The Texas A&I Alumni Association says it has spent $110,000 on creating a statue to honor the legacy of the legendary football coach Gil Steinke.
The Alumni Association wants to put the statue on the grounds of Javelina Stadium at Texas A&M University-Kingsville, but University President Steven Tallant said that is not going to happen.
Tallant said the Alumni Association just went ahead and did this on their own, without engaging in conversation with the University.
"No agreement was ever reached. There were no promises," Tallant said. "This independent group, independently went out and created this statue, and we're not going to allow it on the campus."
The statue has already been created -- a six-foot tall bronze statue. It is being housed at the Texas A&I Alumni Association on Armstrong Street, just across from Javelina Stadium.
At the Alumni Association's website, www.restoretexasaandi.com, they quote Dr. Tallant saying, "We are willing to further consider this project, but make no promises." However, Tallant said it is the other material on the website degrading the University that made it difficult to work with the alumni organization.
"I've said this to them in writing, that I will not work with any organization or individuals whose one of their primary goals is the degradation of this University," Tallant said. "It makes no sense for me to work with people that degrade our faculty, our students, and our staff."
Tallant said the University did write the Alumni Association a letter in January agreeing to talk to them about the possibility of displaying their statue, but that nothing was guaranteed and no agreement was ever reached.
Meanwhile, the $110,000 bronze statue of the legendary A&I football coach remains at the Alumni Association's office. Gil Steinke led the Javelinas to six national titles and played a groundbreaking role in racially integrating southern football.
Tallant said that Steinke does deserves a statue on the campus, and that the University will be announcing sometime later in the semester their plans to put a statue there in Javelina Stadium.
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