week.

After 17 seasons at Texas, head coach Rick Barnes’ career may have reached the end of the line.
Photo Credit: Daulton Venglar | Daily Texan Staff

Update: Head basketball coach Rick Barnes and Texas agreed to "part ways", according to a press release issued Sunday morning.

"I leave this job with no regrets," Barnes said in the statement. "Instead, I look back at our time here and say 'thank you' to all the players, coaches and staff who have worked with our program the last 17 years."

Barnes met with the media Sunday afternoon, where he spoke about his 17-year tenure and his departure from Texas. 

"We can talk about the programs, the wins and losses," Barnes said. "But that's not what it's about. It's about the relationships...this 17-year run here isn't about me. It's about so many people."   

The veteran head coach said he was told after Texas' loss to Butler in the NCAA Tournament that he would be returning next season, but "things changed," resulting in his departure. Reports surfaced this week that Athletic Director Steve Patterson wanted Barnes to make changes to his coaching staff, however, Barnes said Sunday he couldn't agree to that, despite several assistant coaches offering to give up their positions. 

"I couldn't do that," Barnes said. "That would be saying this is about me. I've learned and been carried by a lot of great people here. We're in this together." 

Barnes said he has no bitter feelings about his departure from the Longhorns. Texas now looks for Barnes' replacement, which the Austin American-Statesman reported will be found "within a week."

"I don't have any regrets," Barnes said. "I truly love the university of Texas and I always will...I would tell the next person to sit in my seat 'You're walking into something really, really special."

Patterson said in a statement he appreciated Barnes' hard work over his tenure.

"The University owes Rick a great deal of gratitude and respect for all he's done to put Texas on the Basketball map," Patterson said. "He elevated our program immensely and always did it with class. He put our student-athletes first. He won with integrity. We thank Rick for his many years of service to Texas and wish him continued success in the future."

For more on this story as it develops, follow @texansports on Twitter.

Original story: The Rick Barnes era at Texas has officially ended, according to multiple reports.

After weeks of speculation about Barnes’ future, Texas officials reportedly plan to release the veteran head coach Sunday or Monday, according to the Austin American-Statesman, ending a 17-year career with the Longhorns that made him the winningest basketball coach at Texas.

The news comes after multiple reports surfaced this week that said Barnes’ career at Texas was coming to an end after a 56–48 loss at the hands of Butler in the round of 64 of the NCAA Tournament. Thursday, reports said Barnes and athletic director Steve Patterson met twice to discuss the future of the basketball program. Patterson reportedly told Barnes he needed to make significant changes or risk losing his spot.

Then Friday, 247 Sports reported Barnes wouldn’t consent to the changes Patterson demanded, adding speculation to his future.

Barnes’ reported departure comes at the end of his 17th season at Texas, where he finished 20–14. After a strong 2013–2014 season and the arrival of freshman forward Myles Turner, many expected the Longhorns to make a deep postseason run and possibly decrown Kansas as the Big 12 champion.

However, despite a top-10 preseason ranking, Texas was on the bubble heading into the NCAA Tournament before scraping its way to an 11 seed. Throughout the speculation surrounding his job security, Barnes remained confident and had little to say.

Barnes, 60, has made a significant impact during his tenure with the Longhorns. After taking over a disordered program in 1998, he led Texas to 14 straight winning seasons, including three Big 12 titles. In his first 10 seasons, Barnes appeared in 10 straight NCAA Tournament games, with appearances in five Sweet 16s, three Elite Eights and a Final Four in 2003. As the winningest head coach of the program, Barnes tallied a 402–180 overall record.

But Barnes’ biggest breakdown has been his recent struggle in postseason play. Since reaching the Elite Eight in 2008, Texas has failed to make it past the round of 32, even missing the tournament in 2012. The Longhorns have also finished unranked in five of the last six seasons.

Barnes’ contract, which runs through March 2019, is currently worth $2.5 million per year. After his recent contract extension at the end of last season, he is due $1.75 million if he is fired before April 1.

The Austin American-Statesman reported that Patterson plans to find Barnes’ replacement within a week. 

Photo Credit: Albert Lee | Daily Texan Staff

Executive Alliance running mates Xavier Rotnofsky and Rohit Mandalapu are the first Texas Travesty candidates to participate in a runoff election —  but they are not the first humor campaign to pull a significant percentage of the votes.

In 1982, a satirical campaign won the Student Government election with 3,013 votes — attracting more votes than the second and third place candidates combined. The punchline: The winning candidate, Hank the Hallucination, was a fictional character in The Daily Texan cartoon “Eyebeam” by Sam Hurt. 

Hank “announced” his presidential candidacy through an Oct. 19, 1982, cartoon strip in The Daily Texan and he quickly gained a following. In the first week of campaigning, over a thousand students signed a referendum so that Hank’s write-in votes would be counted and announced with the rest of the candidates’ results.

Steve Patterson, UT’s current men’s athletic director, was Hank’s campaign manager and referred to him as a “dream candidate.” 

“He’s the perfect candidate for the illusion of student government,” Patterson said in an Oct. 27, 1982, article in The Daily Texan. “He’s vague on the issues. You can see right through his bullshit – and practically everything else.”

As election season went on, the University Election Commission said Hank could not officially run for the Students’ Association, UT’s newly reinstated student government organization, because he was not a human candidate. Regardless, Hank continued to campaign on the pages of The Daily Texan’s comics section. Students also held a “Hank for President” rally, dubbed “Hankstock.”

On election day, Hank beat out the other candidates in a race with “an unusually high voter turnout,” according to a Nov. 11, 1982, article from the Texan. Because Hank was fictional, the next highest-polling candidates, Paul Begala and Pat Duval, went into a runoff election.

“We are very pleased with Hank’s victory,” Hank campaign worker David Weber said in the Nov. 11 article. “He’s gratified, and wants to make all University students extremely happy, assuming he won’t have to take up arms to gain his rightful office.”

Begala, the winner of the runoff election, would eventually experience political success as one of the central campaign advisers for Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign. Today, Begala is a political commentator for CNN.

“I’m not one to make a broad philosophical statement on a joke, and that’s how [Hank’s victory] ought to be taken — as a joke,” Begala said in the article. 

Joke campaigns have evolved since then – since 2009, most election seasons have featured a ticket backed by staffers from UT’s satirical publication Texas Travesty. Aaron Walther and Lara Grant, the Travesty’s 2010 candidates, posed as Soviet dictators with the aim of striking fear into the hearts of students. In 2011, David McQuary and Hannah Oley ran as two time travelers who were coming back from the future to save humanity. The two urged students not to vote for the front-running candidate, who they said would cause Austin to turn into a nuclear wasteland.   

Until Rotnofsky and Mandalapu’s campaign this year, no Travesty candidates had ever earned higher than 12 percent. Rotnofsky and Mandalapu became the highest-polling Travesty candidates in history when they garnered 26.9 percent of the votes in Thursday’s Executive Alliance election. Braydon Jones and Kimia Dargahi, the executive alliance team that placed highest, received 46.34 percent of the votes.

Voting for the Executive Alliance runoff will take place Wednesday through Thursday, and results will be announced at 6:30 p.m. on the Main Mall in front of the UT Tower. 

Texas welcomed Chinese club team Zhejiang in a meet and greet with the Texas men’s basketball team Monday.

Photo Credit: Griffin Smith | Daily Texan Staff

At first glance, the members of Zhejiang volleyball team from China look like any other tourists in Austin. They took pictures of the field at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, ate barbecue and left with bags of gifts.

While it might seem like a vacation, it’s a little bit more for Zhejiang.

The defending champion of China’s national volleyball league is in Texas to compete against what it considers to be the best collegiate team in the U.S.

“We have been in the States for almost a week and have been playing with a couple of teams already, but we know that this team is the strongest team we’re going to play,” Zhejiang head coach Wu Sheng said through a translator.

Zhejiang and Texas, perennial contender on the collegiate stage, square off twice this week, with the last match tonight at 7 p.m. Zhejiang has already faced off against Texas Tech, winning the match in Lubbock in five sets and swept TCU on Friday night.

This, however, will be by far its toughest test in the States. In addition to facing a team ranked in the top five, Zhejiang will have to deal with the Gregory Gym environment. Up until Saturday, the Longhorns had a 34-match win streak at home, and the advantage Texas enjoys has made it tough for it to schedule tough opponents at home, which head coach Jerritt Elliott said is a reason they scheduled a matchup with Zhejiang.

But Zhejiang is no stranger to difficult environments. Sheng said they’ve faced similar tests back in China.

“It really just depends on how our players adjust to the environment,” Sheng said.

The matches between Zhejiang and Texas go past simple volleyball matches. They play into men’s athletic director Steve Patterson’s goal to grow the Texas brand, especially in China. The Texas men’s basketball team, which had a meet and greet and lunch with the Chinese volleyball team Monday, will open the 2015-2016 season against the Washington Huskies in China.

Although former athletics director DeLoss Dodds scheduled the match against Zhejiang, Patterson said these matches will get the student athletes learning about China and its cultures.

“It’s a great educational opportunity for all of your student athletes, whether you’re entertaining a foreign team here or taking a team to play in China,” Patterson said. “That’s really the key we’re working towards.”

The Longhorns are no strangers to international play. Texas has travelled twice to Europe to play top club and national teams, and many of the players play professionally overseas after graduation.

“We’re really excited when the opportunity presents itself on our campus to give the international flavor to our fans,” women’s athletic director Chris
Plonsky said.

And with sports expanding internationally, Plonsky said she doesn’t think this is the end of it, either.

“You hear about the NFL maybe putting a team in London,” Plonsky said. “Sports is global, and sports is universal, and I think that applies to college sports as well.”

But aside from the branding and growth of sports on the international level, once they hit the court, Sheng said he has one goal for his players.

“Our goal is to have all of our players fully at their best,” Sheng said.

Men’s athletic director Steve Patterson speaks at a Student Government meeting in September.

Photo Credit: Graeme Hamilton | Daily Texan Staff

As a result of the much-anticipated construction of the new Dell Medical School, the Frank Erwin Center, home to Texas basketball games and various concerts and events throughout the years, will be torn down. In order to fund what will likely be an expensive construction project, Texas men’s athletic director Steve Patterson has stated that the new arena ought to be paid for using Austin taxpayer money.

“The reality is that Austin has had a free arena for three and a half decades at no investment whatsoever,” Patterson said at an event in September. “You look at the growth projections five years out, to be a top 25 market in this country and not to have invested a nickel in an arena is a heck of a position for the city of Austin to be in.” 

While Patterson’s statements may not have been factually inaccurate, his comments are still misguided. The creation of a new venue that would first and foremost be used as the basketball team’s home court — not to mention other University-affiliated events — ought to be paid for mostly by the University without need for significant public funding from the taxpayers of Austin, who, along with the rest of Texas taxpayers, already help pay for the publicly funded University.

This football season is Baylor University’s first at the new McLane Stadium. The construction of the stadium was estimated to cost $250 million, with an estimated $100-120 million of the funding coming from private donations. When we consider that the University of Texas has the highest revenue-producing athletics department in the nation, not to mention an array of private donors that likely surpasses Baylor’s, it is not unreasonable to conclude that the University, if it wanted to, could build a new arena without several hundred million dollars of additional Austin taxpayer money.

It would appear, though, that the University of Texas does not want to pay for a new arena on its own, presumably because Patterson believes it doesn’t have to. Yet that is not a good enough reason to force Austin taxpayers to bear the brunt of the construction of a new arena that, outside of Austin Independent School District graduates and graduation ceremony attendees, many Austin residents may never set foot inside.

Public funding of stadiums has become trendy for professional sports teams. Owners merely need to hint at the possibility of relocation in order to strong-arm city leaders and officials into paying for a new stadium or arena using taxpayer money. Examples of this include construction of a new stadium for the Minnesota Vikings, partially paid for with taxpayer money, and Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis’ flirtations with both San Antonio and Los Angeles as a bargaining maneuver.

Unfortunately, Austin residents may soon be subjected to the same injustice felt by the citizens of Minneapolis, who continue to fund a stadium they must pay, again, merely to enter. Because the University of Texas will never leave Austin, it is incumbent upon the citizens of Austin to demand that the University itself pay for a new Texas basketball arena. 

Sundin is an English and radio-television-film senior from San Antonio.

Texas Men’s Athletic Director Steve Patterson sat down with Texas Monthly to discuss Texas' future.

Photo Credit: Charlie Pearce | Daily Texan Staff

In the latest edition of the Texas Monthly Talks interview series, Texas Men’s Athletic Director Steve Patterson sat down with Texas Monthly Editor-in-Chief Brian Sweany at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center on Monday evening to discuss his vision for Longhorn athletics and his role as athletic director. 

Patterson, who was featured alongside football head coach Charlie Strong on the cover of Texas Monthly’s September edition, shed light on topics ranging from Strong’s now-famous five core values to his plans for expanding the Longhorns’ global brand. 

Throughout the interview, Patterson drew upon his experience in both professional sports and as the athletic director at Arizona State University to answer questions. 

Arguably his most important decision in his first months as athletic director was hiring Strong. Patterson said, while the success of the football team is critical to the athletic department, he was not overwhelmed by fear of failure in making the decision.

“I’m not unmindful of the fact that, if the football team doesn’t play well, at or above expectations, you’re not going to be able to successfully drive the business, and I think everybody understands that,” Patterson said. “But I don’t go into the day being afraid that, ‘Oh God, this is gonna blow up and this is gonna be the end of the world.’ I go in trying to gather as much information as I possibly can, look at the criteria, see who fits that criteria for a particular position.” 

Patterson also outlined his plan for creating endowments for all UT sports, which would entail raising money for individual sports to make them self-sustaining. He said he hopes to build the global brand of the Longhorns by playing international games, such as the mens’ basketball game scheduled for China in 2015. 

“The University athletic teams really are the front porch of the University; it’s the way we tell our stories to the world,” Patterson said. “There are four, five, six potential international brands in college athletics. We’re one of them. If we don’t leverage it, we haven’t done our job.”

Men's athletic director Steve Patterson discusses issues facing the athletics department at a Student Government meeting Tuesday evening. 

Photo Credit: Graeme Hamilton | Daily Texan Staff

Tuesday, at the first Student Government meeting of the school year,  the SG assembly confirmed internal and external positions and men’s athletic director Steve Patterson discussed issues facing the athletics department.

After the floor was opened for questions, SG assembly members asked Patterson about the Frank Erwin Center’s future and the compensation of college athletes.

While no exact demolition date is set for the Erwin Center, Patterson said when the time comes for the center to close to make way for the future Dell Medical School expansion, he would like to see an arena close to campus available to use.

“I think that there are a lot of parties that need to be in conversations that come to the table to address financing issues, location issues, design issues, parking and transportation issues and different conditions with users,” Patterson said.

Patterson also said he is against the compensation of University athletes outside their student benefits.

“If you take the benefits that student athletes get — room and board, tuition, mentoring, tutoring, the basic student benefits — then the value of a student athlete, a football player for instance, is about $69,000 a year … which would put you in the top third of household incomes in the United States,” Patterson said. 

Later in the meeting, the executive board appointed students to internal and external positions. The nominations were voided in May after the SG court requested interview notes from the position interview process. SG assembly speaker Braydon Jones said the nominees made last spring were included on the agenda and were appointed during the meeting.

Jones said he gave assembly members three-and-a-half weeks to voice any concerns about the previous appointments.

“I personally did not receive any concerns regarding the appointments,” Jones said. “The assembly board and I met earlier this afternoon and decided we would move forward with the applications and the appointments of the previously nominated names.”

During the meeting, SG President Kori Rady said Safe Ride — his initiative to provide safe and free transportation to students from downtown after going out on the weekends — will start Thursday.

“It’s something we have been working on for a long time and something that our University lacks,” Rady said.

Rady also said the UT Android app contract is complete and awaiting signatures from the student developers before its release.

Men's basketball coach Rick Barnes, entering his 17th season in Austin, recently earned an extension through 2019.

Photo Credit: Shelby Tauber | Daily Texan Staff

After bounce back years for men’s basketball head coach Rick Barnes and baseball head coach Augie Garrido, the two were awarded two-year contract extensions Thursday from the Board of Regents.

Ten months ago, though, it seemed as if the two were on their way out. 

Last November, football head coach Mack Brown was near the end of another mediocre season — his fourth in a row, urging many fans to call for his firing.

At the same time, Barnes — coming off the first losing season for Texas since 1997, snapping a streak of 14 straight appearances in the NCAA tournament — watched exciting young forward Ioannis Papapetrou walk away early after watching Myck Kabongo, Julien Lewis, Sheldon McClellan and Jaylen Bond do the same a few months earlier. Texas men’s basketball was poised for, possibly, an even worse season.

And Garrido, 74, watched his team sputter to a 7-17 record in the Big 12, failing to make the Big 12 tournament, where only one team gets left out. It looked as though he was losing it.

And to cap it all off, the loyal DeLoss Dodds had stepped down as athletic director, and Steve Patterson took over. It seemed as if he would bring in his own men and start fresh in what was a low point in all three major programs. So, when Brown officially resigned just over a month later, it was only a matter of time before the search for a new baseball and basketball coach began.

However, things changed.

Garrido, beginning his 19th season at the helm, transformed a last place Big 12 team into the No. 3 team in the country and was one infield single away from an NCAA championship appearance. He carries on a legacy of long-tenured baseball coaches. He will be the fourth Texas baseball coach to reach 20 years by the end of his contract, joining Billy Disch (28), Bibb Falk (25) and Cliff Gustafson (29).

Garrido’s extension runs through the 2017 season at $1.04 million per year.

On the court, Barnes led a group of young, unsung Longhorns to a shocking 24-11 record and a thrilling NCAA tournament win. In addition, he now has a strong platform upon which to build. Barnes won’t lose a single player and adds superstar forward recruit Myles Turner, one of the biggest additions in the history of the program.

Barnes, entering his 17th year, will now earn $2.5 million annually through the 2018-2019 season. He is already the longest tenured coach in the history of the Texas program.

These extensions don’t guarantee both coaches will be around to see the end of the contracts. After the 2011 season, Brown was extended until 2020, but he never even got to see the midpoint of that contract after resigning under pressure.

The extensions do, though, give the two coaches security and, maybe even more importantly, reveal Patterson’s confidence in them.

Steve Patterson, men's head athletic director, said strengthening the Texas Longhorns brand is one of his priorities in a discussion hosted by The Texas Tribune on Thursday.

Patterson compared the business of college sports to his experience working in professional sports, where he worked with teams including the Portland Trail Blazers and the Houston Texans. Patterson said the relationship between fans of college sports and the teams is much more long-term than in professional sports, and this has the potential to benefit the college team’s brand.

“Given the depth and breadth of the emotional attachment over [multiple] generations and the number of people that come through our doors, the number of eyeballs that watch our games, the number of folks that buy merchandise... I don’t think we’ve sufficiently leveraged college athletics as an industry,” Patterson said.

According to data from the U.S. Department of Education, the UT athletics department made more than $165 million in 2012-2013, which is about $20 million higher than the next university on the list, Ohio State. UT also spent the most on athletics of any other university in the country at $138 million. Patterson said the athletic department contributes between $5 and $10 million yearly to the University.

Patterson said raising the rates people pay for UT athletics, including ticket prices and corporate sponsorship rates, would be practical because these rates are undervalued compared to professional sports.

Michael Choate, an Austin attorney who attended the Tribune event, said Texas sports events, especially football games, are an important factor when people are deciding which college to attend, so he wouldn’t support an increase in football ticket prices.

“What about that kid from outside Austin [who] wants to go to a UT football game that maybe can’t afford a ticket rate hike, and that may be their one chance to kind of get a feel for the University of Texas?” Choate said. “Going to football games and stuff like that is such a great visceral experience. Honestly, when I went to my first UT game when I was a lot younger, it sold me on the university.”

Patterson said promoting the image of UT is difficult because in college sports, there are many rules about what UT officials are allowed to discuss. Because professional sports have fewer rules regarding what officials can discuss publicly, the team’s officials can provide better information to consumers, generating more revenue because the consumers are more informed.

The amount of time student athletes spend on sports is comparable to a full-time job, Patterson said. Patterson said he thinks student athletes are already compensated for their work, and if athletes want to be paid, they should play for professional sports teams.

“We’re already compensating [student athletes] with a full scholarship to come to a great place like the University of Texas,” Patterson said.

Petroleum engineering junior Colin Mosley said he thinks while the full-ride scholarship some student athletes receive is beneficial, they should be paid a little bit because they bring so much revenue to the school, although this is unrealistic. Treating student athletes as employees would create more inequality between small and large schools because large schools have more money, Mosley said.

“All the good athletes would go to the big schools that would pay them,” Mosley said. “It would make the game less fair for smaller schools if students got paid.”

Patterson also said if the University paid some athletes, it wouldn’t have enough money to fund other departments.

“If you really want to go out there and start turning the football players into employees, and paying them, you’re not going to have the resources to support the other programs,” Patterson said. “You pick winners and losers instead of trying to present a broad base of student athletics on the campus.”