Late Tuesday afternoon, Brent Zwerneman of the Houston Chronicle reported that Texas A&M Athletic Director, Eric Hyman, had announced his resignation.
Hyman, who had previously been the athletic director at South Carolina and TCU, came to A&M prior to the 2012-2013 academic year to guide the school as it entered into the Southeastern Conference. During his time in College Station, he played a key role overseeing Texas A&M’s $485 million renovation of Kyle Field, helped increase the overall GPA and APR of the student-athletes and served on the NCAA Division 1 baseball committee.
This news came at a somewhat surprising time. While most of the school’s athletic department has been enjoying a successful start to 2015-2016, it’s no secret that the football program has run into quite a bit of turmoil since its 19-7 loss to LSU in late November. Since then, they’ve seen former five star quarterbacks Kyle Allen and Kyler Murray each transfer out of the program, a 27-21 loss to Louisville in the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl and then the firing of Offensive Coordinator Jake Spavital. Much has been made about the current ongoings in the Bright Complex, and rightfully so. Add in this interesting tidbit:
Two college coaches who, sources say, are trying hard to get to the NFL: UCLA's Jim Mora and Texas A&M's Kevin Sumlin…
— Michael Silver (@MikeSilver) January 3, 2016
and you can see why things are looking pretty grim in the Brazos Valley. To be fair, Billy Liucci of TexAgs had this to say about Sumlin-to-the-NFL:
Sumlin-to-NFL rumors described to me as 'completely false.' Teams have reportedly reached out, Aggie head coach has declined to talk
— Billy Liucci (@billyliucci) January 3, 2016
So what does Hyman’s departure say about the future of Aggie Football? I can tell you that many fans were unhappy with how quiet Hyman was in his time at A&M. Many questioned whether he was actually making decisions. (If you don’t believe me, go check out the message boards on TexAgs.) (Actually, don’t do that. It’s, uh, not pretty over there right now. The ‘Aggie Football’ board is nicknamed ‘The Zoo’ for a reason.) Of course, none of us really know whether or not that was true. However, the most interesting thing that has happened with regards to Hyman and the football program was that Hyman gave Sumlin his vote of confidence just two days ago. Does this spell even more doom for the Aggies? From an outsider’s perspective, it would certainly seem like it. But, if we ask Liucci again, this could actually end up being a positive for Sumlin and the Ags because Sumlin and Hyman didn’t have much of a relationship. Increased accountability and a better relationship with the new AD would go a long way to begin clearing up such a cloudy situation.
In terms of who Hyman’s replacement will be, that is still unknown, but in the university’s press release, A&M stated that “President (Michael) Young will be directly involved in the hiring of a new athletic director.”