Texas A&M Athletics
Any discussion of aggy athletics is a short conversation, because aggy athletics has accomplished so little. In the state of Texas, Texas A&M is an also-ran to schools most people haven't even given a second thought to thinking of as college athletics heavyweights.
In the 140 year history of Texas A&M, the school's athletes have won fewer national team championships than the University of Houston. They have won fewer individual national championships than UTEP. For those who don't know who "UTEP" is, UTEP is the University of Texas at El Paso. Athletes from the University of Texas at El Paso, founded in 1914, have not only won more individual national championships than have athletes from Texas A&M, UTEP athletes have won more consensus national championships in major sports than have athletes from Texas A&M.
While The University of Houston and UTEP both far exceed the overall historical accomplishments of Texas A&M athletes, during the BCS football era, A&M trailed even Utah, UConn, Kansas and Boise State in the amount of major bowl hardware collected.
aggy football. Two seemingly innocuous words that, when put together, are certain to generate a laugh from most Texans.
Texas A&M started playing football in 1894. They first joined a conference, the Southwest Conference, in 1915. Since first joining the Southwest Conference, A&M has also been a member of the Big 12 and the S!E!C!.
Check out the statistics in the table to the left. aggy is roughly 50% in whatever league they play. It doesn't get any more average than Texas A&M.
Texas A&M has a losing lifetime record against Nebraska. And Michigan. And Michigan State. And Penn State, Ohio State, Purdue, Boston College, Florida State, Cal, Colorado, USC, Arkansas, Florida, LSU, Alabama, Tennessee, Notre Dame, Oklahoma and Texas.
In short, Texas A&M has a lifetime losing record against just about every respectable team in college football.
Which brings to mind the old aggy joke:
A little boy was in divorce court for a custody hearing and was on the stand when the judge said to him "I understand you want to live with your mother." To which the boy replied "Oh, no. Not my mom. My mom beats me." Nodding his head, the judge then said "So then, you want to live with your dad." To which the boy replied "Oh, no. Not my dad. My dad beats me." Confused, the judge asked "Well, if not with your mom, and not with your dad, then who do you want to live with?" Without hesitating, the boy shot back, "I want to live with the Texas A&M football team, they never beat anyone."
Traditionally, A&M fans blame their program's lack of success on grand, inter-generational conspiracies designed to "keep the sleeping giant at bay." Whether it be the "Great Burnt Orange Satan" (A&M's big brother, the University of Texas Longhorns) or corrupt NCAA officials who are bribed by an army of UT Austin alumni carrying briefcases full of cash, the ineptitude of Texas A&M's football team is never the fault of the administrators, coaches, players or alumni of Texas A&M. And, while the team struggles each and every year to breakout above their perpetual 50% conference winning percentage, "next year" is always the year aggy puts it all together and wins their first consensus national championship. Always next year.
Texas A&M baseball teams have won a total of two College World Series games in the history of the program. Two games. The most recent was a quarter century ago. That pretty much sums up aggy baseball.
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(aggy basketball is really that bad. The less said, the better)
It says a lot about a school's sports program when the longest section in any encyclopedic work focuses on their history of cheating, lying and getting caught red-handed.
In 2012, Athlon Sports wrote a piece on the 15 most corrupt college sports programs. Of course aggy was included. aggy isn't usually a ranked team, but in discussions of corrupt college sports programs, aggy always finishes the year as a ranked program.:
Speaking of the Southwest Conference, a close runner-up for mid-1980s corruption in the storm-tossed league would seem to be Texas A&M. Amid positive developments under Jackie Sherrill, such as Cotton Bowls and the institution of the 12th Man tradition, the Aggies ran a loose ship and were ultimately deemed to be guilty of such shenanigans as improper employment, extra benefits, unethical conduct and lack of institutional control. Sherrill was not personally implicated in the infractions, but he did resign in 1988, the same year his program went on probation.
Another site was more detailed in their shaming of the aggys for their corrupt ways:
Moving along to 1966, the football team got in on the mix with some out-of-season practice and improper administration of financial aid. How does one improperly administer financial aid? Well, you give scholarships to kids on your team who suck as an inducement to leave the team. Yup, basically a severance package. Oh, and these improper tryouts are really inventive. They created a class called Physical Education 317, which normally had an enrollment of 25. Well, in the fall of '65, it had 128. And they were divided by position. And the class was taught by the football coaches. No way that gets caught, ever. Survey says- One year postseason ban and one year probation. Football was at it again in 1969 for some improper recruiting inducements, resulting in a public reprimand. Time to cycle back to the basketball team for the 1977 season, when some booster paid some recruits and players. One year probation and a show cause penalty for about 6 boosters.
1988 was football's turn again, going for the gold in total violations. We have (in order): improper employment, entertainment, financial aid and lodging; extra benefits; out-of-season practice; complimentary tickets; improper recruiting contacts, entertainment, inducements and publicity; eligibility; unethical conduct and lack of institutional control. For example (this is the best one) an assistant coach parked a Datsun 280ZX in front of a recruit's house and told the father it was his if his son signed to play for the Ags. He didn’t (cause it was a Datsun for sh!t sake). Leave it to A&M to get busted with a Datsun. They also Godfather’d one recruit, offering to pay his cancer stricken father's medical bills and give his father treatment if he signed. For all this, Aggie lost some scholarships, got a one year postseason ban, two years of probation, had the coach put on probation, and had four boosters permanently banned. Now, back to basketball, (I swear, only A&M could get on a schedule of major infractions) and, like football a few years before, this was a pretty big deal. Basically, they copied (almost exactly) the violations of the football team 3 years before, and the penalty was the same: one year postseason ban and two years of probation, as well as repeat offender status. Finally we have, yup you guessed it, football getting the 7th and final major violation (til the Jerrod Johnson tell all comes out late this year).It’s important to note, as I said above, the Aggies were considered repeat violators, and still on probation, when it was discovered they had paid nine players $17,500. I believe the NCAA report went like this: "And lo, the NCAA awaketh, for thou hath line stepped for the final time, we shall strike thee with a glorious vengeance". And strike thee they did, with a one year postseason and TV ban, and five years of probation. "Gig em!" Which, for a team with an Aggie (whatever the fu*k that is) as their mascot, what in the blue hell does "gig em" have to do with anything? It’s this kind of sh!t, this is why we all hate you.
While seemingly complete, this accounting of aggy cheating left out the 1956 probation of the football team for paying John David Crow $10,000 in cash to sign with A&M, the late 70's saga of their buying NFL Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson a gold Trans Am, which he gladly accepted and then signed to play for SMU, and a long list of other violations. In the early 1990s, the Texas A&M football program was spared the death penalty by the NCAA, an act that incensed the nation's college sportswriters as well as more than a few Texas A&M football boosters who, having suffered more than enough humiliation for decade after decade, wished the NCAA would put them and the aggy football program out of their seemingly endless misery.