Cultural rot in Texas football: Low points, complacency, lack of accountability


Newsflash: Sometimes getting your ass kicked is good. It just doesn't feel good.

The symptoms and foreshadowing of a program about to implode upon itself take a variety of forms -- first the fans lose patience, as happened last year for many with the Oklahoma game.

Then high-profile former players like Earl Campbell and Chris Simms eventually start saying it's time to go or that things are broken, stating the obvious.

In this case, that all happened after Kenny Vaccaro blamed the defensive struggles on the poor attitude of the defensive players.

Eventually the national media starts catching on, with the help of those around the program who are ready to start talking, sensing the coming changes.

In the case of the Texas Longhorns, those leaks also happen to include a current member of the Board of Regents engaged in a political war to oust the school's president. Everything truly is bigger in Texas.

As for the national media, the end is near pieces started after the BYU game and now Sports Illustrated and USA Today have both published pieces on Texas that dropped on Tuesday.

The SI piece contained some telling information from sources and high-ranking officials now talking. As most fans have expected since the Ole Miss loss, one such official believes there will be new football and basketball coaches at Texas within the next year. Good news!

Unfortunately, the work of Pete Thamel didn't include much other good news, as various sources from within the program and impartial observers of the program trashed it in various forms.

Complacency is a word that has long been associated with the Brown regime in Austin, especially in regards to the strength and conditioning program:

Sources cited everything from cramping and conditioning issues to the recent rash of soft tissue injuries that plagued stars such as Jaxon Shipley, Jordan Hicks and Jackson Jeffcoat as signs of lackluster training regimens. One source called the soft tissue injuries -- strains, pulls and tears -- a "crisis," something Brown often complains about but hasn't done enough to address.

More in the same vein:

People familiar with the team describe a lack of urgency and accountability from Brown to enable Wylie's program to work. This has led to undeveloped prospects, unfulfilled potential and a high transfer rate.

And more:

Multiple scouts interviewed by mentioned a "spoiled mentality," a "country club" atmosphere and a chronic failure to take advantage of local talent resources.

Not exactly new criticisms from the NFL side. And the problems with Brown not allowing Bennie Wylie to do his job have been well-documented at Inside Texas over the course of the last several seasons.

Prior to launching into the problems with the football program according to sources, the SI piece called fear around the conference of Brown leaving the biggest indictment of the current Texas football coach. At the risk of quibbling, it's hard to pick one indictment as the biggest -- there are plenty needing room on center stage. But, sure, that particular indictment is pretty damning. And laughable. Damningly laughable. Isn't gallows humor fun?

Meanwhile, in the USA Today article, Brown is going through his usual song and dance about expectations:

We won a national championship here [2005], played for another [2009] and got close on another [2004, 2008]. That's all in the past. It's about today. That's just the way it is. Fair or not, who cares?

I don't get to vote on what's fair.

No, Brown doesn't, but he sure spends a lot of time talking about it. And fans don't get to vote on how long their head coach hangs around and persists in adding terrible losses to his resume at an incredible clip.

There have been plenty of those low points in recent years, but three stand out, at least to Brown and most fans -- Oklahoma the last two seasons and BYU this past September.

Brown's take on BYU:

It was awful," Brown said. "It was awful and embarrassing. And you just can't do it. The rest of it, we've been in games, we've competed. But you can't do what we did at Brigham Young, you can't do what we've done the last two years against OU."

After the BYU loss, Brown sat on the charter flight home from Provo and watched the game footage, seeing a lack of effort and execution that, well, nearly caused the need for an airsickness bag.

"It made me want to throw up, it made me sick," he said. "I absolutely despise the way we looked at Brigham Young. It's not what we are supposed to be doing.

"It's not who Texas is."

Brown said the same thing after the Oklahoma game last season -- it's unacceptable, but that's not who we are.

It is, actually.

And the ending of the SI piece is classic Dodds at this point:

I think sometimes getting your ass kicked is good," Dodds said. "It's good for coaches and good for kids. It's good for everybody. Getting your ass kicked is not the right word. What's the right word? Getting beat. Being humbled. I think everyone needs that."

Consider me properly fucking humbled, for one.

Now, remind me of the timetable for burning everything in sight.

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