AUSTIN, Texas — Aggie and San Antonio State Rep Lyle Larson (R-TX122) has had his efforts to reinstate the A&M-UT rivalry game thrust back into the political spotlight.
Governor Greg Abbott recently said in his State of the State Address that he's committed to working with Larson to bring back the game. The governor's staff will meet with Larson and leaders from both schools in the coming weeks to try and begin to broker a deal, according to the San Antonio representative.
A&M students have recently followed Larson's lead and scheduled a campus-wide vote to gauge the community's interest in the age-old rivalry.
"I think it's selfish on the part of people who went to school there, who experienced the rivalry, and then not allowing classed from 2015 onwards experience it," said Larson in an interview with KAGS.
Larson proposed a bill in November 2018 that would legally require both schools play the game.
Controversially, the bill threatens to withhold athletic scholarship money if the schools don't play. A method Larson claims is toothless and meant as a pro forma measure.
"It was crafted on purpose the way it was. There is no financial impact on either school because it talks about athletic scholarships, those are paid by the athletic foundations," added Larson. "They're not paid by the university or the state."
When asked if the bill has a tangible method of enforcement to ensure both schools play the game, Larson said it did not.
"I think its important that we bring back the whole spirit of what these games are about," said Larson. "Its a big part of our heritage."
Both A&M and UT's presidents are said to be on board.
The task now turns to convinced both school's regents, all of which are appointed by Governor Abbott.