Texas A&M hiring Trev Alberts shows they are still one step ahead of Texas, OU

The Texas A&M Aggies are showing that they won’t back down to anybody in the new era of collegiate athletics.

Sep 17, 2022; Lincoln, Nebraska, USA; Nebraska Cornhuskers athletic director Trev Alberts stands on
Sep 17, 2022; Lincoln, Nebraska, USA; Nebraska Cornhuskers athletic director Trev Alberts stands on / Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports

Texas A&M’s hire of Trev Alberts as Director of Athletics shows that they won’t take a backseat to anybody—especially Texas and OU

When news came down that Texas A&M was hiring Trev Alberts as their new Director of Athletics, shockwaves were sent throughout the collegiate athletics landscape. Alberts has been a leader in the industry for quite some time, and is an alum of Nebraska. For those reasons, Texas A&M’s hire was rightly seen as a seismic move.

A move of this type was definitely a necessary one for Texas A&M. For all of Ross Bjork’s strengths as an athletic director, it was becoming clear that the Aggies may need an upgrade at that position as the tectonic plates of collegiate athletics begin to violently shift.

Alberts is that guy. He’s forward-thinking. He works well with donors. He understands the issues confronting athletic departments today, and comes up with innovative solutions. Importantly, he understands NIL and is well-apprised of where things could go. I have no doubt he is already ahead on planning for such scenarios.

So why do I bring up Texas and OU? That’s a fair question. It’s an easy enough answer to say that the Aggies are about to share a conference once again with them, so it’s natural to identify them as others who are trying to position themselves well for the future. Specifically, though, these were the big dogs in the Big 12; ones who often looked down on the Aggies.

Consider a recent instance: Chris Del Conte, at a Q&A session on the Texas campus, announced that they would be playing Texas A&M annually. This is an interesting point of political maneuvering. Let me explain.

By announcing this in such a context, Del Conte has the plausible deniability of saying he was talking about one of the big questions relevant to Texas Athletics moving forward. However, he also was the first to announce it, giving the impression that the Longhorns are the leader in the arrangement. Not only this, but a necessary consequence was revealing that the SEC would be moving to a different scheduling model than the one that they had previously been operating under!

This is the kind of underhanded politicking that we can expect from our neighbors to the west. There’s an undying, obsessive concern with image out there that leads to putting people in positions of power out there that are experts in, if nothing else, public relations and image management.

It takes a leader with real substance to counter that kind of flash. Alberts is that guy. He knows his plan and what it takes to execute it. That the Aggies identified him and had the leadership and wherewithal to land him speaks to the kind of department they are trying to build: one with strong vision and a lasting foundation.