Red McCombs, San Antonio businessman and UT alumnus and donor, criticized the UT football team’s recent performance at a sports law conference held on campus Friday, saying he believes recruitment is the key to getting the Longhorns on a winning track.
McCombs joked about the football team’s performance so far, referencing the team’s 41-7 loss to Brigham Young University.
“Have they played yet?” McCombs said.
McCombs said more FBS players come from Texas than any other state, and he believes Texas head coach Charlie Strong needs to build up his relationship with Texas high school coaches in order to attract talent.
“Our problem is in selection, and I’m sure Coach Strong will build a relationship with these Texas high school coaches, the same as he did the Florida high school coaches,” McCombs said. “I say we’ll be back on a winning track, but it’ll probably be another three years before we get there.”
In January, McCombs criticized Strong’s hiring in an interview with 1250 ESPN San Antonio.
“I don’t have any doubt that Charlie [Strong] is a fine coach,” McCombs said in the interview. “I think he would make a great position coach, maybe a coordinator.”
McCombs later apologized for the comments.
The conference, held at the John B. Connally Center for Justice and hosted by the Texas Review of Entertainment & Sports Law, focused on the changing landscape of media in regard to sports and entertainment.
Law student Cindy Troy, who helped organize the event, said McCombs was chosen to speak because of his legal expertise and experience in the sports industry.
“[He’s had a] huge impact on the sports industry with owning teams and managing teams,” Troy said. “He is clearly a successful operator.”
McCombs previously owned the San Antonio Spurs, Denver Nuggets and Minnesota Vikings. According to the San Antonio Express-News, he has a reported net worth of $1.4 billion. McCombs said he expects sports to become more popular as technology changes.
“We’re going to see a lot more sports right now as we have more and more platforms that we can deliver sports with,” McCombs said. “You’re going to see them become more and more popular.”
Law student Aaron Gregg said hearing McCombs speak was a great opportunity, and he learned a lot about how law interacts with the sports industry.
“[The] key is to see how varied the possibilities are for lawyers to make an impact on sports,” Gregg said.