The week before the annual Cotton Bowl grudge match between the University of Texas and the University of Oklahoma, a lesser-known Southern university asserted its independence in the media.
The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD), which is really in Richardson, TX, is suffering from an identity crisis. Within a 40-mile radius of its campus, you've got the University of Dallas (in Irving, TX), the University of North Texas (that's UNT in Denton, TX), the University of Texas Southwest Medical Center at Dallas (which really is located within the Dallas city limits), and the planned UNT branch in South Dallas. And then there's that similarly named Austin institution whose football team remained undefeated at press time. It's enough to make a sportswriter's head spin.
When journalists got the name wrong three times in less than two weeks, UTD decided that it was finally time to take action. The school issued a "news release" of sorts, humorously chiding the press and touting the school's world-champion chess team and cutting-edge research programs.
"We could have called people up and said, 'We've been around here for 33 years - why can't you get the name right?'" said news and information executive director for UTD Jon Senderling. "We wanted to make the point in a gentle, funny kind of way that might have a longer-lasting effect."
As for football, Senderling proudly notes that nobody's ever beaten UTD.
Of course, that might change if the school ever fields a team.