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A&M’s Byrne Addresses His Imminent Departure

Last week, Texas A&M president R. Bowen Loftin confirmed that which had been rumored to be true in College Station for months — that athletic director Bill Byrne was on his way out.

Byrne has been at A&M since 2002, but it’s believed he was not fully onboard with so many other members of Aggie Nation regarding his school’s move from the Big 12 to the SEC.  Making matters worse for Byrne, one of his top lieutenants was caught posting insulting remarks about Loftin — Byrne’s boss — on an A&M messageboard late last year.


So it was only a matter of time before Loftin and Byrne went their separate ways – perhaps they’ll play some air keyboards together – and that time is drawing nigh.  Loftin said last week that he and Byrne are continuing to work out a plan that would allow Byrne to transition into a new role at the school until his contract expires in 2013.

Yesterday, Byrne posted the following as part of a weekly column to Texas A&M fans:


“I’m hearing from a few of you who were surprised to learn last Friday I was at a point of transition from my role as Athletic Director at Texas A&M. President Loftin announced it after a workshop on conference realignment last Friday in The Zone Club.  As I enter the last period of my contract, President Loftin and I continue to work together to continue the tradition of excellence of Aggie Athletics.

“I’ve been looking forward to my life after athletics.  I will be right there with all of you rooting for our teams and watching Texas A&M strive for championships.  This is a wonderful time at Texas A&M and I look forward to announcing, with President Loftin’s support, my next steps.”


We still believe Byrne will be given a parting gift in the form of cash and will be long gone by the time any new AD takes over at A&M.


(Sidenote — Hopefully all Aggie fans are now happy with the tweaked, darker tone of A&M’s itty-bitty button/banner up top.)

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Hog Fan Takes Out Ad Asking Other Fans to Sound Off About Basketball

Ah, the ol’ quarter-page ad in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette trick, huh?

It seems a disgruntled Razorback fan wants other disgruntled Razorback fans to take out their pens and paper and fire off their thoughts about the Arkansas basketball program to UA’s biggest powerbrokers (the governor included).  Gotta wonder if a win last night might have “gruntled” a few of those folks.  We’ll never know.

Here’s the content of the ad which ran today in the state’s largest paper:


For all of you who care about the future of Arkansas Razorback Basketball, we urge you to write your concerns and submit them as soon as possible.  Please send these letters to the Governor, members of the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees, President, Chancellor, and Athletic Director whose names and addresses are listed below.  Let’s make this effort one of respect for all parties concerned.

There is quite a bit of evidence that Razorback fans are disturbed by what they see in the present outlook of Arkansas Basketball.  This voicing of concerns is not intended to become a name calling contest or an attack upon anyone personally.  It is only intended to be a ground-swell expression of bewildered and frustrated basketball supporters, many of whom know a great deal about the way the game should be played.  We would like to bring this to the attention of the University’s decision-makers on the future of Arkansas basketball before too much time passes.  This expression of your views is very important.  Please be a part of it.


Thoughts on the ad?  Well, I would have led with ATTENTION PEOPLE OF EARTH, but that’s just me.

Personally, I like the “let’s make this effort one of respect,” comment.  One has to wonder, though, if the man who placed this ad — “Y Roberts of Gulf Shores, Alabama” — would feel “respected” if someone placed an ad in a newspaper asking everyone to voice their displeasure with his job performance.

The line about “many of whom know a great deal about the way the game should be played,” brought to mind the barbershop scene in the movie, “Hoosiers.”  You might remember that one.  The townspeople explain to Gene Hackman’s character what players need to be on his roster, what kind of defense he needs to run, etc.

Well, at this point, John Pelphrey had better hope that one of the guys in his much ballyhooed recruiting class bears the name “Jimmy Chitwood.”  If not, a town hall meeting might result in his ouster.  Regardless of what Barbara Hershey might say.

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