Texas Tech University athletic director Kirby Hocutt wants to see gas prices rise as high as possible because it is ultimately a great thing for the Red Raiders. More money to big oil means more money to the athletic department in Lubbock, Texas.
However, that is more true now than ever.
College athletic departments are stuck in limbo. While money for things like facility renovations remain important, Name, Image and Likeness has shifted the flow of finances.
Success and NIL funds have a direct correlation. In turn, schools without deep pockets are having to choose where to focus their donations. That is not as big of an issue for schools with greater wealth.
Oil money might be the greatest wealth of all.
Texas Tech has a lot of oil money.
During a recent conversation with Justin Williams of The Athletic, Red Raiders head football coach Joey McGuire said that part of his decision to take the job was because of black gold. He knew what it could do for his program in the long term, but didn’t fully understand how deep it runs.
I always tell people, oil money is real. I knew the backing was here (when I took the job). But quite honestly, I didn’t dream of what it would be.— Joey McGuire, via The Athletic
Texas Tech is the only major college and/or university located on the western half of the Lone Star State. As such, it can tap into the Permian Basin, located about 140 miles south.
The Permian Basin is the largest oil-producing field in the United States of America and has been thriving in recent years because of fracking. There is a lot of money down that way.
Cody Campbell, a former offensive lineman for the Red Raiders, is among those who profit from oil. He and former teammate John Sellers co-founded Double Eagle Energy Holdings.
Campbell and Sellers’ company, essentially, builds drilling operations on rented land and then sells those build to other energy companies. Developments have sold for as much as $3-6 billion and frequently sell for millions of dollars.
A good chunk of Campbell’s earnings have gone back to his alma mater in recent years and his $25 million donation played a big role in the ongoing football stadium renovation. So much so that it will now be called Cody Campbell Field at Jones AT&T Stadium.
He also pumps a lot of money into NIL.
The Red Raiders are paying athletes through oil.
Campbell and Sellers spearheaded Texas Tech’s top Name, Image and Likeness arm, the Matador Club. It has an annual budget of $8 million for all athletes in all sports, but guarantees at least $25,000 per year to all 120 football players.
Oil money is (in)directly paying the athletes in Lubbock. As a result, the school’s athletic director hopes to see his donors make as much money as possible.
The resources we enjoy from the Permian Basin and the people who work there is incredible. I’m one of the few ADs in the country who is OK with fuel being $5 a gallon.— Kirby Hocutt, via The Athletic
As the College Football Playoff expands and conference realignment continues to change the landscape of collegiate athletics, the Red Raiders see an opportunity to lean on/into its deep pockets and enter the national championship conversation on a consistent basis. The money is there. Why not use it?