Clarifying a Few Points on “Where to Go From Here”

I did want to clarify a few things from yesterday’s post

  • I wanted to mention the debt service situation. This article from the LAJ that goes into detail with the debt service situation and why winning right now and being competitive in the Big 12 right now is so incredibly vital. Texas Tech owes $111 million as of 2015, $99 million has been football upgrades. The debt service won’t be paid off until 2035 and Texas Tech pays approximately $12 million in debt services, which is nearly 16% of the operating budget to the debt service.The payment that the Big 12 receives, which was $25 million last year, is one third of Texas Tech’s operating budget and Texas Tech, for the most part simply breaks even each year.
  • So let’s consider that there’s the thought that the Big 12 may not exist in the year 2024-25, which means that by that time, the debt service will be around $50 million and there is a chance, a chance, that Texas Tech will have lost one third of its operating budget.
  • This is the reason it’s so vital to win and win now. Even athletic director Kirby Hocutt said in the article quoted above that selling out all athletic events is critical, moreso for football than anything else. That will be tougher to sell this offseason:

    “That’s why it’s so critical that we sell out Jones AT&T Stadium,” Hocutt said, “to help us generate that revenue to invest back into our 17 varsity sports programs. That’s why it’s so critical that we put people in the United Supermarkets Arena for men’s and women’s basketball. That’s our revenue growth opportunity is men’s and women’s basketball, growing our attendance there and continuing to maintain what we achieved in football last year.

    “That’s our lifeblood is our support through our season-ticket holders and our Red Raider Club members.”

  • I have a tough time putting a ton of blame on Hocutt because I was right there with him high-fiving him when he extended Kingsbury. So, I’d make a terrible athletic director and it’s the reason I’ve been so mum on the topic. As of right now, it’s a terrible situation, to have to come up with $10 million when the program essentially breaks even each and every year, despite having $25 million from the Big 12 each year.Maybe if the Big 12 distributes some extra coin this year, the decision will be a bit easier, but as of right now, unless the extra money is allocated to essentially the debt service, I’d imagine this is where the money would go if the decision has been made. I’d also add that this is also dependent on selling out the season tickets. That’s going to be a tough sell moving forward.
  • I wanted to be clear in that I do believe that Texas Tech will just fine in terms of finding a coach that would be able to replace Kingsbury. Money talks and coaches love challenges. The least of my worries is finding a coach that wants to coach here and the attractiveness of the program. I’m not trying to be full of myself here or of the program that I love, but again, money talks and for coaches that build programs this isn’t daunting.
  • There was an article being passed around on Twitter yesterday about how Texas Tech should have hired Sonny Dykes when Kingsbury was hired and well, that’s not looking all that strong now as Dykes is 18-30 at Cal and that’s with the overall #1 pick last year and Davis Webb this year. Not terrible quarterbacks. If anything, you could make the argument that Chad Morris was the guy that should have been hired, but he was apparently the consolation pick for Texas Tech. I do somewhat remember thinking that we should be giving Morris a legitimate shot, but it was tough to argue with those that were clamoring for Kingsbury to come home. I was there too.
  • If you’ve passed the proverbial Rubicon with this situation then there’s no going back. Some of the people I text with want to give Kingsbury the benefit of the doubt and there’s part of me that wants to do that as well.That’s the $64,000 question, has the die been cast? That is what Caesar said when crossing the river Rubicon and that’s the question with Kingsbury. If you believe that Kingsbury is what he is and Texas Tech will have a similar result to next year, then the rest is just finding the money. If you believe that the die hasn’t been cast and he still has a chance, then I get that too. The odds are against Kingsbury turning it around, it usually happens in year three, or at least year four, but it’s particularly tough to do even in year five.
  • It’s a terrible situation and it’s not one that I really want to face, but I also want what’s best for Texas Tech football. The clock is running to have a viable, successful and terrific football program. I really hate that we’re having to have this conversation, but I think the conversation and questions are appropriate.
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