Colt McCoy Was Among Texas Donors Pushing to Keep 'The Eyes of Texas' Song

Adam WellsApril 1, 2021

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 07:  Quarterback Colt McCoy #12 of the Texas Longhorns looks on before taking on the Alabama Crimson Tide in the Citi BCS National Championship game at the Rose Bowl on January 7, 2010 in Pasadena, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Colt McCoy, who played quarterback at the University of Texas from 2006 to 2009, was among a group of donors who organized last summer to pressure the school into keeping "The Eyes of Texas" as the official school song. 

Per Kate McGee of the Texas Tribune, McCoy was among those on an email chain between some donors and university leaders about the push to keep the song.  

Last June, defensive lineman Marqez Bimage released a statement on behalf of the Longhorns football team and entire student-athlete body with a list of requests that included replacing "The Eyes of Texas" with a new song. 

Marqez Bimage @MarqezBimage_

“What starts here changes the world” #WeAreOne pic.twitter.com/QPIuSQWqFt

Dr. Edmond Gordan, a professor at the University of Texas, told Ciara Rouege of KHOU 11 about the troubling history of the song. 

Gordan did note the lyrics of the song aren't explicitly racist, but it was "originally a satirical song once performed at minstrel shows, which are comedic variety shows featuring white performers in blackface."

McGee reported last month that between June and October "over 70 percent of the nearly 300 people" who emailed Texas president Jay Hartzell about the song demanded the school keep it, with "around 75" people threatening to stop making donations to the University of Texas. 

In addition to McCoy, McGee noted the list of people included on the email chain to Hartzell included "two athletes inducted last year into the UT Athletics Hall of Honor, multiple multimillion-dollar donors and the past chair of the University of Texas Development Board."

The school issued a 59-page report on March 9 in which a 24-person committee determined the song has "no racist intent."

"The Eyes of Texas" was written in 1903 and is performed to the tune of "I've Been Workin' On the Railroad."