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Texas’ school spirit song remains a topic of discussion, but Longhorns head coach Steve Sarkisian said the conversations about it have been productive and will continue.
“The Eyes of Texas” became a high-profile controversy last season — long before Sark’s arrival — when athletes and other students urged the school to discontinue playing it due to its race-based origins, SI.com reports.
“We’ve had some really quality dialogue, which I think has been important, and we’ll continue to,” Sarkisian told reporters. “I think it’s of the understanding of ‘OK, now things have been laid out on the table, what’s the direction we want to go in as a team, how do we do it as a unified front, as a unified team doing it together?'”
The University of Texas released a 57-page report earlier this year examining the history of the song, SI.com reports. The article states that many boosters said they would stop supporting the school financially if the song were removed.
The Texas Tribune reported on Thursday that Colt McCoy, quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals, was among the donors who pressured university leaders to keep the song.
“I think we’ve gotten to a point as a program and obviously as a university where we understand what ‘The Eyes’ represents, but also moving forward what it can represent for our program and for this university moving forward,” Sarkisian said. “I think a lot of those things are going to be a positive for us as long as we stick together.”
Sarkisian said that is something he plans to address this season.
“In one aspect, fortunately for us, we’re not playing Saturday,” Sarkisian said. “So we have a little bit more time to make sure we are all on the same page with the direction we are going to go in. I feel good about that.”
Sarkisian said he doesn’t see this situation as an internal issue. He said all of these conversations will help lead to a collective plan and agreement with the team.
“We’ve got good leadership on our team. We’ve got really good voices, and I think we have a lot of respect for one another on our team, which are all components to being a good football team and handling issues like this as they come,” Sarkisian said. “I think the last thing we want to do in a situation like this is ignore it or act like it’s just going to go away because it’s not.”
The Orange-White scrimmage will kick off at 1 p.m on April 24, wrapping up the spring practices for Texas.