Steve Patterson says A&M “not at top of his list”

Chris Hummer

Texas men’s head athletic director Steve Patterson met with members of the media Tuesday morning and discussed, among other things, Texas A&M, collective bargaining for collegiate athletes and expanding the Longhorns’ global brand.

Patterson downplayed the possibility of the Longhorns resuming their rivalry with the Aggies.

“There’s a lot of great tradition with Texas A&M,” Patterson said, according to ESPN. “At some point in time, does it make some business sense — some branding sense — to play [the Aggies] again? I don’t know. It’s not at the top of my list. I’m really more focused on how we grow the footprint of the department.”

Patterson is more focused on developing the Longhorns’ national and global brand than reigniting a century-old rivalry. Texas has already taken large steps toward expanding the global Longhorn brand in basketball, as the Longhorns are scheduled to play the first-ever, regular-season contest in China against Washington in 2015. The team is also set to participate in a three-city basketball tour with Michigan State, North Carolina and Florida in 2018.

According to the San Antonio Express-News, Patterson has expressed an interest in playing a football game in Mexico City. He also mentioned Dubai, United Arab Emirates as a future site for an
athletic event.

“We have a lot of folks in the oil and gas industry,” Patterson said. “A lot of those alums spend time in the Middle East, and Dubai is a place that wants to use sports to help put itself on the map. So we’ll have some conversations, and we’ll see where they lead.”

Patterson also disagreed with a recent ruling by National Labor Relations Board that qualified Northwestern football and basketball players as employees. He said he fully supports providing student athletes for their full schooling costs but says, if they want to be paid, they should join a professional league.