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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Student body elections to include opinion poll on reinstating A&M-UT football game

Photo by FILE

During Texas A&M’s last ever football game against the University of Texas Reveille VIII was seen cuddling her favorite toy. Rev was also dressed in a vest similar to those of her predecessors. 

Eight years have passed since Texas A&M and The University of Texas have faced each other on the football field, but students, alumni and administration are aiming to rekindle the longstanding rivalry.
In conjunction with the student-led movement Reinstate the Rivalry, A&M’s Student Senate has called for the question “Do you support reinstating the Texas A&M University vs. University of Texas rivalry game on our non-conference football schedule?” to be added to student body election ballot this February. Election commissioner Mary Franklin has approved the inclusion of the opinion poll, though the exact wording of the question has not yet been finalized.
Co-director of Reinstate the Rivalry Chipper Adams said he hopes this will give students the opportunity to voice their support for bringing back the annual football game.
“The reason we’re doing this is because we feel responsible for the tradition and the spirit of A&M,” Adams said. “I think as much as we hate Texas, they’re a very important part to our story as a university because we’ve played them 118 times in football.”
Reinstate the Rivalry is a network of students from A&M and UT. Co-director for UT Micky Wolf said they held a referendum during their fall 2017 student government elections in which 97 percent voted in favor of bringing back the game. Wolf said the movement is working to create a specific action plan that will be vetted by both universities’ athletic departments.
“Instead of just saying ‘we want to bring the game back,’ we want to be really specific and say, ‘this is when we want to bring the game back, this is the year we want to bring the game back, these are the potential contracts that we might have to break to bring the game back,’” Wolf said.
While Reinstate the Rivalry is advocating to bring back the annual game, Adams said the decision is ultimately up to both schools’ administrations.
“Because it is so ingrained in our history, in our traditions, and we have such a deep and intense rivalry with that little school down in Austin it kind of makes it more of a political issue than just an athletic issue,” Adams said. “At the end of the day, that makes the decision further up the food chain.”
Adams said the movement is gaining momentum due to the meeting between A&M President Michael Young and UT President Gregory Fenves on Feb. 18. Both presidents said they would be in favor of reinstating the annual rivalry. However, considerable road blocks remain.
“It is complicated,” Young told the Austin-American Statesman. “Our schedules don’t match very well. They have non-conference games in the beginning; we have ours interspersed more throughout the season. All of this makes it very hard to schedule.”
Lisa Henkel, Class of 1991, said she remembers the time she skipped Thanksgiving family festivities to attend her first A&M-UT football game.
“It was just so exciting and everything I wanted college to be, and it was all right there in Kyle Field,” Henkel said. “We were in the nosebleed sections of third deck, and I was just feeling like ‘OK, Aggieland is home; this is where I’m supposed to be.’”
Henkel held back tears as she recalled another memory of the rivalry against UT.
“After the bonfire fell, my brother was a sophomore that year, and when the t.u. band played at the next game, and they were just honoring everyone…” Henkel said. “You know we have this amazing rivalry, but we’re family first and foremost. It feels like we’re missing something; a part of us is missing for not having that rivalry like we used to.”
Kenya Robinson contributed to this report.

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