Republicans on the University’s Board of Regents voted Thursday to ban games on the football field, and the state of Texas to host the 2019 football game.
Texas Senate Bill 1110 passed the Senate Wednesday, and it is now headed to the Republican-controlled House, where it could face an uphill battle in getting through the House and President Joe Amon.
The House, which controls both chambers, will need to approve the legislation before the measure can be sent to the governor for signature.
The vote came after the NCAA sent a letter to Texas on Thursday to say it would suspend all games until the issue is resolved.
A formal ruling on whether to ban the games won’t come until 2018, and even then it could be years before Texas will be forced to take them back.
The NCAA also sent a cease-and-desist letter to the University earlier this month.
The letter, which was released on Thursday, accused the university of violating its own bylaws and other laws that govern its activities.
Texas and the NCAA have had a long and strained relationship, as the NCAA has accused the school of trying to control the outcome of its football games, while the school has accused it of being an institution of higher learning that should be protected from political interference.
Last week, a judge in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas ruled that Texas can’t block the NCAA’s efforts to take down the state’s team from the Rose Bowl, saying the NCAA can’t take away a state’s right to choose its team.
Republican Senator John Whitmire, who led the vote to block the games, said the vote came down to the money.
“If you have the money to play football, you have to play it,” Whitmire said.
“It’s not about the game, it’s about the money.”
Texas football coach Charlie Strong called the vote a mistake and said he is disappointed the NCAA won’t allow Texas to play games at home.
“I think it’s an absolute mistake.
It’s not a game.
It has nothing to do with football,” Strong said.”
We want to have a team here, we want to be here.
I just think it will have negative effects on our academic programs, our athletics programs, and our programs at the high school level.”
Democrats have vowed to oppose any attempts by the university to ban football.
Texas President Greg Fenves has also vowed to fight any attempt to force Texas to take the games back.
“We will continue to do everything we can to protect the University and the University students from being harmed,” Fenves said in a statement on Wednesday.
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