This is America and if your boss doesn’t like you, he or she can get rid of you with the quickness.
University of Texas President Gregory L. Fenves didn’t like the direction of the athletic department and apparently didn’t see the situation improving over time.
So he made a move.
Steve Patterson is no longer the athletic director at the University of Texas in part because he made too many people mad. The fan base revolted, long-time employees flew the coop, coaches withdrew their support and zero people on campus stepped up in support of the ousted AD.
Patterson had an enormous PR problem, one too big for an improved standing at the bank to overcome.
I never had a problem with Patterson. He answered my questions and conducted himself in a professional manner.
But I’m not a Texas fan, coach, employee or alumnus. His Q rating among those groups wasn’t ideal apparently.
Former Texas regent Tom Hicks told Dallas Morning News reporter Brad Townsend thatTexas fans want “to have kind of a warm and fuzzy feeling from people.”
Patterson didn’t emit that kind of vibe.
Under DeLoss Dodds, coaches never paid for meals. Fans were upset about the normal issues, like losses.
He happily overpaid for coaches and spent lavishly throughout the department, even for the non-revenue producing sports. Sure he had his enemies — some blame his Longhorn Network creation for the splintering of the Big 12 — but he was respected figure on campus and in the fan base.
Patterson did make two good hires in Charlie Strong and Shaka Smart but was overrun by a horrible public image, both on campus and within his fan base.
People skills matter and Patterson’s shortcoming in this department ultimately help cost him his job.
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