Education
2:21 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

Committee Won't Look Into UT Regent's Call to Alabama Coach's Agent

A legislative committee investigating University of Texas System Regent Wallace Hall will not consider recent allegations claiming Hall abused his powers by talking to a sports agent about replacing UT football coach Mack Brown.

Reports surfaced last week that Hall spoke to an agent for Nick Saban, the football coach for the top-ranked University of Alabama, in January. Former UT Regent Tom Hicks was also on the call. Hicks then asked Brown if he wanted to retire, but Brown said he did not.

Some latched onto the news as another example of Hall abusing his powers as a regent. Hall is under investigation for possible impeachment by the Select Committee on Transparency in State Agency Operations. Lawmakers are looking into allegations that Hall abused his powers by demanding massive amounts of information from UT-Austin – which some lawmakers likened to a “witch hunt” against UT-Austin President William Powers – and for not disclosing lawsuits he was involved in before becoming a regent.

But one of the chairs leading the investigation, Rep. Dan Flynn, R-Canton, said the committee will only look into current charges against him for now.

“The charges against him are pretty narrow,” Rep. Flynn, who co-chairs the Select Committee on Transparency in State Agency Operations, says. “If anything comes up in addition to that in testimony, it will be considered for another day and that will be if the Speaker wants to broaden those charges.”

After reviewing the evidence, Flynn’s committee will decide whether to call the House of Representatives back to file articles of impeachment against Hall. If the House approves the motion, the Senate will then hold a trial to determine if Hall should be impeached, Flynn says.

Flynn says the process could take a while, or could be over as soon as next month. Hall would be the first Texas regent ever impeached from public office.

Recently, UT President Powers told an Austin TV station he should be involved in any talks to replace Brown. On Wednesday, attorneys with UT-Austin and the UT System agreed that Powers should have been informed of the call.