Coach Brown has my full support


Now that the Longhorn football team has finished its regular season, there has been an increase in media speculation about Coach Mack Brown’s future. I’d like to state unequivocally that Coach Brown has my full support as well as the support of Men’s Athletics Director DeLoss Dodds. Put succinctly, Mack Brown is and will remain the Longhorns’ head football coach.

Coach Brown restored Texas’ winning tradition. He embodies the Texas character, is a superb ambassador for The University of Texas, and runs a program that is both winning and clean, a program that all alumni and fans can and should be proud of. Mack cares about the young men on the team as people, as students, and as players, in that order, and he models the kind of leadership that will serve our players for the rest of their lives.

I look forward to watching this young team win the Alamo Bowl and continue to grow in seasons to come.

Hook ’em Horns!

2012 President's Associates Teaching Excellence Awards

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Congratulations, December graduates!

  I want to congratulate the 3,100 Longhorns who will graduate this weekend during winter commencement ceremonies in our colleges and schools — and to welcome their families and friends to the campus. As you head...


  1. William Hoffmann says:

    Bob Stoops says thanks for backing Mack and please keep him for years. He makes OU look good every year and helps OU recruiting.

  2. Mack is a great man, with great character. He has given so much to Texas and done all that we ever asked. We ask no more.

    The fire in is heart is out, he does not seek the struggle, only the victory. Football games are won by angry men, a great man taught us that. Let us start again.

  3. Mr. Powers,
    I got my business degree and MBA from UT. I must of missed the lecture about how results and accountability are to be completely disregarded when evaluating personnel. I also missed the lecture on how to be comfortable with mediocrity and how to fear change. Please send a revised copy of syllabus ASAP.

  4. I respectfully disagree with your support of Mack Brown. I’ve watched this program fall apart over the past three years and while you may be able to stomach it, I, sir, simply cannot.

    You’re lowering the standard for The University of Texas by allowing this non-sense to continue…

  5. This is about accounting. I learned a thing or two at the School of Law about the concept of “consideration” and I believe, as former Dean, you are also familiar with it.

    When Mackovic was released in 1997, Texas hired Mack Brown for two interrelated reasons: (1) to win and (2) to elevate the profitability and prominence of the program.

    Not surprisingly, and especially at Texas, if you succeed at the first objective, the second objective tends to be quite easy to fulfill, barring some sort of scandal.

    As consideration for Brown’s agreement to put forth a good faith effort to fulfill those objectives, the taxpayers offered him an amount of money sufficient to induce him to leave North Carolina. As far as I know the contract contained no penalties for trying and failing at those objectives. No liquidated damages or anything of the sort.

    Instead, he was held accountable by a carrot and a stick. The carrot: the prospect of pay raises, if he succeeds. The stick: the prospect of being fired, if he fails.

    Mack Brown did what he was expected to do: he started winning with more regularity than Mackovic. And here is where the folly of your (and many other Brown apologists’) logic comes into play.

    Mack Brown was EXPECTED to win; it was not some magnanimous gesture on his behalf for which we “owe” him. He earned a carrot; he did not earn unyielding allegiance.

    So he got a carrot. A huge dee carrot. Over $5mil per year (plus what I am sure are untold fringe benefits). From the taxpayers. In other words, all the goodwill you allude to for “restor[ing] Texas’ winning tradition” and infusing the program with “character” has ALREADY BEEN ACCOUNTED FOR.

    It’s past consideration.

    Which brings us to where we are today. Your statement appears to conflate past consideration and viable consideration. Let’s not forget that he is getting $5mil per year NOT because of what he has done in the past, but instead for what he is expected to do, which has always been: (1) win and (2) elevate the profitability and prominence of the program.

    He is not winning. Although the program is still profitable, the resurgence of Texas A&M with its play in the SEC and the Heisman caliber performance of Johnny Manziel (who practically begged to play for Texas) very clearly dilute and threaten its prominence. More losing seasons in a dying conference threatens its prominence. More embarrassments at the hands of OU threaten its prominence. The pervasive attitude among coaches, players, and recruits that Brown runs a “soft” ship threaten its prominence. The absence of All-Americans despite bringing in consistent top recruiting classes threaten its prominence.

    Diminished prominence, I guarantee, will lead to diminished profitability.

    A contract is still a contract, and Brown’s renewed contract is every bit as much a contract as his first contract was in 1997. There’s carrots and sticks. If you fulfill your objectives, you get carrots. If you don’t, you get the stick.

    Your statement, in apparent disregard of the stick option, suggests that you endorse one or many of the following, false propositions: (a) Brown under this contract has not failed (false insofar as no reasonable person would agree with it), (b) Brown, although failing, has “earned” the right to not be fired (false, because that entails that the massive carrot has not already accounted for those efforts he “earned”, which would then suggest that the $5 mil per year is the fair market value for his coaching services, which probably violates some kind of fiduciary duty owed to the taxpayers), and (c) Brown, although failing, is our best option because any alternative would threaten the prominence and profitability of the program.

    That last proposition is counterfactual, so strictly speaking we cannot call it false. However, I am baffled at what it suggests. First, as a procedural matter, it deftly shifts the burden to those in favor of firing Brown, even though the presumption that he not be fired has been overcome by looking at his performance. We, the taxpayers, do not need to prove that Brown is not better than the alternatives; you, the taxspenders, now need to prove why nobody else would be better. Second, Will Muschamp is better at coaching by virtually every available metric for assessing coaching. He has done more with less, and in less time. He is not a “risk” to the prominence or “character” of the program because, if he were such a risk, he never would have been gainfully employed by our program nor would he have been offered a “Head Coach In Waiting” title. Finally, absent outright sabotage, Texas will always be profitable and prominent under a winning head coach. There was, at best, just a correlative relationship between the valley (late 90’s)of Texas football and Brown being hired–the relationship certainly was not causal. There was literally nowhere to go but up.

    Until now.

    The landscape of college football has changed dramatically, and quite frankly, Brown has not adapted to these times. If Vince Young had not chosen Texas in 2002, I am confident that Brown would not currently be the head coach.

    The reasons you offered against firing Brown are not only unpersuasive–they are outright disingenuous, and this is coming from someone who admires your contributions to the School of Law and the University as a whole. I believe Brown has earned the right to a dignified exit from the head coaching position. I think that dignified exit, with even the most modest amount of creativity, could be immediately arranged and immediately effective.

    But prolonging this is not only harmful in the short term for the program, and it is not only harmful in the long term for the program, but it is also harmful to the prospect of such a thing as a dignified exit for Brown.

    Hook ‘Em, and Do The Right Thing

  6. Dear Mr. Powers,
    Please hire me. For 2 million a year, I promise to run a very clean program and care about the young men in the program. I promise to hand out lots of awards, give out free juice boxes and clap my hands all the time during games. Like my bosses, I also promise to not worry about things like winning, recruiting any Heisman caliber QB’s, or developing talent. My wife will also bake you cookies. I will give you no reason not to give me your full support!

  7. President Powers: you need to make a choice about whether your allegiance is to the university or to a man. Texas is rapidly becoming an irrelevant joke in the college football world.

  8. President Powers– I hope that you are actively aware of the state of our University’s football program down to recruiting (basketball too, but that’s for another time) and aren’t just relying on DeLoss and Mack to tell you everything is okay and that we’re about to turn the corner. The three of you are losing support very quickly. It’s about to get ugly.

    BBA ’04 JD ’07

  9. I have been a lifelong ‘Horn fan since well before my days on the 40 acres and it pains me to sense that the program is mired in futility, indecision and complacency. It is in error to suggest the program is merely in decline; the program has been in decline for three straight years and the pace of this descent is increasing to a point that it will be a very long road back to prominence in any meaningful measure outside of revenue. Coach Brown has summarily lost the fan base in the present. Now the program is losing pivotal recruits and staff which will impact the future. Are we to understand that this is acceptable because of Coach Brown’s past? I don’t disagree that we owe Coach Brown a great deal of thanks for many wonderful things that he brought to the football program, but to support him at the cost of hurting the Texas Longhorns is folly. The Longhorn fanbase is one of the greatest in the country and shouldn’t be taken as fools any longer. With all due respect and with our sincere gratitude it is in the best interest of anyone interested in the Longhorns that Coach Brown resign as head coach. Hook ’em,
    Class of ’98

  10. Carl Sanders says:

    Did Rick Perry tell you that you could keep your job if you kept Mack around so A&M could be better than us?

  11. Mr. Powers, Coach Brown did some great things for the program in years past, but the past three years have been awful. Coach Brown would have been fired at nearly any school in the country by now. Keeping him around is going to have a negative effect on the University for years to come. The loss in reputation has barely begun to be felt.

  12. David Castro says:

    No man should ever be above the program. Lets not ride this ship to the bottom like Florida St. And Penn St. Mack has created himself a very sold legacy but it is now being tarnished, every man has his time.