Hundreds of Texas alumni threatened to rescind their large donations if the school didn't fully back the controversial song, "The Eyes of Texas," emails obtained by the Texas Tribune show. The messages flowed in after quarterback Sam Ehlinger and a few of his teammates were the only ones to remain on the field for the traditional postgame playing of the song following an October matchup against Oklahoma.
"My wife and I have given an endowment in excess of $1 million to athletics," a donor wrote in an email to UT-Austin president Jay Hartzell in October, via the Tribune. "Has everyone become oblivious who supports athletics??"
The song, viewed as racist because of its origins in campus minstrel shows and links to Confederate Army Commander Robert E. Lee, was part of changes requested by student-athletes in June 2020. It has become a controversial topic within the community.