Steve Patterson wants to build a global brand, not play Texas A&M in football

Erich Schlegel

Don't look for the Texas-Texas A&M rivalry to be renewed any time soon.

Texas Longhorns athletic director Steve Patterson met with the media on Tuesday and discussed a wide array of topics currently facing the university, including the possibility of playing Texas A&M again, the future of the Erwin Center, and his continued plans to make the Longhorns into a truly international brand.

On playing the Aggies, Patterson said that it's "not at the top of my list" and asked if the decision would make business or branding sense.

With a number of non-conference games already set for the future, Patterson is more interested in perhaps adding some international games, having discussed playing a football game in Mexico City and on Tuesday floating the idea of playing some type of sporting event in Dubai as a result of oil and gas industry connections.

To those similar ends, Texas and Washington have already scheduled a basketball game in China in 2015.

The wide focus employed by Patterson as he attempts to build the Texas brand doesn't leave much room for playing an in-state, non-conference opponent like Texas A&M, as Patterson suggested it won't happen until there is a case made that would make sense, a scenario that seems unlikely given his current endeavors.

There was also a question about the future of the Erwin Center, which will eventually be destroyed as a result of the Dell Medical school expansion that will close Red River starting on April 12. Patterson said it was too early to talk much about those plans, as they are in the initial stages, but did note that getting to the Erwin Center for events, as well as getting to football games will be increasingly difficult.

And the new athletic director also weighed in on the recent ruling in favor of the unionization of student-athletes as employers, but did say that he supports a full cost of attendance and noted that Texas does more than most other schools in terms of making sure that student-athletes receive medical treatment if they are injured.

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