Blackwell: "It’s called the Cory and Priscilla Redding Family Scholarship. Perhaps you heard. More than likely, you didn’t, and it’s not your fault. With all the noise about UT’s lack of championships, and possible football realignment and people being angry and eagerly expressing that anger about this and that, good news is not nearly sexy enough for airplay or print."
The UT baseball hitting coach has got to go. This is ridiculous, not making the playoffs for the first time in 1998. They need to fire him and get somebody who knows how to coach hitting. He’s been here a long time? Loyal employee? Won championships? That’s old news. We’ve got to get rid of this guy.
Softball? She’s gotta go, too. Heck, they couldn’t even win a national championship with Cat Osterman in the circle. They won the first game of the series against Oregon this year in the super regional, then lost the last two games of the series AT HOME! We can’t lose at home. She’s been here a long time? Loyal employee? Gone to the NCAA World Series? Old news. She’s lost touch, and lost her touch.
And this Rick Barnes guy – what’s the deal with his offense? Does he have an offense? Does he know anything about offense? He probably needs to get rid of somebody and get somebody in here who can coach offense. He’s been here a long time? Gone to the Final Four? Multiple Sweet 16 berths? Loyal employee? Best UT basketball coach in history? That’s so yesterday. He’s got to make some changes.
And in the midst of the wave of burnt orange negativity, at the end of a rather dismal year (by Texas’ standards) athletically, there is this: former UT and current Indianapolis Colt defensive end Cory Redding and his wife, Priscilla, have announced plans for an endowed scholarship at UT, an act that will benefit – in perpetuity (that means a long time) – the College of Education at UT. It’s called the Cory and Priscilla Redding Family Scholarship.
Perhaps you heard. More than likely, you didn’t, and it’s not your fault. With all the noise about UT’s lack of championships, and possible football realignment and people being angry and eagerly expressing that anger about this and that, good news is not nearly sexy enough for airplay or print. Maybe they mentioned something about the Redding scholarship on the Longhorn Network, but of course, I live in Austin so I didn’t see it…see, there I go, being negative again.
The truth is, whether or not a coach knows whether or not his balls are stuffed or aired up probably doesn’t matter nearly as much as whether or not we adults – the same ones complaining about a sacrifice bunt – leave the world in a better place than we found it for our children. Certainly the Reddings are doing just that. Redding self-described himself recently on the Colts web site as a “surprise baby” with three older siblings. His father left when he was two years of age, and his mother, Mary, raised the four with infinitely more love than money. She worked for a computer company and a bank. Often she would show up at her kids’ games in the middle of the contest after finishing a shift. She stretched food like nobody’s business. She did the best she could, and probably could’ve benefitted from a little more help.
“It was a big deal, working two jobs and trying to make ends meet and giving us the best she could give,” Redding said in the web site article. “It was a sacrifice for life.”
Redding “retired” his mom when he was able to land in the NFL, and now after putting together a stellar career, he and his wife have decided to also share his financial blessings with others. The Reddings will provide the initial funds for the scholarship, and the Cory Redding Foundation – which supports quality education and social programs – will also support fundraising plans in the future.
The scholarship will help undergraduate students with a “demonstrated financial need,” something about which Redding is very familiar. Priscilla, a UT graduate from the College of Education, is also well-familiar with the college’s academic virtues.
Exclusive of educational philanthropy, maybe the UT athletics department needs to make some changes. Maybe heads should roll. The Longhorns need someone to play big-time quarterback, someone to score 20 points and grab 10 rebounds a game (and then come back the next year, and maybe the next, and do the same thing) and someone of either gender to hit the ball out of the ballpark. Maybe someone’s head needs to roll in order to make all of that happen.
Or maybe we need to remember that while winning and losing matters – a lot – so does a giving spirit and a strong commitment to young people, traits most would quickly associate with the coaches whose seats are the hottest at UT. And maybe the next time we’re calling for somebody’s head on a platter, we’ll also remember Cory and Priscilla Redding, who have shown a giving spirit and a strong commitment to young people in the most tangible way possible.
“Perpetuity,” after all, is a very long time. Certainly longer than a coach’s career at UT.