Texas football could return to playing on a grass field at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium if some of the biggest names on the Forty Acres get their way.
Longhorns coach Tom Herman and Texas athletic director Chris Del Conte recently voiced their support for changing the stadium field from artificial turf back to grass, per the Austin American-Statesman’s Brian Davis.
Texas has played on artificial turf since 2009.
Only three Big 12 schools — TCU, Oklahoma and Iowa State — have a grass field at their stadium. The rest have joined the Longhorns in the growing era of artificial turf.
But at least for now, it seems that Texas may be trending back in the direction toward a more traditional feel on game days.
Herman and Del Conte give their pitch for a grass field
“I would love grass. I love grass. I believe that football was meant to be played on grass. In our part of the country, there isn’t a lot of teams with grass.” — Tom Herman
“I just like the idea of grass. I like the smell of grass when you come out playing, but it’s also really a coach’s preference. I just like a grass field.” — Chris Del Conte
As previously mentioned, Texas has an ever-changing history when it comes to the look of the playing surface on the Forty Acres. The original move from natural grass to artificial turf came in 1969, but safety concerns prompted a switch back to grass in 1996. Thirteen years later, the DKR’s field was revamped to the way it appears today.
So what’s the best option? Well, Texas won at least 8 games, including a span of eight straight 10-win campaigns, in all but one year during the Longhorns’ most-recent run with grass. The Longhorns also brought home a national title during that stretch. Since the re-installment of artificial turf, Texas has recorded double-digit wins once.
Maybe a return to natural grass wouldn’t be such a bad thing.
Herman is entering his second season as Texas’ coach after going 7-6 in his debut last fall. The Longhorns kick off the season against Maryland on Sept. 1 at FedEx Field in Landover, Md.