COLLEGE FOOTBALL

State lawmaker files bill to require annual football game between UT and Texas A&M

The Longhorns and the Aggies haven't played since 2011

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A Texas House member wants to bring back an annual football game between the state's two flagship universities: the University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M University.

On Tuesday, state Rep. Lyle Larson, a San Antonio Republican who earned a bachelor's degree from A&M, filed House Bill 412, which would require the two teams to "play a nonconference, regular-season football game against one another on the fourth Thursday, Friday, or Saturday of November each year."

UT-Austin and A&M have played each other more than 100 times. But the annual game ceased when A&M moved to the Southeastern Conference. The last game was in 2011.

"We owe it to Texans to do all we are able to bring back this storied rivalry," Larson said in a released statement. "It's time for the folks in Austin and College Station to get in a room and make a deal to restore the rivalry."

As filed, Larson's HB 412 would also dock a university from awarding athletic scholarships or "similar financial assistance funded by state funds" should it choose to not participate in the football game.

Larson isn't the first state lawmaker to push for the two teams to resume the rivalry.

In 2013, another A&M graduate — state Rep. Ryan Guillen, a Rio Grande City Democrat — filed similar legislation. The bill was referred to a House committee, though it never received a hearing.

Disclosure: The University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M University have been financial supporters of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune's journalism. Find a complete list of them here.

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This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at https://www.texastribune.org/2018/11/27/state-lawmaker-files-bill-require-annual-game-between-ut-and-m/.

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