Interview by Caroline Traylor
In being named the fourth athletics director in UTSA history, Hickey assumed the lead athletics role at one of the youngest NCAA Division I universities in the country (UTSA began athletics competition in 1981). She’s the only female Division I athletic director who oversees both men’s and women’s sports in Texas.
We had received the same type of direction last year. So this was just reinforcement of his philosophy in that the System would appreciate each of the teams representing their university and the System as a whole. So this was not something that was new. I personally think it’s an outstanding note and recommendation. So beginning last year, we had worked with all of our teams on how to line up and when to be on the court for our national anthem. In some of our sports, the students aren’t there when the national anthem plays. In some of our sports we try to keep them there, according to what kind of game situation it is. Like in the Dome, the football team isn’t even out there when the band is playing the national anthem.In basketball and I believe volleyball in the Convocation Center, we have an opportunity to keep the students on the court.You go to some gyms, in previous times, a lot of teams would go to the dressing room while the national anthem was being played, and they’d come back out for five more minutes of warm-up. So we changed our routine, especially for basketball, to make sure the kids are out there, and this was also something that was asked of us by the Conference about a year ago, to have the teams on the floor for the national anthem.
Yeah, this was just backing up what had been requested a year ago. But I think what has happened with the pro-football player brought (it) into the forefront again. It was just a second request on being mindful about how we present ourselves.
Yes, we would address it. We would have a conversation. Although I totally respect what our Chancellor has suggested, we also know we have the responsibility to recognize everyone’s freedom of expression. So there wouldn’t be any kind of penalties or repercussions, but it would be something that we’d need to have a discussion about to see how we were going to handle it. Typically, not very many students are going to respond in this manner, so we want to make sure that the other students are comfortable. So we would just have a discussion on what’s the most appropriate way to let them have their show of their expression of their freedom and try to come up with a comfortable way to handle it so that it handles everybody that’s involved comfortably.
Read the memo here: memo-to-ads-and-presidents_us-flag