ICYMI: Why were Texas Tech fans mad at TCU this week?


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Folks…Texas Tech fans are mad online. What’s all the fuss about?

That’s TCU’s win-loss record vs. Texas Tech in the big 3 sports for the 2021-22 athletic season and Tech fans are down bad. The Horned Frogs embarrassed their football team in Lubbock, rushed the court on their basketball team in Schollmaier, and got a full sweep of their baseball team at Lupton. That dominance has taken its toll on the Raider faithful, and with no scoreboard to point to, they’ve turned to a favorite topic: attendance. They are hoping to distract by pointing to their massive enrollment and alumni base to compensate for having a micro performance.

The topic that first triggered Raider fans was a ticketing sales option with the moniker “Keep It Purple Plan” offered by the TCU Athletics Department to discourage ticket brokers and best deliver tickets to committed TCU fans.

This is just marketing and y’all fell for it. Hard. Raider fans are furious at the “lameness” of requiring single-game tickets to be purchased as part of a package. What it means: the only way to purchase single game tickets to the Texas Tech vs. TCU game at Amon G. Carter stadium on November 5th is as part of a mini package, combined with two other games.

You are getting a value. TCU could have simply made the cost of entry an exorbitant figure, basically ensuring only ticket brokers would gobble up the inventory. This is how Texas Tech sells its hottest football tickets: The minimum get-in price for Texas at TTU is $104. The minimum get-in price for TTU at TCU is $138, plus you also get entry to two additional games. Y’all throwing a temper tantrum over $34? The $138 price point is likely cheaper than if the tickets were just made available en masse to the ticket brokers and then sold to Tech fans on the secondary market. If you want to go to the game, buy the tickets and go to the game, why the uproar?

Many Big 12 programs have similar plans for early sales of single game tickets. Oklahoma State has the Cowboy Football Mini Plan (minimum cost $160) currently the only way to get tickets to the Texas Tech-OK State game, yet Raider fans haven’t been incessantly tweeting at OK State AD Chad Weiberg. Texas has a Pick 3 Mini Plan (minimum cost of $185) currently the only way to get tickets to the TCU game at Darrell K Royal stadium, yet Frog fans haven’t spent July calling Chris Del Conte a coward.

TCU Athletic Director Jeremiah Donati took the feedback in stride, responding to complaints from Texas Tech fans in classic fashion:

It was announced this week that a Texas Tech-supporting collective made a commitment to sign every scholarship football player and select walk-ons to an NIL deal that would offer $25,000 a year.

It is a significant move that sets a solid floor of earning for the entire roster. I in no way want to belittle the dollar value or the fact that this level of compensation can influence where an athlete may want to spend their collegiate career. It is a bit odd however for the fan base to talk about how much money they are generating, enough for a $2.5M annual payroll on top of funding a major stadium renovation, while also spending all week whining about needing to pay $138 to attend a football game to see those players they are paying. Are you blessed with endless riches or in the poor house? Neither here nor there; raise the money, pay the players, see if the investment pays off, gloat or complain accordingly. Everyone’s getting paid, everyone’s playing ball. C’est la vie, live and let live, it’s all gravy.

TCU Recruiting Coordinator Bryan Carrington made his thoughts known on the NIL deal via a Twitter thread Monday night. The thread started as a thinly veiled subtweet that could have been referencing any of the similar announced (and unannounced) NIL deals as a call to build one’s own brand beyond the university and college town. The pretense was dropped as Carrington made note of “scarce markets that are oversaturated with 85 scholarship players attempting to ‘build their a brand’ in a desert…”

Hooooo boy did that cactus emoji set the Red Raider faithful ablaze. The TTUanon machine went into overdrive and an army of tweeters went HAM. The cactus emoji spread like….fast, let’s just say it spread fast. Notable Texas Tech personalities like Patrick Mahomes, AD Kirby Hocutt, and new Head Coach Joey McGuire got in on the cactus party.

Is it the reference to Lubbock as “a desert” the thing that made everyone so defensive? Hell, the whole state is a desert currently as we continue to bake in triple digit temperatures and like the 10th Consecutive week without rain. There are plenty of great desert towns where one could build a brand: Vegas is fun, Phoenix is ​​a fine town, Dubai has tons of money. There’s nothing inherently wrong with being in a desert, perhaps there’s a bit of self-consciousness about your particular desert.

While most here (and most logical minds anywhere) will find the content of Coach Carrington’s statements to be mostly accurate – $25,000 a year is not a lifetime’s worth of dough; one’s earning potential is generally greater in a major market, etc. – this may have been a What you should have said was: nothing situation. Same goes for this blog post I suppose, but the toothpaste is out of the tube now.

At the end of the day, whether you are an athletic director or coach or anonymous set of Twitter fingers, it is indeed fun to be petty with your opponents online; to poke the sore spot and watch them squirm. For now, the Frogs have the scoreboard and the Red Raiders have a cartoon cactus. Coach Carrington and AD Donati have written the check that Quentin Johnston and Tre Tomlinson will have to cash on November 5th and send all those cacti back into hiding in the desert.

The number one takeaway from all this: we need the football season to get here. As soon as possible.


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