Texas student-athletes call on school to make changes before fall


Texas student-athletes are prepared not to participate in the recruiting efforts of incoming players or donor-related events if a number of changes to inclusion are not made by the fall semester, they said in a letter shared Friday on social media.

The letter, which says it is “on behalf of the UT student-athletes,” calls on the school’s administration to implement or draft a plan for implementation regarding a number of issues, including:

  • The renaming of multiple buildings
  • The replacement of statues with more diverse statues designed by artists/sculptors who are people of color
  • The inclusion of modules for incoming freshman discussing the history of racism on campus
  • An outreach program for inner cities
  • More diversity in the UT Hall of Fame
  • The athletic department donating 0.5% of its annual earnings to Black organizations and the Black Lives Matter movement
  • The renaming of an area of the football stadium after Julius Whittier, the first black football player at UT
  • The replacement of The Eyes of Texas with a new song devoid of “racist undertones”

The song, The Eyes of Texas was first performed on campus at a minstrel show in the early 1900s and its lyrics were based on a message school president Colonel Prather would relay to students. Prather previously attended Washington and Lee University where former school president and Confederate General Robert E. Lee notably said, “The eyes of the South are upon you.” The prominence of the song was debated by the UT Student Government as recently as 2018, according to Austin’s KXAN. 




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