As is explained in this story in this Dallas Morning News piece, Texas is not exactly known for “show up early, stay late” crowds at Darrell K. Royal Texas Memorial Stadium.
Now that the team is, once again, mediocre, first-year coach Tom Herman has noticed some large gaps forming in the student section.
“I was disappointed,” Herman said Monday. “We’ve got to win. Everybody loves a winner. And some of that’s on us. I was disappointed that we had performed to the point where the students had that kind of apathy for it.”
Here’s a look at what he’s talking about:
Some of this can be attributed to Saturday’s opponent, which was lowly Baylor (0-8), and which the Longhorns soundly thrashed 38-7.
But the rest of it is a little more complicated than it might seem. It’s true that Texas is 4-4, and as Herman said, everybody loves a winner. If UT was 7-1, the gaps in the crowd wouldn’t look like that. Another also-ran year, at a school that expects to compete for national championships, will do that. Still, there is a wider trend — especially with the generation that is in college today — of eschewing live sporting events in favor of watching the game some other way, or even just doing something else with their Saturdays and Sundays entirely.
Herman casts the blame on the UT football program, however, and it’s probably the right thing to do.
“We’ve got to do a better job — I’ve got to do a better job endearing ourselves to the student body,” Herman said. “The marketing and fan engagement and student engagement people need to do better, I need to do better, we all need to do better and the students need to do better.”
Texas crowds probably will always be the type to trickle in a few minutes late, but winning, as they say, is the best cologne.