Thursday, July 14, 2016

Is Maverick Stadium FBS Worthy?

I'm the Maverick Rambler, so prepare for some rambling. It's the doldrums of the summer, so be glad I'm talking about anything UT Arlington-related.

One of the biggest challenges (maybe THE biggest) facing the return of a UTA football program is facilities. That point was made clear in the Nienas Report from over a decade ago-more on that in a moment. Those that I have talked to about the subject believe Maverick Stadium would need a lot of work and that the biggest obstacle to the return of football is a playing venue.

To some degree, I agree. Maverick Stadium was built in 1980 and as far as stadiums go from that era for schools our level, it was nice, but not state of the art. College Park Center is better than any other college basketball venue in Texas, but Maverick Stadium was nice for what it was. It hasn't aged well and the fact that U hasn't played a down in 30 years has meant only minor renovations to the stadium.

But one athletic official described Maverick Stadium to me as a dump. And that's where I disagree. I toured several Southland Conference venues when I was the sports director for UTA Radio back in the day. Texas State, who joined us in moving to the Western Athletic Conference and then the Sun Belt Conference had a worse stadium then than UTA does now. They have spent money and all of a sudden, it is one of the nicer venues in the Group of 5 conferences.

I see no reason why Maverick Stadium can't go through something similar. So with that set-up, here's a list, in order of priority, of the expansion/renovations I think needs to happen in order for Maverick Stadium to be the home of a Sun Belt football team.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Next New Sport?

I've been hearing some interesting rumors and wanted to wait until the summer to begin the discussion out of respect for the sports in play, as well as give me some fodder for the summertime lull.

The UT Arlington Athletic Department will begin women's golf intercollegiate play following this coming academic year. The sport will be the first addition since 1983. By all accounts, that will not be the last sport as the department is in the very preliminary stages of looking at another sport.

I thought about creating a tease indicating something else, but thought that just might be a bit cruel, so I'll just come out and say it. It is not football. But before the reveal, let me give some context to the thinking in UTA land.