There’s no denying that tensions between Texas and Texas A&M run higher than ever, despite the two schools’ refusal to play each other on the football field.
Former Aggies athletic director Bill Byrne threw more fuel on the fire when speaking to AL.com for a story on extinct rivalries that published Wednesday.
When A&M left the Big 12 for the SEC following the 2011-12 academic year, former Texas AD DeLoss Dodds made his position clear: “We get to decide when we play them.” So far, the Longhorns have stuck to that mantra.
But according to Byrne, the message from Dodds went deeper than that.
“Their AD (DeLoss Dodds) at the time came out and said we will never play Texas A&M again, and they worked along with Baylor and the conference to have no one in the (Big 12) schedule us,” Byrne told AL.com. “There were other forces at work to make sure we didn’t play.”
More than five years later, A&M still has not played an active Big 12 school during the regular football season. Looking ahead, the Aggies have at least one non-conference game scheduled for each season through 2025. None of those games are against Big 12 opponents.
Current UT athletic director Mike Perrin has been more positive on the prospect of the rivalry’s return, telling Kirk Bohls in February that the matchup will happen “one of these days.” Byrne is a little less rosy on the subject.
“We don’t need them anymore,” he said of Texas near the end of the AL.com piece.
Then again, like Dodds at Texas, Byrne isn’t the one making decisions anymore.
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