Vince Young

Photo Credit: Amy Zhang | Daily Texan Staff

President William Powers Jr., during his first State of the University Address in 2006, pledged to make diversity his highest priority as president — a commitment that led to the establishment of the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, also known as the DDCE.

Powers, who will step down from his post as University president in June 2015, said he pushed to launch the DDCE in 2006 to improve the learning experiences of UT students and prepare them to work cross-culturally and in diverse environments once they graduate. 

“We’re a diverse state,” Powers said in an interview Tuesday. “We need diverse leadership.” 

The Division, which now includes former Longhorn quarterback Vince Young as a member of its staff, aims to ensure a diverse and welcoming learning community for University faculty, staff and students, said Gregory Vincent, vice president for diversity and community engagement. 

“When we talk about community engagement, it is really about connecting the resources of the University to the needs of the community, and whether that’s our local community here in Austin, or even at the regional, national and even, in some instances, international level,” Vincent said.  

DDCE currently supports several programs on campus aimed at promoting diversity such as the Gender and Sexuality Center, Services for Students with Disabilities and the Office of Institutional Equity. The DDCE has also partnered with outreach centers in Austin, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and the Rio Grande Valley to help prepare underserved high school students for college. 

Young, who graduated from UT in 2013 with a degree in education, joined the DDCE in August. He said he is responsible for leading fundraising efforts for the DDCE and speaking to children at different schools throughout Central Texas. 

“One of my goals was to be a middle school teacher, but the opportunity came here at UT to come be a part of DDCE and to go out and help promote what we’re doing,” Young said. “And basically what it’s doing is helping a lot of diverse kids understand the plans and programs about how to get to college.” 

Since Powers created DDCE eight years ago, Vincent said the Division has gone from serving about 300 students in its pre-college programs to about 1,000 students currently. He also said the initiative helped to improve the University’s relationship with East Austin, an area known for its high level of low-income households, through after-school programs and the UT Elementary charter school. 

Vincent also said thousands of students are engaged in DDCE’s volunteer activities each year, including “The Project,” one of the largest community-University days of service nationwide. 

“We have really expanded the student engagement work, and we’re giving students opportunities to have leadership roles both on campus and volunteer opportunities within the community,” Vincent said.

Powers said he anticipates the next president will continue to support the DDCE, especially in light of federal district and appeals courts ruling in favor of the University during the Fisher v. UT case.

Abigail Fisher sued the University in 2008 when she was denied acceptance to the University because her grades were not high enough to guarantee her admission under the top-10 percent rule. Her defense argued UT’s race-conscious admissions policy violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment since minority students were accepted with lower grades than hers.  

“What we know — and this is one of the central arguments in the Fisher case — is that diversity in our student body enriches the learning environment for all students, and having a diverse faculty and a diverse staff helps learning and also helps reflect our mission, because we’re supposed to serve the people of Texas, and, of course, our state is one of the most diverse in the nation,” Vincent said.

As a Texas Ex, I have read and listened to everyone from the sportscasters to the bloggers to my laundryman expound on how far the Longhorns have fallen this year, how Tyrone Swoops doesn’t have the goods, etc., and I am tired of fair-weather fans dumping on Coach Strong and the team.  

I was there when we won the ‘69 National Championship, and I was at the Rose Bowl in 2004 to see Vince Young pull out a victory over Michigan. (I tried to get tickets for the 2005 game, but we all know that regular folk can’t afford tickets to those things. However, I did buy the DVD.)

I am at a point in my life, both physically and financially, where I can’t afford to get to the games anymore, but I’m fed up with people, especially local fans, who can’t stop griping about my dear Longhorns’ fall from grace and don’t show up for the games.

When I was in Austin, I never missed a home game if I could get a ticket. I remember the crap we took if A&M or Oklahoma beat us, even if we had a winning season. Granted, Mack Brown is no Darrell Royal, but he never was. He rode to the championship on the gifted back of Vince Young and company and made it to bowl games with Colt McCoy despite his poor coaching.

The bottom line is, GET OFF COACH STRONG’S BACK! I think he’s doing a hell of a job cleaning up the program and needs the support of the Longhorn fans and alumni to do it properly. I am embarrassed by the poor showing of fans at the games. Each week, I get out my pom-poms, light up my neon Longhorn and watch the games when they are broadcast in my area. (The only ones so far that have not been scheduled to be shown are on The Longhorn Network. Don’t get me started on that, because that is a whole different rant for another time!)

I watched on Saturday as our Longhorns made a valiant effort on the field. Although the scoreboard did not show it, our coach and our young men should be proud of their performance against a ranked Sooner team: They never faltered and they never quit. They made me proud to be a Texas Longhorn fan. I believe I will continue to see improvement throughout this season and into 2015 as, in my living room, I enthusiastically shout “Hook ‘Em Horns!”

— Suzanne Barnert, psychology alumna, from Chandler, Arizona

Junior quarterback David Ash (14) missed much of last season because of concussion symptoms. He claims to be at full health heading into the 2014 season and looks to lead the Lonhorns to a rebound year. 

Photo Credit: Shelby Tauber | Daily Texan Staff

Last season, starting in the conference home opener against Kansas State, junior quarterback David Ash was poised for a standout season. After missing Texas’ defeat at the hands of Ole Miss because of an injury, the quarterback hit then-wide receiver Kendall Sanders in stride for a 63-yard touchdown, giving the Longhorns a 10-0 lead over the Wildcats.

But, as it would turn out, this game would stand out for an unfortunate reason. Concussion symptoms would cut Ash’s appearance, and his entire season, short.

“I’ve always felt like, if you want to know, if last year if I felt like I was on the verge of some pretty big breakthroughs? Yeah, I felt that way,” Ash said. “And it didn’t end up, and that’s OK. I just got to pick up where I left off and keep working to get there.”

In 2011, Ash struggled as a true freshman, throwing eight interceptions to only four touchdowns. But last season, the passer threw for seven touchdowns while rushing for one more in the three contests he saw action. In his past 15 contests, Ash has thrown 26 touchdowns to 10 interceptions, which is identical to the passing statistics posted by legendary quarterback Vince Young during the 2005 season.

Although Ash hasn’t exactly won enough to elicit comparisons to Young, numbers prove he has the potential to become a solid quarterback for the Longhorns. The senior has already proven that he is willing to put in the extra effort to make sure he does whatever he can to help his team win.

“If I hand it off 60 times and we win, I’m totally comfortable, but, if I’m handing the ball off, and it’s not working, and I’m going to have to throw, I’m totally comfortable throwing,” Ash said. “I’m totally comfortable doing whatever it takes to help this team win, and that’s the job of the quarterback. It’s not about stats. It’s not about fame. It’s not about being known as this, as a gunslinger. It’s about winning football games.”

Ash’s critics often question his intangibles and abilities to guide his team to victory, as he has seen insubstantial game action through the past two seasons. But now entering his fourth year in the program, he has worked to make strides in that capacity.

“He has become a true leader,” said senior receiver John Harris. “You know he’s a senior, and he’s been in this position before. I don’t think that’s going to be a problem for anybody to follow him. We’re going to be right there with him. We know he can lead this team. We just want to see him do it.”

Ash’s biggest concern this season will be staying healthy, and, if he can do so, he will be able to provide strong leadership for his revamped team. Quarterbacks coach Shawn Watson has already seen Ash’s desire to prove himself after an injury-riddled 2013 campaign.

“He really wants to be a great player, and I think he has unsettled affairs after the kind of year he went through last year,” Watson said. “I respect that. I’ve listened to him. He has worked really hard, and he has played very efficient football. He’s had a great training camp. I’m really proud of him.”

Former Texas quarterback Vince Young watches his old team take on West Virginia in 2012.

Photo Credit: Elisabeth Dillon | Daily Texan Staff

Former Longhorns quarterback Vince Young has accepted a position with the University’s Division of Diversity and Community Engagement beginning on Sept. 1.

Young, who led the football program to the 2005 national championship, graduated from the University in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in applied learning and development.

“After Vince finished his degree, he was looking for some opportunities to serve his alma mater,” Gregory Vincent, vice president for diversity and community engagement, said. “It was just a really good meeting of the minds.”

Young will be working with alumni of division programs to help raise money for initiatives that promote educational success for first-generation college students and students from low-income backgrounds, such as the University Interscholastic League, UT Elementary and charter schools. His starting salary is $100,000 per year.

“The position with DDCE is a great way to stay connected to the University and help make a difference in the lives of underserved kids across the state,” Young said in a statement.

The Division of Diversity and Community Engagement works to create an inclusive environment for people of all backgrounds on the University campus and builds partnerships within the community to achieve this goal.

Vincent said Young is particularly passionate about the opportunity because he will be representing students from a background similar to his own — Young was the first person in his family to go to college.

In February, Young participated in "The Project," a community service event organized by the division.

“He’s been a wonderful partner and ambassador,” Vincent said.

Photo Credit: Charlie Pearce | Daily Texan Staff

79-12. 

That is the record Texas compiled during a seven-year span when it started legends Vince Young and Colt McCoy at quarterback. Texas played for two national titles — winning one — in addition to winning two more BCS bowls in 2006 and 2008. Young beat teams with his feet and arm and made the team “inVINCEable” during the latter part of his career. McCoy was one of the most accurate passers in NCAA history and the winningest BCS-conference quarterback.

But over the past four seasons, with the quarterback carousel of Garrett Gilbert, Case McCoy and David Ash in full swing, Texas has gone just 30-21. During this time, the Longhorns missed a bowl game while only winning two of three minor bowls from 2011 to 2013. Gilbert was highly touted but flamed out. McCoy will be remembered for his late game moxie but struggled in his last few games. Ash can play brilliantly when healthy, but his durability appears to be a nagging concern. 

The quarterback position at Texas has been a mess lately and will likely remain so in 2014. The Longhorns will play their spring game Saturday with three active quarterbacks who have completed 5 of 13 passes for 26 yards in their careers combined.

Only sophomore Tyrone Swoopes got reps at quarterback in a game last season, playing in six games after a controversial burning of his redshirt against TCU. With such limited opportunities, it’s hard to tell whether Swoopes will be successful at this level, but it’s encouraging that head coach Charlie Strong sees Swoopes already taking advantage of Ash’s absence.

“He did a really outstanding job last Saturday,” Strong said. ”I know I don’t know his numbers, but he had really good numbers and threw an unbelievable ball to Marcus [Johnson] down the sideline where he beat one of our defensive backs. It was a big throw, but he did a really good job, and he settled in and had the confidence and just a different air about him when leading the offense.”

Texas’ other quarterbacks Saturday will be former wide receiver and tight end Miles Onyegbule, a senior, and sophomore Trey Holtz, both of whom should play to give Swoopes time off the field.

Many fans believe salvation is on the way with the enrollment of touted recruit Jerrod Heard on campus this summer. Heard led his team to two state titles in high school, but, while there could be temptation to play him early, Texas’ smartest move may be to redshirt him this season. Young and Colt both redshirted during their first seasons on campus, and that may be the best way to set up Heard for a successful career. 

Texas’ best hope in 2014 is to keep Ash healthy, but it should be prepared in the likely event he misses time. Perhaps it will nab USC transfer Max Wittek, who is a talented quarterback looking for a change of scenery. The Longhorns are thought to be the frontrunners for Wittek’s services, which would provide them with a solid backup in the likely event Ash suffers yet another setback.

The team will likely struggle until assistant coach Shawn Watson can develop his quarterback, but Heard may be the answer in 2015 or 2016. Until then, Texas fans need to remain patient as the Longhorns search for their next world-beating signal caller.

Photo Credit: Elisabeth Dillon | Daily Texan Staff

Since leaving Texas for a career in the NFL, Vince Young has had trouble both on and off the field. Now, nine years after winning a national championship for Texas, Young has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Attorney Brian Kilmer, who was unable to be reached for comments, filed a voluntary petition in the federal bankruptcy court in the Southern District of Texas for Young. The document, filed Friday, states Young’s assets are between $500,001 and $1 million while his liabilities are estimated between $1,000,001 and $10 million.

Young is indebted to approximately 20 individuals and companies, including the Pro Player Funding, which has been after Young since he defaulted on a loan he took out in 2011. Young obtained about $1.7 million from the New York lender during the NFL Lockout. Young claims to have had no involvement in the obtaining of the loan or the takings. He has since filed a lawsuit against his former agent, Major Adams, and financial planner, Ronnie Peoples, both of whom he says took the money for their keepings. 

Young, a 30-year-old Houston native, has been criticized in the past for being irresponsible and an out-of-control spender. Young is currently left with little from a contract that guaranteed him $26 million, as attorneys argue what happened to it.

After leaving Texas his junior year, Young was the third player taken in the 2006 NFL draft. He played four seasons with the Tennessee Titans and appeared in two Pro Bowls before becoming the backup for the Philadelphia Eagles. After the Buffalo Bills cut him in 2012, Young had a chance to get back in the NFL but was released within a month of signing with the Green Bay Packers at the start of this season.

Photo Credit: Elisabeth Dillon | Daily Texan Staff

There’s an age-old cliche in football: next man up. This phrase rings truest at the professional level, where the competition is fierce and the margin for error is zero — especially at the quarterback position. With this in mind, it makes little sense that Vince Young, a two-time Pro Bowler and NFL Rookie of the Year, remains unsigned in early November while journeyman veterans and unproven rookies take vital snaps in place of injured starting quarterbacks.

Over the last two years Young has failed to make the rosters of the Packers and the Bills. After they cut Young, each team experienced a rash of injuries at the quarterback position that season, but none of their replacements have played well. This begs the question: Why is Vince Young not in the NFL?

With starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers currently out with a fractured collarbone, the Packers have started Seneca Wallace and Scott Tolzien in the past three games — all losses. In two games, Wallace totaled a 64.4 quarterback rating, passing for one interception and no touchdowns. Tolzien, who has seen significant time in two games, struggled too, throwing one touchdown to five interceptions.

In his career, Wallace has thrown 31 touchdowns and 19 interceptions, passed for 4,947 yards, has an 80.8 quarterback rating and a 6-16 record. Tolzien did not play an NFL snap before this season. 

Young, on the other hand, has thrown 46 touchdowns and 51 interceptions, amassed 8,964 passing yards and has a 74.4 quarterback rating. In addition, he has rushed for 1,459 yards and 12 touchdowns. While Young’s touchdown-interception ratio and rating are worse than Wallace’s, his mobility adds an explosive dynamic his counterpart lacks. More importantly, his 31-19 career record shows he’s a winner, which is the most important characteristic of an NFL quarterback.

Buffalo’s quarterback situation tells a similar story. Since cutting Young last year, the Bills signed Kevin Kolb, Thad Lewis and undrafted rookie Jeff Tuel. Kolb has not played in a regular season game this season because of concussion issues, but his previous 9-12 record and 5,206 passing yards are underwhelming. Lewis and Tuel have combined for five touchdowns, five interceptions and a 1-4 record.

There are other examples of quarterbacks who have gotten opportunities ahead of Young despite inferior career numbers. Josh Freeman, who started the season with the Buccaneers, was signed mid-season by the Vikings, has a 24-36 record and a quarterback rating of 77.8 in five seasons, and his 37.7 percent completion percentage in his one start for the Vikings was the lowest in an NFL game since 2007. Josh McCown is 2-0 this season in place of the Bears’ Jay Cutler but had previously been unimpressive, amassing a 15-20 record while throwing 42 touchdowns and 44 interceptions.

Altogether Lewis, Tolzien, Tuel, Wallace, Freeman and McCown have a combined 3-9 record this year — all while Young has sat idly as a free agent. Though a number of off-the-field incidents have clouded some of his accomplishments, Young is equal if not above these quarterbacks in career statistics and athletic ability. More importantly, he has a better winning percentage than all of them. In the NFL’s win-at-all-costs culture, shouldn’t that be enough?

Tweet on, sports fans: Mobile connectivity to improve at Darrel K Royal Stadium

AT&T has some good news for Longhorn fans as it has enhanced its mobile connectivity on the 40 Acres campus and at Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium.

The wireless company recently completed a 4G LTE upgrade of its Distributed Antenna System (DAS) on campus and in DKR, leading to an “improved delivery of mobile content and more consistent download and upload data speeds,” AT&T said in a press release.

So what does this mean?

It means that your “Saban 2014” and “Put Swoopes in” tweets will now get delivered even faster and mom and dad can now receive your “I’m just gonna stay in tonight” texts even quicker as you leave to go to a party.

AT&T said that calls would become more reliable; the amount of traffic the network can hold will increase while improving network consistency.

How does it work?

The way the new DAS system works is simple. Let’s say Vince Young is watching his former team play on a Saturday night at DKR and wants to send a tweet. Without the DAS system, his text will get sent to the nearby cell tower, which is overloaded with fans telling their friends Vince Young is right in front of them. Young’s text won’t be able to go through and the twitter verse will never know what knowledge he meant to share.

With the DAS system, the stadium is divided into sections, each with a specific antenna to coordinate mobile activity. When Young sends his tweet, it will go to the nearest antenna and will get sent without any traffic clogging it up.

If you don’t go to football games, don’t worry! AT&T said the 4G LTE upgrade has been installed all around the campus and even the Frank Erwin Center. So with basketball season starting up, those “We need Kevin Durant back” tweets will be sent just as fast.

Photo Credit: Elisabeth Dillon | Daily Texan Staff

Bob Stoops took over at Oklahoma in 1999. Since then, Oklahoma and Texas have met on the field 14 times, with Oklahoma holding a 9-5 record. Over the years, college football has evolved with spread offenses becoming more and more prevalent, which has led to 11 Heisman winning quarterbacks since 1999, with the position more important now than ever.

Over this time, the Red River Rivalry has had some phenomenal quarterbacks take the field, such as Sam Bradford and Jason White of Oklahoma as well as Vince Young and Colt McCoy of Texas. Despite the dominating careers of these passers, the winner of the
Red River Rivalry has come down to whoever runs the ball better.

In every contest since Oklahoma hired Stoops, the team with the most rushing yards took the Golden Hat, except for 2006 when both squads ran for 124 yards. In the Stoops era, Oklahoma has out-run Texas 145 to 109 yards per game.

When digging deeper and dividing rushing stats by era (1999-2003, 2004-2009 and 2010-present) and results, (Texas victory, Oklahoma victory, Oklahoma blowout victory, other Oklahoma wins) running the ball further correlates to victory.

From 1999-2003, Oklahoma outgained Texas on the ground by an average of 155.6 to 93.80 and scored over twice as many rushing touchdowns. Oklahoma took four out of five from Texas and ran the ball 10 more times per game (39.6 to 29.4).

In 2004, Young pulled away as Texas’ unquestioned starting quarterback leading to a zone-read heavy offense. But Texas lost to Oklahoma 12-0 and the run battle 301 to 154.

From 2005 to 2009, Texas won four of five against Oklahoma, averaging 138.20 yards per game against the Sooners’ 80.60, while scoring a rushing touchdown three and a half times as often. 

Following McCoy’s injury in the 2010 BCS National Championship Game, Texas’ offense has struggled with its identity both under center and philosophically. 

Not surprisingly, over this stretch Oklahoma’s ground game has dominated Texas’ by an average of 184.33 to 72.33. The Longhorns have scored zero rushing touchdowns the past two contests and averaged only 1.62 yards per carry.

When Texas emerged victorious, it is because they won the battle in the trenches. This is apparent as Texas averaged 100 yards more on the ground per game than it did in losses, at 171 to 75. In both cases, Texas calls about an equal percentage of run plays (52 percent in wins, 48 percent in losses) but the difference lies in yards per carry (4.66 in wins, 2.44 in losses) and rushing touchdowns (1.4 per game in wins, 0.9 per game in losses).

What may be an even bigger indicator for Texas’ success is how many times and how well Oklahoma runs when they have the ball. In Texas victories, Oklahoma’s run game accounts for 49.6 yards per contest and only 1.52 yards per carry, but in Oklahoma victories those numbers grow to 198.56 and 4.41, respectively.  

In blowout victories, Oklahoma tears through Texas to the tune of 215.75 yards rushing and 4.9 yards per carry while running into the end zone 4.25 times per contest. In wins, Oklahoma attempts approximately 17 more rushes per game than in losses and finds the end zone through the ground significantly more per game (2.67 to 0.2).

Based off rushing statistics and observations through five games, it seems very unlikely the Longhorns will beat the Sooners on the ground. Texas ranks last of any BCS conference team in rushing yards allowed per game at 248.4, whereas Oklahoma surrenders only 113.20 per contest. The Sooners run the ball 46.20 times per game for 246 yards on average. 

Considering the context of the 2013 game and the tendency for the run game to decide the contest, it looks very likely the Sooners will run away with the Golden Hat again. 

Ten years ago, a freshman dual-threat quarterback with game-changing ability and little experience battled a senior with little game-changing experience and a ton of experience.

Texas head coach Mack Brown wrestled with who to start for the first few weeks but, after a 65-13 shellacking at the hands of Oklahoma, he had no choice – he went with Vince Young. 30 wins and a national title later, it’s evident Brown made the right decision.

The Longhorns find themselves in a similar situation now.

David Ash is the best quarterback on the team. But he’s suffered two head injuries in Texas’ first four games this year and is out this week. Concern for his long-term health and wellbeing, extremely justified, could keep him off the field for a while.  

That leaves senior Case McCoy, 3-4 in his career as a starting quarterback, and freshman Tyrone Swoopes, whose redshirt is still firmly on his 6-foot-4, 245-pound frame.

The only glimpse we’ve gotten of Swoopes in a Longhorns uniform was during this year’s spring game. Swoopes made a memorable first impression, running circles around first-team defenders for 26 yards on four carries. He didn’t throw a pass but he did lead a drive that produced a field goal, the first scoring drive of the game against the Texas first-team defense.

“The kid is extremely athletic,” senior guard Mason Walters said. “He’s an accurate passer. He’s getting better every week as we see in practice. Just give him an opportunity on a big stage – Thursday night, national game. It’s good playing time. It’s a great stage to have an opportunity.”

Brown has given Swoopes second-team reps in practice for the last three weeks but it’s time for him to get first-team reps on the field against real competition. He doesn’t have to start but if he doesn’t get around the same number of snaps as McCoy does, Texas can kiss this season goodbye.

While we’re here, the guy getting third-team quarterback reps – redshirt freshman Jalen Overstreet – better get more playing time, too. Though he makes things happen from a different spot in the backfield. He ran for 92 yards and two touchdowns in the season-opening win over New Mexico State and hasn’t been seen or heard from since.

Back to Swoopes, who has been compared to Young many times, and for good reason. But where Brown can make a distinct difference between the two immensely talented signal-callers is by letting Swoopes take over at quarterback before Texas faces Oklahoma, not afterward, when it’ll be too late.

The Longhorns could put a soda can behind center and beat a Cyclones team that didn’t pick up their first win until last week’s 38-21 triumph over Tulsa and fell to FCS Northern Iowa in their season opener.

But the Sooners beat that same Tulsa team by 31 points and just took down Notre Dame by 14. If Texas is going to have any chance at beating the team in crimson and cream, it has to take the redshirt off Swoopes.