Texas Football: del Conte wants players to participate in ‘The Eyes of Texas’

AD Chris del Conte wants Texas football players to participate when the band plays alma mater “The Eyes of Texas” this season.

We finally get to here from the Texas athletic director Chris del Conte on how he feels about certainly players participating or passing on staying out on the field for the Texas football program when the band plays “The Eyes of Texas”. In the “Forty Acres Insider” newsletter from del Conte on Oct. 14, he wrote about his thoughts and expectations from the Texas players when The Eyes of Texas is played by the band for the rest of the season.

Texas already has one of the most controversial situations of any alma mater in the country right now, with The Eyes of Texas getting plenty of discussion over the offseason and early in the 2020 regular season. In the last few weeks, senior star quarterback Sam Ehlinger made headlines for being one of the only Longhorns players staying out on the field for the band playing The Eyes of Texas.

But now that del Conte has weighed in, it sounds like the Texas athletic director wants all of the Longhorns football players to do what Ehlinger has already done for The Eyes of Texas for the remainder of the season. Here’s more on what he had to say on the matter in the Oct. 14 edition of the Forty Acres Insider.

 I, like so many of you, view the song with pride and sing loudly and proudly in honor of the efforts of those who represent and support this phenomenal institution. As much as our student-athletes love this University, they have questions about the history of “The Eyes” and concerns about it. As you are aware, this past summer, during the height of civil unrest in our country, some of them brought to our attention their concerns over a number of issues on campus, including the origin of the song. President Hartzell was absolutely clear that “The Eyes” is and will remain our school song, but in an effort to further understand its origins, full history, and how it’s evolved over time, he established a committee to study, contextualize, and reclaim the song’s origin. We believe it is important to understand the history as we continue to perform it.

There’s a lot going on right now in the midst of the novel coronavirus pandemic for the 2020 college football season to navigate through. And with all of the mounting pressure on fourth-year Texas head coach Tom Herman, adding in The Eyes of Texas controversy that is running its course at the moment won’t make anything easier on him.

We’ll continue to monitor if there’s any sort of conversation or response that comes about from Herman after del Conte addressed this matter this week.

Here’s more on what del Conte had to say in the Forty Acres Insider on his expectations from the Longhorns football players and staff when The Eyes of Texas is played by the band from here on out.

With that said, I do want to clarify that I have had many conversations with our head coaches outlining my expectations that our teams show appreciation for our University, fans, and supporters by standing together as a unified group for “The Eyes,” while we work through this issue. However, like all families who see the world through different lenses, we have plenty of work to do on this subject and will continue to do so, but rest assured, our student-athletes love and respect this University very much and are competing their hearts out for it.

There were a number of changes that were made last offseason to address the inclusiveness and equality on the campus of the University of Texas, as well as within the athletic department and the football program in particular. Herman was already vocal on the issues of all of the social activism and equality conversations going on around the country and around the globe, earlier in the 2020 offseason.

Texas has already played four games during the 2020 regular season, three coming in Big 12 play. They hold a record of 2-2 (1-2 Big 12), following the tough loss at the hands of the Oklahoma Sooners in the annual Red River Rivalry game. That loss to Oklahoma came by the final score of 53-45 in four overtimes.

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After the Longhorns get through their first bye week in the midst of the Big 12 slate, they’re scheduled to face head coach Dave Aranda and the Baylor Bears at home at DKR on Oct. 24. Baylor is currently dealing with a plethora of active COVID-19 cases themselves this week. They had to push back their Oct. 17 contest against the Oklahoma State Cowboys at home in Waco due to the more than 25 active COVID-19 cases they’re working with.