Three weeks ago, the NCAA announced the University of Texas football team went undefeated in the classroom for the first time in school history — a perfect 1,000 Academic Progress Rate for the 2012-13 academic year.
Today, the person most responsible for the football team’s academic success was fired.
Texas athletic director Steve Patterson informed associate athletic director Brian Davis his contract was not being renewed for the fall semester, multiple sources within the athletic department told the American-Statesman.
Davis’ sole responsibility was overseeing the football team’s academic affairs. The Longhorns’ perfect APR score meant that of the 85 scholarship players, every one of them remained eligible, advanced toward their degree and stayed in good academic standing under coach Mack Brown. Heading into the 2013 season, not a single player was on scholastic probation.
Texas was one of only two major football schools in the nation that posted a perfect 1,000 APR.
Multiple sources told the American-Statesman this is the end result of a long-simmering feud between Davis and Randa Ryan, once his peer until Patterson elevated her to run all the athletic department’s academic concerns. It was Patterson’s first major administrative move after being hired last November.
Ryan is currently under investigation by the university’s Office of Internal Audit for possibly violating the university policy by routing purchasing orders through her own antique store in Wimberley.
The American-Statesman first reported on May 8 that documents showed Ryan and other staff members filled out 22 purchase orders for $20,454.30 to buy goods from Ryan’s own store. Ryan personally requested and self-approved many of the items, including orders for thousands in pillows as office decor.
The purchase orders appeared to violate university policy on purchasing ethics and self-dealing. Ryan was not placed on administrative leave while the Office of Internal Audit looks into the matter. The review is expected to be completed by late June, a university spokesman told the Statesman last month.
Ryan’s annual compensation package for the 2013-14 fiscal year is $236,250, according to information obtained through public records requested by the American-Statesman. She also gets use of a dealer-provided automobile and a cellphone allowance.
Football coach Charlie Strong could not be immediately reached for comment.
Strong came to Texas with an established track record of prioritizing academics. When he arrived at Louisville, that football program was in shambles academically and suffered scholarship cuts as a penalty. In May, the Cardinals were honored the same as the Longhorns for having a 1,000 APR during the 2012-13 season when Strong was the coach there.
News on Bevo Beat is free and unlimited. Access to the rest of Hookem.com comes with an American-Statesman digital subscription, which also includes myStatesman.com and the ePaper edition. Subscribe at statesman.com/subscribe