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Baylor Urges System, "Don't Mess With Texas Football"

Sept. 7, 2011

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As executive associate athletic director for external affairs at Baylor, Nick Joos has been fielding questions from media and fans alike about the university's standing in the shifting collegiate landscape. Baylor stands to lose millions if the Big 12 disbands and the university is relegated to a lesser conference. Baylor president Ken Starr and athletic director Ian McCaw have been leading voices touting the benefits of preserving the regional Big 12 conference. This week, the university launched a campaign to get fans involved in the process as well, urging them to write to college presidents, regents, and legislators to with an admonition: "Don't Mess With Texas Football."

Baylor business professor Kirk Wakefield has long studied the relationships between teams, their fans, and appeals to action. Normally those appeals to action involve buying tickets. But, says Dr. Wakefield, this is something else entirely. Breaking up longstanding rivalries impacts fans in a different way than changes could in, for example, pro sports.

Dr. Wakefield said a campaign like "Don't Mess With Texas Football" is urging for fans to protect their interest. Dr. Wakefield contrasts Major League Baseball with college. Says Dr. Wakefield, college fans may have to be the ones to stand up for what they value, because collegiate sports doesn't have a structure in place to do that for them, the thrust behind Baylor's campaign for fan involvement. So as Baylor urges fans to urge the power brokers, "Don't Mess With Texas Football," time will tell whether or not those brokers will heed those pleas or not. For KWBU News, I'm Derek Smith.

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