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Point, counterpoint: The “Earn the Double T” movement

Two writers are for it, two are against it. Who’s right?

Kliff Kingsbury’s decision to ban the Double T logo from Tech facilities has generated mix reactions among students, alumni and fans - including some of our staff.

So to settle the issue, we have four writers going head-to-head on why the move is a good one or a bad one. Take some time to read both arguments, and leave your opinion on who won in the comments section.

Round 1

Point: Why banning the Double T logo is a BAD move:

Austin Jordan: The banning of Double T gear in the football facilities seems like a last-ditch effort to inspire a team and coaching staff heading into a make-or-break offseason. It’s a gimmick that many coaches around the country have used to varying degrees of success and ultimately won’t change how the team prepares. First, the Double T isn’t an iconic logo in the college sports universe. Most of the team came from somewhere east of Fort Worth and there’s no way this logo was the predominant one in their lives for any period of time. It is unlikely that many of the players had any personal ties to Texas Tech before their recruitment. Banning something with a questionable level of sentimental value won’t have the effects that proponents think it will. This isn’t Coach K banning Duke gear, and fans need to accept that.

Secondly, any positive returns or temporary increases in effort and focus are likely to fade before the first game six months from now. The coaching staff must also be very careful about the bar this move sets. Whatever performance they deem worthy of “earning” the Double T back is the level of performance they’ll see moving forward. Set the bar too low and you’ll get a team that remembers in October what was good enough in March. This decision was made with the right ideas in mind, but when you factor in the hot seat Kingsbury finds himself on, it feels corny and forced.

Counterpoint: Why banning the Double T logo is a GOOD move:

Zach Mason: I don't think it will work in any capacity, but I'm not against it. I know it sounds gimmicky, and full disclosure, I think it's pretty lame - but 18-year-old kids are prone to fall for gimmicks, and it can’t hurt to try one on them. This is a coach whose contract has prevented him from being fired, and now that the penalty for his dismissal has fallen to $6.7 million, a repeat performance of last season may be enough to send him back to his coordinating days at a mediocre school. If I'm Kingsbury, I'm doing whatever it takes to switch up the energy in this program.

These kids clearly need something extra to boost their motivation levels, because, for whatever reason, getting kicked around the Big 12 isn't enough to deliver a chip on anyone's shoulder. Sure, only a select few kids actually care about the Double T logo itself. It's not the Block M at Michigan or the script A at Alabama. But wearing the Texas Tech emblem is unequivocally better than showing up to practice in a Walmart t-shirt and some generic sweatpants. Maybe that's enough to stir up some ambition in these kids. I doubt it, but I can't fault Kingsbury for trying.

Round 2

Point: Why banning the Double T logo is a GOOD move:

Maitland Rutledge: I believe the idea of Texas Tech players not being allowed to wear the iconic “Double T” in the football facility is a good move by coach Kliff Kingsbury. With the team finishing 5-7 last season, every player on the team has something to prove. Whether a player is a projected starter, a backup, or an incoming freshman, they all have to earn or re-earn the right to wear their school’s logo.

The players who work the hardest to earn the “Double T” will show the coaches they take pride in being a member of this program and are willing to work for something that’s valuable to them. If a young man is not willing to put in hard work to earn something that means so much to him, it will show. This method is a good way for coach Kingsbury to see who truly loves being a Red Raider. Overall I believe coach Kingsbury is doing this to motivate each player to give his best effort every practice, every meeting, every weight room session, and most importantly every Saturday.

Counterpoint: Why banning the Double T logo is a BAD move:

Ryan Smith: I think the move to ban players from wearing the "Double T" has some merit, but ultimately shows a move of desperation from the coaching staff. These players have all been recruited by Kingsbury and his staff, have all chosen Texas Tech over other schools, and have arrived on campus to learn that they will not be able to wear any "Double T" logoed gear in football facilities on campus. Now, in fairness, I think this would have been a great move in 2013 when Kingsbury arrived. Majority of those players would not have been his and granted, shaken up some complacent players. But it I'm a player who arrives on campus and I'm immediately told, I haven't earned it yet... I'd have to say "My scholarship says different". One aspect I am in favor of is the no logos on helmets during practice. I think that sends an effective message for playing time during a game. But to be in the weight room and not be allowed to wear the Texas Tech logo, is kind of insulting. With rampant transfers in recent years, you have to wonder if this message will be taken as intended or just run more players off?

This type of move from a head coach and staff, at this point in his tenure, and the limited success this program has shown over the last few years, it screams of "this is make or break" desperation. From listening to former players reactions, the majority of their takes are luke warm at best. If Kingsbury didn't get hungry players during the recruitment process, or couldn't evaluate their drive for Texas Tech, that's on him. It's not like we are coming off a National Championship year and he wants to fight complacency, he's using what may be his last cattle prod to have success this year and I'm not sure if it's going to pan out. Personally, if I'm a player... I show up to the weight room with "Masked Rider" logoed gear and get to work. "This is my university and you can't take it away, withhold it from me or make me earn it any more than I already have."