On Monday, University of Texas officials announced the renaming of its football field, Joe Jamail Field at Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, after legendary Texas running backs and former Heisman Trophy winners Ricky Williams and Earl Campbell.
Predictably, the Texas greats reacted to the news.
“For countless days as young football players and upon being inducted to the Hall of Fame, Ricky and I have stood on this iconic field for many important points of our lives,” Campbell said. “We never would have envisioned this historic site would one day bear our names. The symbolism of this honor transcends the recognition of the Heisman Trophies we received. It extends to all students, but specifically Black athletes, who continue to work to define our collective motto, ‘Winning with Integrity.’ Ricky and I are humbled by this honor.”
Campbell continued, “We must acknowledge the Joe Jamail family for personally requesting and making this name change to the President of the University of Texas in the spirit of their father. Joe was always known for being a passionate, aggressive advocate of truth. We know he would have been proud to see this day arrive, both as a lawyer and a Longhorn.”
Williams added his own sentiment in a separate statement.
“Earl and myself are honored to be part of the momentum of change sweeping our alma mater, the University of Texas, the nation, and the world,” Williams said. “We recognize the naming of Campbell/Williams Field is a historic moment and we urge our nation’s universities and communities to continue to reflect and review the history, symbolism, and identities that we place on monuments, public institutions, and sports organizations.”
Williams added, “We request that this name change be a recognition of the achievement of a broad body of people and an ongoing commitment to diverse representation in the University of Texas athletic organization and student body. A new consciousness is rising and we are honored to be a part of it.”