Curtain Drops on Mike Sherman’s Final, Class Act

In remarks made today at press conference in College Station, Texas, former Texas A&M head football coach Mike Sherman said his family learned of his firing yesterday before he did.

(Full interview and transcript @

When asked how he first found out about his ouster, Sherman said:

“I was on a recruiting trip going to a home visit to a great young man who’s going to be a phenomenal player at Texas A&M-I don’t think I can mention his name that this point. Great family. We were about almost in the driveway when I got a call from our athletic director [Bill Byrne] informing me of termination. It was disappointing to a degree because my family had the opportunity to find out before I did because it was released a little sooner than I was told, and that’s disappointing. Because I think we’re better than that.”

When later asked what he told his team after receiving the news of his departure from the school, Sherman said:

“I was disappointed on a couple fronts there, that it had leaked out previous to my own knowledge and my ability to sit down with my family. A football family is totally connected and they’re very defensive. I have five kids and they’re so protective of their dad and what’s said. I can handle anything, I don’t put a whole lot of stock in what’s said usually, because 90 percent of time it’s not true. But they are very protective of their dad and their husband. So I would have liked to have that opportunity, that they didn’t have to experience that on their own. I wish I’d have had an opportunity to tell the team before it was let out, but I didn’t, so we made the most of the situation.”

The news of Sherman’s firing was first leaked to longtime AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATEMAN columnist Kirk Bohls, who broke the news on

Multiple sources familiar with Sherman’s ouster told SbB today that the person who leaked the news to Bohls was not current Texas A&M Athletic Director Bill Byrne.

Sources also said the information provided to the Austin-based columnist emanated from someone close to - or a member of - the Texas A&M Board of Regents.

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Are Rhoads Explosions Taking Toll On Iowa State?

This week a less-than-private debate in and around Ames, Iowa, has broken out about the behavior of Iowa State football coach Paul Rhoads during Texas A&M’s 33-17 win over the Cyclones at Jack Trice Stadium last Saturday.

Paul Rhoads explodes at official during Iowa State Texas A&M game

Rhoads was seen on the ESPN telecast late in the second quarter exploding at an official in a scene that featured the Iowa State Coach Triple Jumping his way into a display that also included a Pete Townsend windmill and was topped off with a demonstrative pelvic thrust that’d make Madonna blush. (Okay, maybe not.)

Rhoads has long been known for emotional displays, but apparently last Saturday was a little too much for some Cyclone followers - and media members - to take.

When asked by a reporter on Monday if he went “over the top” during Saturday’s game, Rhoads stated:

“I am an animated guy. I am a passionate guy. Coaching football is my livelihood and fighting for our football team and most importantly our kids and the opportunity to win football games is my responsibility. I love that. I’ve never made any apologies for who I am or how I do it and I never will.”

Rhoads was also asked if he thought his emotional style of coaching may have an adverse effect on his players. Rhoads:

“I think that our football team is fully aware of who I am. I yell. I cry. I laugh,” Rhoads said. “If you ask me if it had an adverse effect or a negative effect on them, I would really highly doubt that because they see it on a daily basis. I don’t change from Wednesday to Saturday. They know what they’ve got.”

If Iowa State had beaten Texas A&M 33-17 instead of losing by the same score, is it unreasonable to think those questions may not have come up on Monday?

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Video: Arkanfan Showing TexAgs How To Expand

1) Chi-Chi’s quesadilla bar 3 times per week. [Minimum]
2) Avoid dumbell flys at all cost.
3) Watch for low-flying helicopters.

4) Rinse.
5) Repeat.

Texas A&M AD Confirms Voicemail, Issues Apology

Last night I posted audio from an angry voicemail that Texas A&M Athletic Director Bill Byrne recently left to a fan who had sent him a critical and off-color email. In a statement on A&M’s official website today, Byrne acknowledged that he left the voicemail and apologized:

Bill Byrne Apology For Voicemail

After reading over 200 similar e-mails the other night, I finally had one set me off and I called the writer. I’m a very competitive person and like many of you, I was raised not to back down when challenged. I’ve also got a bit of an Irish temper which came across in my voicemail. I regretted what I said as soon as I hung up. I should have been above that, and I made a mistake. For those of you who were offended by my response, I apologize, and I assure you that it will not happen again.

As I wrote last night, Aggie fans are mostly incensed at Byrne over the school reportedly resisting overtures from the SEC and the perception that Texas dictated the terms of the Big 12’s survival.

Texas A&M Athletic Director Bill Byrne Voicemail To A&M Fan

Read more…

Texas A&M AD Audio: Fan ‘Needs His Ass Kicked’

In the aftermath of Texas A&M ensuring the survival of the Big 12 by spurning the SEC, two Texas media sources who cover the Big 12 told me today that Texas A&M Athletic Director Bill Byrne has been besieged by angry Aggie fans over the school’s decision.

Texas A&M Athletic Director Bill Byrne Voicemail To A&M Fan

(Byrne Actually Wanted To Bolt Big 12 For SEC)

My sources indicated the reason for that dissatisfaction is two-fold.

1) A&M fans wanted to go to the SEC to finally escape the shadow of the Univ. of Texas.
2) A&M fans are upset that Texas essentially dictated the conditions required for the Big 12’s survival.

This afternoon I was forwarded a voicemail from a media source alleged to be Texas A&M Athletic Director Bill Byrne. In the voicemail, Byrne is angrily responding to an email he received from a Texas A&M fan. Read more…

NFLer, Son Of Texas A&M Chancellor: Opinionated

Appears we’re hitting the home stretch this week on conference realignment involving the Big 12, SEC and Pac-10.

Son of A&M Chancellor Seth McKinney is rather opinionated

Lots of conjecture in the press today about how politics is playing a role in what Texas and Texas A&M will do in that regard. But the biggest political mover and shaker, Texas Governor and A&M alumnus Rick Perry, is most likely not directly involved in the discussions.

Why? He’s in China.


China has invited the world to the Shanghai Expo, hoping it will be the largest world fair ever. Texas is responding by paying $425,000 to sponsor ‘Texas Week’ at the USA Pavilion. As tourists are exposed to Texas-style entertainment, Perry and a delegation of business leaders want to expose Chinese companies and officials to the benefits of buying from or building in Texas. Two members of Austin-area chambers of commerce also will make the trip.

That isn’t to say that Perry won’t have influence on what the Aggies and Longhorns end up doing, but you would think his location could minimize his impact on the discussion. Ironic considering Perry appointed each and every member of the Texas A&M and Texas Board of Regents.

One such appointment was Dr. Michael McKinney, the Chairman of the A&M Board of Regents and Chancellor of The Texas A&M University System. McKinney, who once served as Perry’s Chief of Staff, has a son named Seth who played football at A&M and currently is with the Buffalo Bills.

Turns out can be rather opinionated on the subject of A&M’s conference affiliation.

Read more…

Pac-10 Plane Yet To Reach KC? A&M Mulls Future

George Schroeder of the EUGENE REGISTER-GUARD reports today that former Oregon Athletic Director Pat Kilkenny has confirmed that his personal, private jet is being used to “ferry” Pac-10 Commissioner Larry Scott to various cities that also happen to be the home of possible Pac-10 expansion candidate schools.

Since June 11, Scott so far has visited Salt Lake City (Utah), Oklahoma City (OU, OSU), Lubbock (Texas Tech), Austin (UT) and College Station (A&M). The plane’s schedule is booked for an Austin-to-Kansas City flight on Sunday evening.*

The University of Kansas has been knocked around in the media as a possible Pac-10 expansion candidate in the past few days, especially as a replacement for A&M if the Aggies decide not to go west with the Texas and Oklahoma schools to the Pac-10.

*UPDATE (11:16p ET): The Pac-10 plane’s schedule has apparently either been changed, recently blocked or may involve a Monday flight. Read more…

Sunday: Pac-10 Plane Pays Visit To Texas A&M

Multiple sources this weekend have confirmed to me the plane Pac-10 Commissioner Larry Scott is using to visit the Pac-10’s expansion school candidates in Oklahoma and Texas the past 48 hours.

Pac 10 Plane Pays Visit To Texas A&M

Here’s the most recent itinerary of the plane, owned by former Oregon Athletic Director Pat Kilkenny: Read more…

Sources: TX Governor Will Determine A&M Move

Yesterday I noted the dilemma facing Texas Governor and A&M alumnus Rick Perry with the conference realignment situation facing the Texas school.

Rick Perry is an Aggie

So far, Perry has professed to staying away from the situation, which I interpreted Friday as meaning that A&M will go with Texas to the Pac-10. (If the Aggies were to go to the SEC, that could potentially end all games between UT and A&M … would he want that to happen on his watch?)

Today, longtime AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN columnist Kirk Bohls noted that despite Perry’s involvement denials, sources told him that the governor would have ultimate say on where his alma mater would land.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry will have a decisive say in which conference his alma mater, Texas A&M, joins and he probably prefers the Aggies link with Texas and other Big 12 schools and accept invitations to the Pac-10 Conference, two long-time political figures told the Statesman. Read more…

A&M Regent Stallings: TX To Pac-10 ‘Is Accurate’

Former longtime college football coach and current Texas A&M Board of Regents member Gene Stallings guested on the syndicated Paul Finebaum radio show Friday afternoon.

Gene Stallings Texas A&M Regent Thinks Texas Is Gone To The Pac-10

Stallings reportedly is one of the individuals serving on the A&M board who wants the school to consider SEC conference affiliation. His comments today to Finebaum, though guarded, did confirm his interest in that prospect.

During the interview Stallings said, “it may be to our (A&M) advantage” to join the SEC but the former Alabama coach also didn’t rule out any conference affiliation for the school. When asked by Finebaum if he’d talked to anyone affiliated with the SEC about A&M joining the conference, Stallings said, “I’ve talked to one or two.

Stalling noted that the A&M Board of Regents had not met recently and that he did not know the desires of some of other board members - including the chairman.

When trying to get a feel for just how hard Stallings will push for A&M’s entry into the SEC, his comments about the school’s relationship with Texas were much more telling. Read more…