FILE - In this file photo from March 6, 2017, Texas Sen. Lois Kolkhorst, front, backed by Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, center, and other legislators talk to the media during a news conference to discuss Senate Bill 6 at the Texas Capitol in Austin, Texas. Just months after a high-profile study revealed that Texas has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the developed world, state lawmakers failed to respond by passing comprehensive legislation to combat the crisis during the legislative session. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)
print

TCU and the University of Texas at Austin will face off on the football field at Amon G. Carter Stadium on Saturday. Earlier this summer, they traded barbs on the floor of the Texas legislature.

The bombshell announcement that UT and the University of Oklahoma planned to leave the Big 12 Conference in July left Baylor, TCU and Texas Tech in jeopardy of no longer being in a Power 5 conference.

Texas Senator Lois Kolkhorst, a proud Horned Frog alumna, did not hesitate to defend her alma mater.

Her iconic diss went viral during the hearing, but Kolkhorst said that was not her original intention.

“My goal of the hearing was not to thwart Texas from leaving the Big 12, but rather to highlight that Baylor, TCU and Texas Tech deserved to be in a Power 5 conference,” Kolkhorst said.

“Often I am asked if that was planned, and it absolutely was not. I was just so astonished by the size of UT’s budget and that it was the largest in the nation,” Kolkhorst said. “It just stunned me that they had that much money compared to TCU, Texas Tech and Baylor.”

During the hearing, UT President Jay Hartzell revealed that the school’s budget was well over $200 million, possibly in the $225 million range.

This is where Kolkhorst took her opportunity for what she now reveals as friendly fire. “And that’s without a winning football team of late,” she said.

She put the nail in the coffin when she grilled the Longhorns about their record against TCU.

“[UT is] 3-7 against the Horned Frogs, so maybe your fan base would rather lose to Alabama than TCU,” Kolkhorst said.

She gave Texas more credit than they deserved, as the Longhorns are 2-7 against the Frogs since TCU joined the Big 12. Kolkhorst said that she got that errant stat from a friend.

“As my children will tell you, I wasn’t meaning to be funny, that was just me stating facts,” Kolkhorst said.

It is safe to say that purple runs through the Kolkhorst family’s veins. The senator was a member of the women’s golf team at TCU, and her husband, Jim Kolkhorst, played on the football team. The succeeding generation of Horned Frogs are her daughter, Lois Kate Kolkhorst, who was a cheerleader and graduated from TCU last year, and Jake Kolkhorst, who is currently a first-year on the baseball team.

Her family ties only strengthen Kolkhorst’s devotion to sticking up for the Frogs.

“Prior to my fan base comment, President Hartzel had said numerous times during his testimony that his ‘fan base’ wanted to go to the SEC,” Kolkhorst said.

While Kolkhorst’s exchange with Hartzel excited not only Horned Frog fans but also football fans from all over, she said she was looking out for the future of college athletics in Texas.

“The state of Texas has, arguably, the most outstanding high school athletes, both in quantity and quality,” Kolkhorst said. “Texas student-athletes deserve to have more than two schools in a Power 5 conference.”

If the Big 12 were to fall apart, Kolkhorst worries that it would leave Texas high school athletes with only UT and Texas A&M as options for competing in a Power 5 conference in their home state.

As for this weekend’s showdown, Kolkhorst said, “I am a little nervous, but know that the Frogs will battle. It’s always a good game!”

The state senator is a season ticket holder for TCU football, so expect to see her on Saturday yelling loud and proud for the purple and white.

+ posts