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:
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.
Byrne in fact was a proponent of moving to the SEC but was cut out of the decision making process on conference affiliation. To illustrated that point, The A&M AD actually spent last weekend at a family reunion in Idaho.
Of course, none of that excuses Byrne’s off-color voicemail to a fan, but under the circumstances, a single lapse of judgement was somewhat understandable.
So long as it doesn’t happen again.
Though from my inbox and Twitter account, indications are that Aggie fans aren’t nearly as forgiving.