The Pressure of Prestige

It’s baseball season y’all, and our Texas Longhorn Baseball team has quite the journey ahead of itself. Only a few games into the season and critics are already commentating on the disappointing season the horns are going to have, however, Texas has only lost games to strong baseball teams and have pulled off a number of impressive wins.

Why would critics be saying this about a perfectly respectable season thus far? Because Texas does not have your typical baseball program. Texas baseball has a number of honors to boast:

  • Being the winningest program in college baseball history (74% of games)
  • Ranking second in all-time wins in college baseball (3,246)
  • Having the most College World Series appearances in NCAA Division 1 Baseball (34)
  • Winning the most individual College World Series games (82)
  • Having 6 NCAA National Baseball Championships
  • Possessing college’s most-winningest baseball coach (Augie Garrido)

As head coach Augie Garrido said in an interview with the Longhorn Network, Longhorn baseball players feel tremendous pressure to uphold prestigious reputation of the program. The expectation is there from the beginning of their college careers to qualify for the College World Series and be a competitive force in the tournament. It’s a lot to live up to.

It seems like most Texas Longhorn athletes can attest to this pressure of prestige. Longhorn football fans expect a run for a BCS bowl every year. Texas Basketball fans believe their team should make a strong appearance in the March Madness tournament each spring. The pressure on these athletes to hold up the Longhorn Legacy is incredible.

But as Herb Brooks (coach of the 1980 Olympic gold-medalist hockey team) said, “Great moments are born from great opportunity.” Although these athletes are facing tremendous pressure, they are being offered equally tremendous opportunity. Few schools offer the resources and exposure that Texas provides for its athletes.

I think this idea of the pressure of prestige applies to Texas MPA. Students come in and face considerable pressure due to the fact that we are partly responsible for upholding the #1 ranking of the program. However, we are also presented with opportunities most MPA students could only dream of, provided by the top-notch faculty, advisors, career services, McCombs, and fellow students.

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