Keeping ACL out of the Red River Rivalry

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It’s Monday and the OU/ACL weekend conflict still sucks.

Ever since the Big 12 announced the 2012 football schedule Feb. 14, UT students have been expressing concern over the overlap of these two prime events. How can students possibly choose between the fun, longstanding tradition of the Red River Rivalry and the talent and excitement of Austin City Limits?

Since 1929, Longhorns and Sooners have met in Dallas, halfway between the two campuses, for the Texas/OU game. Texas/OU weekend is a vital part of the UT college experience. The game is not only a big draw for students but also for proud Longhorn alumni. Clearly, the Texas/OU game is an event that a lot of people would be sad to have to miss.

However, Austin City Limits is equally as important for UT students. ACL, which generates $73 million in visitor spending according to Angelou Economics, an Austin-based economic development company, is an integral part of the Austin music scene. The music festival brings in students, Austinites, out-of-town visitors and more than 100 bands from around the world. Having to miss ACL is as inconceivable to students as having to miss Texas/OU. So how should the issue of the two conflicting dates be handled?

The dates for ACL were scheduled more than a year in advance, and the artists and bands brought to ACL have to be booked months prior to the festival. This leaves ACL incredibly inflexible when it comes to rescheduling.

Basically, once the ACL dates are set, they can’t be changed.

Unfortunately, the dates for Texas/OU weekend are also difficult to reschedule. The Big 12 Schedule is made to accommodate the universities in the Big 12 Conference, and it is nearly impossible to please all of them with dates. Sadly, due to scheduling conflicts the only possible day for the Texas/OU game is Oct. 13.

There were many factors considered when choosing the date for this year’s Texas/OU game, UT athletic director DeLoss Dodds told the Austin American-Statesman.

Between working around all of the other teams’ schedules and availability at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, there was very little room for flexibility with potential dates. In the future, however, student availability and support for the city of Austin should be top priorities.

The lack of flexible schedules for both ACL and Texas/OU has left UT students with a decision that none want to make. ACL is Oct. 12 through 14. It is possible for students to go to ACL on Friday and Sunday and save Saturday for the game. However, with the four-hour drive to Dallas, this could be very tiring and difficult to manage.

When scheduling OU games in the future, UT should support the city and ensure that the Big 12 does not schedule the OU game during one of Austin’s largest and most lucrative events.

The Red River Rivalry is with the University of Oklahoma. We never want to create a rivalry between ACL and the Texas/OU game.

Lapin is a journalism sophomore.