Are Aggies Watching as A&M's Donor Base Burns to the Ground?

 

OPINION — After much hand-wringing by former students of Texas A&M University over the Black Lives Matter effort to have the statue of Lawrence Sullivan Ross taken down there, myself and about 125 Old Ags converged in the plaza in front of the A&M Academic Building at 4 p.m. Sunday, July 12, to counter-protest the protesters. We wanted to preserve an important image of A&M’s legacy.

The temperature was over 100 degrees F but the Old Ags, as former students are called, came prepared. Tent shades, coolers full of bottled water and Gatorade, and one lady was handing out “Save Sully” face masks. The average age of those gathered to support Sully was north of 60 years old. After the event, a 40-something-year-old Aggie explained that while many of the younger generations support Sully, they do not want to be photographed or videoed there because doing so may end their career at highly woke corporations.

The general tactic of the A&M BLM group is to aggravate an older Aggie to say or do something politically incorrect, then dox the poor soul on social media, spreading their shame on that individual far and wide. It happened at the last BLM rally to take down Sully to an octogenarian named Leroy who had attempted to engage a Black Texas A&M athlete in a genuine discussion about why the statue was an important monument for all Aggies.

The statue is of Lawrence Sullivan Ross, named A&M president in 1890 after a two-term stint as a successful Texas governor, saved the college from disbandment by the Texas Legislature. But he was also a Confederate General for a short stint, until the Confederacy’s demise when Ross was at a ripe old age of 26. Hence, BLM’s need to “cancel” him.

Leroy, attempting to find common ground with the Black athlete, noted that both of them shared in common being an Aggie. So, Leroy innocently asked a simple question the best he knew how, whether the athlete was “an Aggie or a Blaggie?”

“What? What? Hey, What?” came the response from multiple athletes. They found their gold. An Old Ag had used a racial slur. Claiming Leroy used the word, “blackie,” they took to social media. Eventually someone found out who Leroy was and where he lived. Death threats followed in the weeks afterward.

Leading Leroy’s doxing was A&M hurdler Infinite Tucker, a senior from Huntington, New York. Who knows if he’s on scholarship, but probably so. He is a natural leader, which we will find out later.

I found Leroy at the statue Sunday, too. He was maintaining a low profile but still found it important to join in fellowship with fellow Aggies gathered to make their case that the statue needs to stay. The sun had worn him out, along with wearing a mask. He was out of breath and sweat poured off his brow. But he could still talk about his new-found fame and the threats.

Amid the screams of “Black Lives Matter!” and “No Justice, No Peace” from a young lady with a bullhorn in front of about 20 agitators, behind the statue I also found Earl Rudder, Jr., son of General Earl Rudder, the president of A&M in the 1960s.

The senior Rudder, from Eden, was a tower of a man, a hero for leading his men onto the beaches at Normandy in 1944. Only a man of his stature could integrate the Corps of Cadets, allow women to enroll at the university, and maintain A&M’s dignity during the Vietnam War protests. There’s a rumor that President Rudder at the time told protesters to stay off campus or he’d organize the Corps of Cadets to escort them off.

“There will be no Columbia, no Berkeley here,” Rudder is quoted in the New York Times.

There is a Rudder Tower a short walk from the statue of ‘Ol Sully that could become a new focus for the BLM crowd if they learned how Rudder waved off Coach Gene Stallings in 1965 from recruiting a talented Black athlete. The athlete was from Temple who, after a successful college football career at North Texas, went to the Pittsburg Steelers and was known as “Mean” Joe Greene.

Rudder, in tune with the times, told Stallings, “Now is not the time” to integrate A&M Athletics. A few years later, the environment had relented, and Hugh McElroy became the first Black football player at A&M, taking the field in 1969 as a wide receiver.

As the junior Rudder and I sat there sharing stories of Texas A&M and his old hometown of Eden in west Texas, track star Infinite Tucker was on his fourth round barging into Old Ags to find an opening to climb atop the statue’s base that stood about eight feet high. Somewhere during the agitation, Tucker found his mark: A middle-aged lady guarding the statue.

“She touched my dick!” Tucker cried, attempting to start his own instance of a #MeToo movement.

Eventually, the weary old Ags gave Tucker the opening he wanted and he climbed on top of Sully. A BLM protestor handed him a black flag as Tucker forged the new image for the 12th Man Foundation, the organization charged with soliciting donations and memberships to finance A&M athletic scholarships. The defiant A&M athlete stood atop the statue many Old Ags, and donors, often called “Big Money Ags,” had spent their formative years in the Corps polishing with Brasso and memorizing as “campusology” the inscription on the back of its base. Tucker waved the BLM flag leading chants that at many levels denounced all who could be—or are—scholarship donors below him as racists.

I overheard an Old Ag ask of one of the athletes protesting Sully, “Do you know where your scholarship money comes from?”
 The answer pretty much summed it up. “I earned my scholarship,” the athlete said.

At the beginning of the protest, the anti-Sully crowd was small, outnumbered 125 Old Ags to 25 BLM agitators according to KBTX’s Rusty Surette. They stood 50 yards away from the statue chanting, “Hey, hey, ho, ho, Sully’s statue has got to go!” The protestors were relatively benign until the A&M athletes arrived.

The athletes led the BLM crowd to confront the Old Ags at the statue an hour later, showing that the student athletes are the true leaders of the efforts to shame the alumni.

In addition to Tucker’s flicking pennies off the base of Ol’ Sully, reaching around the Old Ags and barging his way to the base, while accusing ladies of touching his junk, there was another exchange recorded.

A&M Freshman redshirt sprinter Jamal Walton from Miami, Florida, declared that the Old Ags guarding the statue were “sucking Sully’s dick.” When challenged by an older gentleman, Walton pressed, “I will beat your butt, bro!”

Watch:
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While Rome burned in front of ‘Ol Sully Sunday, A&M Athletic Director Ross Bjork was on Twitter asking Texans to mask up and social distance so that Aggie Football, soccer and volleyball could commence in the Fall.

For almost all gathered around Sully that day, going to an Aggie football game was very far from their minds. Most said they weren’t purchasing season tickets this year. COVID-19 or not, there will be no Aggie football season this year for many. Nearly all said that if called to donate to the 12th Man Foundation for athletic scholarships or even to support the Association of Former Students, they would pass.

A nice telemarketer from A&M called me from the Association on Monday. Class of 2022, she likely had no clue about the damage done to the Aggie donor base on Sunday.

“Can I count on your support by renewing your membership to the Century Club this year?” she asked.

I declined. Why should I give money for scholarships to students who turn around to call me a racist?

The leadership at A&M sits at the crossroads. If I were Track and Field Head Coach Pat Henry, I’d put a lid on my athletes. If he doesn’t, it will be difficult for Aggie athletics to fund scholarships on the backs of A&M alumni for the near future.

Indeed, A&M’s Athletic Director Bjork has more problems than just Texans not wearing masks.

Joe Hyde, the opinion writer, is a 20-year USAF combat veteran and member of Corps of Cadets outfit BC-3. He is a member of A&M's class of 1986.

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Comments

Joe, I too was a Corps member...class of a few years before you. Fighting Texas Aggie Band, or BQ before all the bleeding hearts made that politically incorrect as well. I can't believe that the former student donors haven't already put athletic department's feet to the fire over the insolence of these so-called student athletes. I'd hate to see the funding dry up, but a well orchestrated ultimatum might get rid of, if not mute, these ingrates.

The whole thing regarding taking down Sully is beyond absurd.

I do not worship athletes. They demonstrate physical skills, but there is seldom anything that indicates they have a special place from which they can dictate school policy or give voice to movements that obscure history and the accomplishments of those who are a part of history. They are not special to me.

So you have a scholarship you think you "earned"? Great. Play the game your physical skills bought you. Attend required classes. Get an education. Do NOT think you have any special place when it comes to interpreting history or the traditions of the institution granting you your scholarship.

Some of my friends consider me to be a screaming liberal, and perhaps in some ways I am. Having said that, I am damn sick and tired of the current nonsense surrounding statues and monuments. My comment to those outrageously offended by such things: Get over it. Deal with the now, and work to improve the future. Spend your energy in more productive ways.

Gig 'em... to the true Aggies.

A B, Wed, 07/15/2020 - 00:20

No it’s
Anonymous random choice of letters
There is not a hidden meaning in everything

Who is going to give the racist athletes of #BLM the history lesson? Who is going to tell them who they cursed at?Where is the administrative leadership in this situation? The university president should be careful that he doesn't lose more than athletic donors. A few athletes should go to show that there are logical and natural consequences to affronting their alums.

Joe,
Trying to convince the BLM athletes at A&M that Sully is getting a bum rap is fruitless because it isn’t about Sully, the Confederacy, or A&M at all it is about the carefully planned and executed destruction of America brought to you by the Democratic Party and their Marxist Storm Troopers of Antifa and Black Lives Matter. I’m not so sure that rank and file Democrats understand that the tiger they are riding will eventually eat them as well.
The goal of the Black Lives Matter organization isn’t to improve the lives of black people; the goal is to turn America in to a Marxist nation.
We already knew Black Lives Matter is radical neo-Marxists and the co-founder confirmed it during a recent interview.
Patrisse Cullors, the co-founder of Black Lives Matter proudly admitted she’s a radical, anti-white Marxist.
“We actually do have an ideological frame,” Cullors said. “Myself and Alicia are particularly trained organizers — we are trained Marxists. We are super versed on ideological theories…”
Black Lives Matter is seeking to transform America by defunding the police, dismantling capitalism, ‘destroying the patriarchy,’ breaking down the nuclear family unit, emptying prisons, redistributing wealth in the form of reparations among other far left objectives.
Black Lives Matter and Antifa rioters have destroyed small businesses, targeted churches and razed buildings to the ground.
Their goal is to bring chaos where there is order, fan the flames of class warfare and demonize Christians and conservatives.
The media praises Black Lives Matter and anyone who doesn’t bow down to them gets canceled.
It’s up to you Old Aggies to educate the Board of Regents and the leadership of A&M. It would be better to eliminate all athletics than to lose America’s Soul.

This guy could very well go on to be President or take some other high position in politics. He might, some day, hold the keys that unleash awesome nucyular fire and fury that, like a million blazing suns, could extinguish our diverse human species and all life on Earth.

Imagine if alien life revealed its presence to us, and when they spoke to the leader of humankind, they speak to that man - that he represented human existence upon this planet, our history and our accomplishments, to the entire universe.

It's 2020, Mr. Hyde.

:D

I'm entertaining that scenario, Rita, imagining this alien messenger boy reporting back to his superiors about his meeting with Earth's archetypal representative..

ENVOY: "Well...sorry to say, they don't really know nothin'....but if we're to look at the glass half full, after 200,000 years of evolution, they DO assuredly know that they (..ahem) "fell out their mama's pussy".

ALIEN KING: (facepalm and a sigh) ...Liberals.

I am glad that the A&M Alumni were able to defend their position. It is quite unfortunate that these athletes have no clue where the scholarship money comes from and that they have cut off their own future by disrespecting the University and former students. While I am not an Aggie, I would definitely hope that the Foundation Donors would be contacting the Athletic Director and President of the University to put a stop to their athletes participating in such chaos. Tell them to start packing and find another place to be disrespectful.

Unbelievable Joe!
They walk all over us old Ags, the history of our beloved University, and the grass on campus.
They have no idea who Sully is in the first place.
I haven't heard of any protests in Alpine demanding that Sul Ross State Unversity change the name to Brooklyn Miami Dade.
I bet most of the BLM protesters have no idea who their congressman/congresswoman is much less what city is the state capital.
The history of America will never change.
The southern US can never be relocated, and we never be inclined to move Sully to Washington in exchange for Sherman!
Humans can relocate to various geographic regions at will, and bring their culture and family history with them, but that will not change the cultural history of the geographic region they invade.
Sully stays!

96Ag, Wed, 07/15/2020 - 09:43

This is truly the most sickening response from the save Sully side I've seen, and that really says a lot. Essentially what you're saying here is that these peasant black athletes should lick your rich boots. How dare they, these poors, ask for anything that opposes you, the far superior rich, who are footing the bill for their education! Just shut up and dribble, right? And how you slickly glossed over the atrocious racial slur that Leroy used is beyond reproach and doesn't even make sense. Leroy was using a racial slur to knock those young men down to their supposed place, he wasn't "innocently asking a simple question." Get outta here with that nonsense, he knew exactly what he was saying. "Who knows if he’s on scholarship, but probably so." -- OH because he's black? RACIST. And as far as the woman who touched Infinite, you leave out the part where she is pulling at his arm, clearly seen in the video. He didn't touch her, she touched him. And there is an obvious move for his crotch as well. IDK what she was trying to do, but she shouldn't have put her hands on him at all and she should be arrested for assault. And as far as donations go -- A&M can go on and will go on without your money ok? We're long past the days when we have to cater to old white racists just to keep the university going financially. So by all means, take your money elsewhere, we don't need it and we don't need you on our campus. If you are a racist, you are NOT an Aggie.

96Ag, Wed, 07/15/2020 - 10:19

It's okay Joe, I know you saw my comment and you're too much of a coward to leave it up. Just know I see right through you. You're the past and we're the future, peace out old man!

Good on you Joe. You should be able to decide where your gift goes. As should taxpayers, who help fund some higher education institutions. These guys can choose where they decide to play football. Going to A&M will earn the school millions in revenue. 12 men on 1 football field are worth more than a bunch of Old Ags . Sports in Texas is lucrative. But expensive.
Wealthiest Sports Programs in ' Murica.
1. Texas A&M
2. University of Texas
3. Michigan
4. Alabama
5. Ohio State

Joe,
As a San Angelo native, Aggie grad, and longtime donor, I'm of the opinion that us old Ags should be able to donate to specific athletic departments.
I've never been to watch any student athletes run in a track meet, and I don't plan to attend one.
I believe each athletic department should support itself with donor specific donations.
I can't imagine that the track program supports itself in totality through ticket sales or otherwise.
Student athletes from athletic programs that do not generate adequate funding independently should pay their tuition and fees just like we all did unless merited academic scholarships apply, and student athletes in these non self-sufficient athletics from far corners of the country and world who have no idea what is required to be an Aggie; integrity, honor, commitment, loyalty, gratitude, etc., would not be sucking the donor coffers dry, or alienating those donors due to the simple fact that they would never be students at our beloved alma mater in the first place.

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