Posted January 12th, 2006 by Brian
Filed under: Football

ESPN is running an interesting series of articles on NCAA football boosters and the power their money gives them. They’ve profiled ten of the richest and most powerful boosters and provided a little background on how they got their money, what they’ve done with it, and what kind of power it has given them with the team they support.

Here’s the profile of one of the Longhorns’ biggest backers…

Joe Jamail Jr.

School ties: University of Texas (B.A. Class of ’50; J.D. Class of ’53)
Age: 79

Reported wealth: $1.4 billion
How made money: The salty-tongued Houston lawyer amassed his fortune overseeing major personal injury cases, most recently representing victims of a BP refinery explosion.
How much donated: Estimated $30 million
School song/cheer: Hook ’em Horns
Braggin’ Rights: Just a few telltale signs of money and influence seen around campus: Joe Jamail Field at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center. … Only individual with two bronze statues on campus bearing his likeness, the most recent sits inside the football stadium. … Called the “King of Torts” by Time and Newsweek, his $11.2 billion verdict against Texaco in 1985 is listed in the Guiness Book of World Records as the largest civil damages award in history.

The Buzz: The Longhorns lead the college sports world in fat cats, with Jamail and Billy Joe “Red” McCombs on the Forbes list of 400 wealthiest Americans. Another influential big-timer is Jim-Bob Moffett, an ex-Longhorn tackle for [tag]Darrell Royal[/tag], who built Freeport McMoRan Copper and Gold into a business with annual revenues of almost $2 billion. … McCombs, who recently sold the Minnesota Vikings for $600 million, gave UT’s largest single donation ever of $50 million to the business school. The business school and women’s softball complex bear his name.

I really don’t have a problem with these donors and the powers they wield, as long as everything is on the up and up. They support the team and therefore deserve at least a little bit of say in how it is run. I do think you have to leave people like the university president, athletic director, and head coach in charge and let them run things since they’re held accountable for their actions. I also would prefer the stadiums themselves be named after people who had a role in building the program and not just the person who donates the most money. I think Joe Jamail Field at Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium is a pretty good compromise.

Be sure to check out the rest of the articles in the sidebar about halfway down the page.


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  1. reply to  #1


    I used a urinal next to Red McCombs one day senior year in the business school. Definitely the richest guy I’ve pissed with.

  2. reply to  #2



  3. reply to  #3


    No, it’s Joe Jamail Field and Moncrief-Neuhaus Athletic Center which includes Howard L. Terry – Bobby Moses, Jr., Longhorn Locker Room.

    (By the way, Howard Terry paid for my entire college education, good man.)

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