Steve Patterson made a long string of missteps on his way out at Texas.
A new report from ESPN's Mark Schlabach details a number of events that took place during Patterson's tenure as athletic director that alienated many fans, season ticket-holders and boosters.
Patterson raised ticket prices in men's basketball and football and eliminated many once-complimentary perks for coaches and athletic department employees, including meals, as a means of cutting budget. Ticket holders had to pay separately for parking for the first time, and Texas made many season-ticket holders agree not to sell tickets on secondary markets. ESPN reports about 10,000 football tickets went unrenewed this season.
The report also indicates Patterson was out of touch with football coach Charlie Strong and men's basketball coach Shaka Smart. He had “very little interaction” with either coach, both of whom he hired and both the first African-American head coaches in school history in their respective sports. The pair reported directly to Arthur Johnson, the executive senior associate athletic director. Patterson reportedly left them out of big decisions and rarely met with them face to face.
Patterson reportedly was tight-fisted, denying Strong a van to transport coaches' wives and children to a game against UCLA in Arlington and limiting coaches' free meals. He also fired associate athletic director for football media relations John Bianco with zero notice, without notifying Strong, who was close with him. Bianco reportedly had five minutes to clean out his desk and retrieve files from his computer.
- Jeremy Woo