A day after interim president Jay Hartzell released the school’s plan for “a more diverse and welcoming campus,” Texas Longhorns athletics director Chris Del Conte revealed in his weekly Forty Acres Insider column that Joe Jamail Field at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium will become Campbell-Williams field.
The recognition of the school’s two Heisman Trophy-winners, Black running backs Earl Campbell and Ricky Williams, came at the request of the Jamail family.
“Talk about a love for your University and the student-athletes who compete here, taking your name off the field to honor others just isn’t something that folks do, that is an amazing tribute to that,” Del Conte wrote.
The request to rename the field after Campbell and Williams came from Dahr, Randall, and Rob Jamail, Joe Jamail’s three sons, in a letter sent less than a week after Texas athletes released their requests of the administration back in June, according to ESPN.
“This offer is conditioned on their being named as soon as possible,” the brothers wrote. “Although symbolic, this change would show the entire University community, its students, faculty and alumni, as well as the public, that ‘doing right’ involves promoting justice as a first priority. It will demonstrate by action, the University leads, not follows. ... Given the outcry, public health, and social crises we face, please take this action immediately for maximum impact, certainly before news media or other outside demands make the honor seem reactive. The University is best served by showing strength and initiative on these issues.”
The university responded in less than a month as part of changes that also include a statue for Julius Whitter, the first Black football letterman at Texas and an inspiration to Campbell.
I've been told that the biggest push for the Julius Whittier statue came from Earl Campbell. Earl tells people he wouldn't have come to UT if it hadn't been for what Whittier did. And he wants Whittier's statue bigger than his. I'm told the plans are done... and it is. pic.twitter.com/9lvnTcjh1W— Mike Barnes (@MikeBarnesMedia) July 14, 2020