Alumni, fans and other donors have pulled athletics donations, citing mismanagement, hostility and complacency from the athletic department.
In the wake of the #FireTeis banner that flew at the Oct. 27 homecoming game that called for the firing of Atheltic Director Larry Teis, current and former donors have spoken out against the program’s complacency, including Paul Lopez, a season ticket holder and Bobcat football fan.
“I was a loyal season ticket holder in (Dallas-Fort Worth) for years.” Lopez tweeted. “Bought basketball season tickets to support the team even though I couldn’t make the games (and spent) hundreds at Bobcat Bonanza (the Bobcat Club’s annual auction to benefit and support student-athlete scholarships) and never received my items.”
Lopez went on to tweet that the athletics department would not allow anyone else to pick up his items and would only allow him to collect the items during regular business hours in San Marcos. Lopez said the organization kept his money without sending him his items.
Dustin Hacker, a 2003 alumnus, said he canceled his tickets and donations this season and the department never called to ask why.
“I was one of the first donors to buy into the champions club,” Hacker said. “I had 50-yard line seats, was chairman of the Bobcat Club, and donated on average to athletics around $4,000. This was the first year I haven’t had season tickets to football or joined Bobcat Club. (I have not had) one phone call from (assistant athletic directors) Travis Comer or Don Coryell.”
Hacker said he has spent hours working with the program to promote Texas State athletics and, from experience, the politics of the department has left the athletic directors unchecked.
“I spent countless hours promoting and speaking on their behalf,” Hacker said. “My opinion is that the assistant ADs don’t believe in Teis and would never say that publicly. They battle the job security component versus initiating change. No one is (going to) rock that boat.”
Other alumni spoke out but asked to remain anonymous, afraid of university and Bobcat Club backlash.
“I started seeing tweets from former players and what they thought of about (Athletic Director) Larry Teis and the direction of athletics, and that’s when I started paying more attention to everything,” a 2014 alum said. “When former players are actively complaining about a new hire and how they are treated, it’s a huge red flag. About a year and a half to two years ago, I pulled my donations because I saw no change and it looked as if Texas State was always going to be the laughing stock of Football Bowl Subdivision and Division I sports.”
The alum continued, going as far as to say he would rather go to other schools, like the University of Texas at Austin, for a better fan experience than return to his alma mater. One alumnus’ reason for pulling his donations was the lack of fan presence at the games and lack of direction from the administration.
“I look at what Chris Del Conte did at UT in under a year of being at the job,” the alumnus said. “In no way do I expect Texas State to be that level but do something. I would much rather go tailgate at UT, sit outside in the heat and watch UT play on TV in the parking lot outside of the stadium than go be one of the 25 people who actually go to Texas State games.”
Other alumni and fan stories were off the record but almost all cited an athletic department employee as being unresponsive or rude at games or events. As a result, the alumni and fans said the actions have turned away many potential and current donors and soured potential business partnerships.
The Bobcat Club and Texas State Athletics were reached out to for comment numerous times over a three week period. Both entities refused to comment. The Star will continue to update this story as details become available.