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Monday, April 06, 2009

Texas Longhorns claim the Big 12 Football Championship

Trying to defuse a controversy over claiming a Big 12 championship they didn’t win, the Texas Longhorns removed “2008*” from a wall listing their Big 12 titles, the Austin American-Statesman reported Monday.

Texas spokesman John Bianco told the Statesman that Longhorns coach Mack Brown was unaware 2008 with an asterisk had been posted on a wall inside the Moncrief-Neuhaus training facility.

"Obviously there was a lot of discussion about the two teams playing for the Big 12 title being two teams we'd beaten," Bianco said Monday. "The kidding around became a misunderstanding as an instruction to post it on the wall (of the meeting room). It was clearly not the intent of Mack to post it."

Following Monday’s spring practice, Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops was asked what he thought about Texas claiming the 2008 Big 12 championship on its wall with an asterisk.

“It doesn’t much matter to me at all, I don’t much care,” Stoops said. “I know there isn’t (an asterisk) on ours. And I know where the trophy is. I’m not worried about anyone else and what they’ve got.”

Last season, OU edged out Texas and Texas Tech for the South title in a tiebreaker determined by the BCS Standings, despite ardent protests from Brown and the Texas fan base.

The Longhorns claimed that because they defeated OU head-to-head, they deserved to go to the Big 12 title game — despite the fact they also lost to Texas Tech, which created the three-way tie among the one-loss Big 12 teams.

On the last week of the regular season, Texas fans even paid for a flyover in Stillwater before the Bedlam game to remind voters of Texas’ 45-35 win over OU in the Cotton Bowl.

Nevertheless, the Sooners ended up ranked higher than Texas and Texas Tech in the BCS and went on to beat Missouri in Kansas City, Mo., to win their third-consecutive Big 12 championship.

That victory, however, is still not being acknowledged by some in Austin, apparently.

Said one school official to the Statesman when asked about the asterisk, “We beat both (OU and North Division winner Missouri). I thought that (championship game in Kansas City) was for the runner-up spot.”

Moreover, even though OU officially won the Big 12, Texas president William Powers Jr. announced Monday his university would pay out $44,000 total to its assistant coaches in bonuses that are called for when the Longhorns win the Big 12 championship.

The team's two coordinators, strength coach and director of football operations will each receive $5,000. The others will each get a payment $3,000.

"I think this was the right decision," Powers told the Statesman. "A flip of a coin basically deprived them of the ability to earn that part of their compensation."

Brown, however, did not receive a South title or Big 12 championship bonus, which together would’ve totaled $150,000.

Red River football: Texas claims Big 12 championship with an *
By Jake Trotter
Published: April 5, 2009

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