The University of Texas Football team had a string of bad news over the weekend. The big news was the revelation that offensive coordinator Major Applewhite had a sexual relationship with a student a few years back.
Then one of the team’s players was arrested for public intoxication. Minor in comparison: a high school football star Texas had been recruiting announced he would not be coming to the 40 acres. But these are just the latest disappointing moments for a proud program on hard times.
Even if you’re not a Longhorn fan, you’re bound to have heard of the team’s recent problems on and off the field. Because if you live in Austin, you’ve got at least one friend that cares passionately about the topic and hasn’t been shy about expressing their feelings on the subject.
For me,a that friend is Marion Trapolino. Class of 92. Season ticket holder since 2005. And present day irritated fan. Want to have some fun…just ask her what her biggest complaint is about the Longhorns.
“...that we’re not winning enough games. That the defense and offense both look flat," said Trapolino.
And that fans are being told, and have been for the last 3 years, to just be patient. It’s a process. Things will be better next year.
“Texas fans are like look – quit talking about the birth and show us the baby," said Geoff Ketchum, owner and publisher of Orangebloods.com, a prominent Longhorn football news site.
Ketchum said the frustration comes from fans’ high expectations. Expectations born from the Longhorn’s historic dominance, with the flames fanned even higher after winning a national title in 2005 and a return to the title game in 2009.
But since then, there’s been a losing season followed by two better but unimpressive seasons. And Ketchum adds an increase in off the field problems.
“Mack Brown has as many sex scandals in his football program in the last couple of years as he has conference championships on his resume.”
He said some fans have reached a point where they believe things won’t get better until head coach Mack Brown leaves the program. But Ketchum is a little more optimistic. He said this year’s team really could be the start of another good run on the 40 acres.
“This was a team that took a modest step forward this season. And now the pressures to take a larger step in 2013 and they can do that,"said Ketchum. "But they have to handle the Oklahoma issues. They can’t lose that game.”
Season ticket holder Trapolino said the fans are ready for the team to win more on field and stay out of trouble off the field.
“Now we’re at a point where, I think we’re kind of done. Like o.k. you’ve had the time to build. So are we going to see something finally," said Trapolino.
The Longhorns next step to improve the team comes tomorrow. That’s when high school seniors announce where they’re going to play college football. Texas is expected to sign a small but talented group of players.