The title is a little bit misleading or hiding the entire truth of this story, but it’s not too far away. Texas athletics has a revenue of $161 million or at least it did last year, but is now limiting the amount of free visits the coaches have in the dining halls.
According to Chip Brown of HornsDigest.com, coaches used to be allowed to go into the athletic dining hall whenever they wanted under Dodds, often to bond with their student-athletes or have a one-on-one conversation. Under Patterson, coaches are only allowed 30 visits per year. If coaches go to the athletic dining hall more than that, they have to pay $10 for each visit out of their own pocket.
The new athletic director, Steve Patterson, seems to be ultra-focused on revenue and profit, and trying to cut back in too many places, which is creating quite a lot of dissent among coaches all across the board but it has also been affecting some season ticket holders.
According to this memo, the school claims it’s spending over $300,000 on coaches & staff “getting away” with free visits or meals to the dining halls, even if those are visits are opportunities for some bonding time with the athletes or some one-on-one conversations.
Texas says that it pays $17.50 per meal out of its athletic budget. The school is also urging the staff to visit the dining halls before 6 PM because of crowding issues.
So has it had any specific effects? Yes, according to Brown.
Sources said this new policy had a negative impact on Danielle Lund McNamara, who stepped down as Texas’ women’s tennis coach last month out of frustration. UT didn’t have a tennis facility this season, and won’t next year, because the previous facility was demolished to make room for a new medical school. “There was no place for Coach McNamara to meet with her team,” one source close to the situation said. “Was she going to use her own money each time she wanted to go into the athletic dining hall just to meet with her players? She’d be taking a pay cut. Come on. It’s ridiculous.