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Government/Politics

UT Names Houston Trial Attorney As Interim Athletic Director

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Ryan E. Poppe
/
UT Clock Tower in Austin

The University of Texas at Austin’s President has named a new interim athletic director following the buyout of former athletic director Steve Paterson’s contract. UT President Greg Fenves  named Houston attorney Mike Perrin as the temporary replacement.

“For over thirty years he has worked with the athletics department on a volunteer basis, [providing] great services to this university while he has had an outstanding professional career as one of the most prominent lawyers in the state of Texas," Fenves said.

While Fenves would not highlight some of the reasons for the major staffing change, Perrin was happy to discuss with reporters what he saw as a divide between UT fans and Paterson.

“I’ve been concerned. I sat in the stands last week and saw empty seats and it concerns me that last week fans voted with their feet," Perrin said.

Perrin says much of that has been related to Paterson’s directive to increase the price of tickets and parking for all season ticket holders by six percent.  He also charged the visiting teams’ band full admission to sit in the stands and play during halftime.  Perrin says the two directives resulted in fans calling for Paterson’s job.

Perrin said he plans to reach out to the entire Longhorn nation in order to improve attendance at UT football and basketball games in Austin.