UH Board Of Regents Chairman Tilman Fertitta Goes Off On Big 12

HOUSTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 10: Houston Mayor, Sylvester Turner and CEO of Landry's, Inc. Tilman Fertitta flip the coin before the Houston Cougars play the Lamar Cardinals at TDECU Stadium on September 10, 2016 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images)

Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images

It seems that Tilman Fertitta still had some words to get off his chest. Fertitta didn’t go after Herman, instead, he went after the Big 12 and how they treated their expansion efforts.

Fertitta, appearing on KTRH-AM in Houston, had some harsh words for the University of Texas and the Big 12 overall. Tilman basically confirmed rumors about some type of quid pro quo between UT and UH. The UH booster said: “It’s disappointing that the University of Texas – who wants to open a campus in Houston and said they would never do anything to harm the University of Houston, with all the football coaches in America, who said they would stand up for us to get into the Big 12 and then didn’t even vote for us when they met with the commissioner and all the schools – had to come take our little football coach”.

The expansion efforts, or lack of effort, of the Big 12 was well documented this summer. First, there were several schools interested in it and in fact asked the commissioner to put the efforts together. Then, something changed, and schools changed their minds and there would be no expansion. The issue that seems to tick off Fertitta the most is the lack of effort from the Big 12 to expand and how they seemed to lead schools on.

Fertitta saw the truth when he came away from the UH presentation to the Big 12. Tilman said: “there were three [university] presidents who were on the [Big 12 expansion] committee and when we went to the interview, they weren’t even part of the interview process. I walked out of that meeting  and said ‘Wow, this is a sham. There’s no intention of doing anything'”.

The whole process, from the outside, also looked very much like a formality instead of an actual effort to expand to 12 teams. The source of frustration from most Cougars seems to be more so about the Big 12 and Power 5 schools instead of Herman seeking a better opportunity. Tilman was prepared to pay Herman, however, it was about Herman’s desire to be at Texas at the end of the day.

Fertitta has a desire to make it different moving forward and wants to avoid having UH being a stepping stone university. Tilman went on KHOU Channel 11 in Houston and talked to Matt Musil about it. In his conversation, Fertitta said: “we’re going to write the contract differently”.

Fertitta and the Cougar family is certainly frustrated and they know the truth at the end of the day. The university, undoubtedly challenged by the big football schools in Texas, faces the uphill climb to get into a Power 5 conference one day and that will allow them to be in the place they want to be with the coaches they want to have.


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