12th Man Copyright Lawsuit against Texas A&M

by Travis Normand
January 23, 2017

I first saw this reported by the SETexasRecord.com, but I have since seen it reported by several other media outlets as well.

A book publisher and author, Michael Bynum, (Plaintiffs) have sued the Texas A&M Athletic Department, the 12th Man Foundation, and others, (Defendants) in federal court for what appears to be a claim of copyright infringement. The lawsuit was filed on January 19, 2017.

The Plaintiffs claim that Defendants stole the author’s unpublished biography of E. King Gill, and “copied and distributed it as if it was their own” (see lawsuit paragraph 1). For those who may not be aware, E. King Gill was the student behind Texas A&M’s famous 12th Man tradition.

Texas A&M has been involved in several lawsuits over the years in order to protect their federal 12th Man trademark. The most prominent of these lawsuits involved the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks and Indianapolis Colts.

In this current lawsuit, Plaintiffs allege that Defendants had received a PDF copy of Bynum’s unpublished book for the limited purpose of fact-checking, locating additional photos, and an option to purchase copies for former students. The lawsuit goes on to allege that one particular Defendant retyped the biography, changed its title, and deleted Bynum’s name before republishing the material (see lawsuit paragraph 4, etc.).

Plaintiffs claim that by “unlawfully copying and publishing the heart of Bynums work . . . Defendants destroyed Plaintiffs’ prospects for a successful print run, and the . . . book remains unpublished to this day” (see lawsuit paragraph 5).

The lawsuit was filed in the Southern District of Texas, Federal Court, Houston Texas as Case No. 4:17-CV-0181.  Plaintiffs’ original complaint can been seen below.

 

2016 Texas A&M vs. Alabama: The history and connections between the schools

by Travis Normand
October 19, 2016

[If this post reads like a Facebook fan posting, that is because it is.  I originally posted this on Facebook as a fun informational type of fan post.  However, due to the response I got, I figured I would share it here as well.  I have modified it slightly from the original Facebook post.]

In honor of this weekend’s game between No. 6 Texas A&M and No. 1 Alabama, I am posting some random facts that connect the two schools together. Plus, I made a similar post before the A&M vs. Tennessee game, and we saw how that ended up.

One of the most obvious connections between Texas A&M and Alabama is that of famed Alabama coach Paul “Bear” Bryant who was the head football coach at Texas A&M from 1954 to 1957.  Bryant attended Alabama where he played football from 1933 to 1935.

Bryant’s 1954 season was his first at A&M. He started the ’54 season with a training camp in Junction, Texas. The camp was extremely tough and the players from that camp were given the nickname of the “Junction Boys.” Bryant’s first A&M squad finished 1-9 in 1954, while his 1956 squad won the Southwest Conference (SWC) Championship.

In 1957, Texas A&M running back John David Crow won the Heisman Trophy and became the first and only player to win the award while playing for coach Bryant. John David Crow would end up coaching at Alabama from 1969 to 1971 under Bear Bryant before returning to A&M as an athletic director.

At the end of the 1957 season, Bryant left A&M to become the head coach at Alabama. Bryant’s final game at A&M was a loss in the 1957 Gator Bowl to Tennessee.

A&M and Alabama first met on the gridiron at the end of the 1941 season. The Aggies were SWC champions but lost to Alabama, 29-21 in the Cotton Bowl.

The Aggies and Crimson Tide would not play again until the January 1968 Cotton Bowl (at the end of the 1967 season). The Aggies were SWC champions again and were able to even the series with Alabama at 1-1.

The 1968 Cotton Bowl featured a significant connection between the schools, other than the Aggie victory.  Bear Bryant was the head coach of Alabama, while Gene Stallings was the head coach of A&M. Stallings had been a player at A&M under coach Bryant and was one of the “Junction Boys.” After playing football at A&M, Stallings had been a defensive assistant under Bryant at Alabama from 1958-1964. However, in 1965 Stallings returned to A&M as head coach of the Aggies, where he eventually defeated his mentor in the 1968 Cotton Bowl.

Gene Stallings and Bear Bryant, 1968 Cotton Bowl

Gene Stallings and Bear Bryant, 1968 Cotton Bowl

At the conclusion of the game, Stallings’ Aggies had defeated Bryant’s Crimson Tide 20-16. The coaches met at mid-field, and in what can be described as a truly proud moment, Bryant hoisted Stallings onto his shoulder and carried him off the field.

Stallings later returned to Alabama as head coach in 1990 and won the first SEC championship game (and thus an SEC championship), as well as a National Championship, in 1992.  In doing so, Stallings became the second member of Texas A&M’s Association of Former Students to win a conference and national title at a school that is currently a member of the Southeastern Conference (SEC) (Robert Neyland was the first at Tennessee).

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2016 Texas A&M vs. Tennessee; The history and connections between the schools

by Travis Normand
October 7, 2016

[If this post reads like a Facebook fan posting, that is because it is.  I originally posted this on Facebook as a fun informational type of fan post.  However, due to the response I got, I figured I would share it here as well.  I have modified it slightly from the original Facebook post.]

In honor of this weekend’s game between #8 Texas A&M and #9 Tennessee, I am posting some random facts that connect the two schools together (regardless of how much of a stretch some of these facts may be).

I should start by mentioning that General Robert Reese Neyland Jr. (famed Tennessee coach and stadium namesake) is an Aggie and is listed as a member of the Association of Former Students.

Neyland played football at Texas A&M for head coach Charlie Moran (who played on the 1897 Tennessee football team). According to the 1911 Longhorn (Texas A&M yearbook) Neyland was a member of the 1910-1911 Texas Aggie football squad and was listed among the freshman class.

On what appears to be page 222 (the page is not actually numbered) of the yearbook, in the last paragraph, it gives credit to the substitutes “for the important part they played in producing the champions of Texas.”  Among the substitutes mentioned is “Neyland.”  The 1910 Texas A&M football team was known (at the time) as the Champions of Texas due to the fact that they went 8-1, defeating every Texas team they played (with their only loss being to Arkansas).

Neyland left A&M after receiving an appointment to West Point in 1912.  He was appointed by Congressman Sam Rayburn, and graduated from West Point in 1916. Neyland won a national title while playing on the 1914 Army football team.

Later, while working as an assistant football coach at West Point in the early 1920’s, Neyland got help from his former A&M football coach Charlie Moran. Moran (a former Tennessee football player) helped Gen. Neyland land his next coaching job which happened to be at Tennessee.

In 1939, Neyland was the head coach of the Vols and Tennessee went undefeated and un-scored upon in the regular season. In fact, Tennessee outscored their opposition 212-0. I believe that Tennessee is the last major college football program to shut out every regular season opponent.

1939 was also the year that Texas A&M won the AP National Title. A&M won their title despite Tennessee’s accomplishment of shutting out every opponent that very same season.

However, it may be the Tennessee Volunteers who got the last laugh in 1939. The Vols finished the regular season (pre-Bowl game) ranked #2 (behind #1 A&M). While #1 A&M defeated #5 Tulane in the Sugar Bowl, the #2 Vols played and lost to #3 USC in the Rose Bowl. This loss to USC prompted the Dickinson Ranking System to award their 1939 national title to USC instead of A&M, and thus technically A&M “shares” the 1939 title with USC (thanks to Tennessee).

Like Tennessee’s 1939 team, Texas A&M was also undefeated and un-scored upon in 1917 and 1919. The Aggie head coach during those seasons was Dana X. Bible (a Tennessee native). Bible was also the coach at A&M in 1921-1922 when the Aggies defeated Centre College. Centre’s head coach at that time was none other than Charlie Moran.

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John David Crow, Texas A&M Heisman winner, dies at 79

by Travis Normand

I had the pleasure of meeting John David Crow several times. He was a great man and will be sorely missed.

John David Crow, Texas A&M’s first Heisman winner, dies at 79

COLLEGE STATION – Texas A&M’s first Heisman Trophy winner, John David Crow, has died at the age of 79, his family has confirmed. The cause of his death on Wednesday night has not been released.

Crow had lived in College Station after he retired from A&M’s athletics administration in 2001. According to A&M, “John David Crow passed away peacefully surrounded by his wife, Carolyn, and family. Services are pending and the family requests privacy at this time.”

For more: Chron.com

Barney Welch, 1922-2014

Barney Welch, Photo Credit: TheEagle.com

Barney Welch, Photo Credit: TheEagle.com

by Travis Normand

Barney Welch, a great man and one of my first college football, and Texas A&M, interviewees passed away on November 24, 2014.  He will be missed.

Click HERE to read what I wrote after meeting with, and interviewing, Mr. Welch back in October 2004.

The following is Mr. Welch’s obituary as it appeared in the Bryan-College Station, Texas Eagle Newspaper.

Barney Welch
September 3, 1922 – November 24, 2014

I can run and not grow weary, I can leap and not grow faint. It’s heaven!

Barney was born in Hico, Texas and grew up in Stephenville. He graduated from Texas A&M where he earned his Bachelors and Masters degrees. He was a World War II veteran, having fought in the European theater.

He was involved in athletics most of his life. Barney was the long time director of Intramurals at A&M. He was the only person in the Southwest Conference to be a football player, coach and official.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Jane Porter Welch and his son, Frank.

Barney is survived by his son, Russell Welch and wife Isabel of Denton. Also his daughter, Lynda Black and husband Jerry of College Station. He has one sister, Lyndol Braunig of San Antonio. There are 2 grandsons, 2 granddaughters along with 7 great grandchildren.

A graveside service is set for 2 p.m. Saturday, November 29, 2014 at the College Station Cemetery. There will be no visitation prior to burial.

Memorials may be made to Grace Bible Church or Traditions Hospice in College Station.

Express Condolences at CallawayJones.com

****

From the comments at CallawayJones.com

After Memorial Stadium was dedicated in Austin in 1926, the Aggies went 16 years without scoring a touchdown in that stadium. In 1942, Barney Welch returned a punt, untouched, in the fourth quarter to become the first Aggie to ever score a touchdown in Memorial Stadium. The Aggies had to wait until 1956 to defeat the Longhorns in Austin. Barney played a key role in the history of A&M football history and was dearly loved by all who knew him.

Jerry Cooper ’63
Editor – The Texas Aggie 1971-2002

 

TexAgs.com – The Fan Show

by Travis Normand

I made a brief appearance on “The Fan Show” at TexAgs.com on October 23, 2014.  The Aggies had just gotten blown out 59-0 by Alabama, so the mood of the show isn’t up-beat.  Either way, it was a great time and I appreciate the opportunity to be on the show.

With ‘Jorts’ no longer in the mix, newbies Travis Normand and Wes Whitney joined Hunter ‘Zone416’ Shurtleff, David Sandhop and Gabe Bock on Thursday TexAgs Radio for a new-look edition of The Fan Show

You can listen and/or watch the show here, at TexAgs.com.

Texas A&M: Slow and unexciting start to home schedule (2014)

by Travis Normand

Texas A&M’s home schedule this season is horrible, and it is a shame that A&M had to play Arkansas in Arlington, Texas (as opposed to Kyle Field).  As it stands, A&M has six home games, only three of which are SEC opponents.

Further, alumni, students, and fans have had to wait until now (Oct. 11) to finally get a SEC opponent at home.  While this weekend’s game against Ole Miss should be a good one, there are only two more conference games (at home) before the season is over.

2014 Texas A&M Football Schedule

  • Thurs., Aug. 28 at *South Carolina
  • Sat., Sept. 6 vs. Lamar, Kyle Field
  • Sat., Sept. 13 vs. Rice, Kyle Field
  • Sat., Sept. 20 at SMU
  • Sat., Sept. 27 vs. *Arkansas (Arlington, TX)
  • Sat., Oct. 4 at *Miss. St.
  • Sat., Oct. 11 vs. *Ole Miss, Kyle Field
  • Sat., Oct. 18 at *Alabama
  • Sat., Nov. 1 vs. Louisiana-Monroe, Kyle Field
  • Sat., Nov. 8 at *Auburn
  • Sat., Nov. 15 vs. *Missouri, Kyle Field
  • Thurs., Nov. 27 vs. *LSU, Kyle Field

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