Khator stresses need to join Power 5


Renu Khator reiterated the importatnce of UH getting into a Power 5 conference for the University as a whole. | Justin Tijerina/The Cougar

President Renu Khator talked about the importance of UH getting into a Power 5 athletic conference at the annual Staff Focus informational meeting on Monday.

“Either our conference needs to get into the Power 5 and become a Power 6, or we need to be Power 5,” Khator said.

Power 5 conferences are considered the best and most competitive conferences in the NCAA. The Cougars are members of the American Athletic Conference which is not considered one of the Power 5 conferences.

“Our chairman of the Board of Regents, Tilman Fertitta, has made it a very high priority for him, almost a top priority I would say — getting into a Power 5 athletic conference,” Khator said.

Khator said admittance to a Power 5 conference would help the school on many levels, especially financially.

“We need to be competing at the highest level because right now we’re not getting the revenue we should be getting,” Khator said. “If you’re in a Power 5 conference, you will at least be getting $28 million minimum. What we get from our conference right now is $3 million.”

Getting into a new conference isn’t just about the money. It’s also about notoriety, Khator said.

“We want to be nationally relevant,” Khator said. “We used to be nationally relevant back in history.”

Khator also spoke about cost of recent projects for the athletics program, including TDECU Stadium and upcoming renovations to Hofheinz Pavilion and construction of a baseball clubhouse.

“We will have to spend money on athletics in order to keep coaches and facilities,” Khator said. “Nobody else will pay for it.”

She went on to say that while talk of a move into a Power 5 conference would be beneficial for UH, any timetable for that sort of move is beyond the control of the University.

“When is it going to happen? Who knows. Will it happen? Who knows,” Khator said. “We just want to be nationally recognized, playing at that level, creating the kind of excitement, creating the kind of engagement that allows us to be worthy of attention in any conference looking for expansion, so they just can’t ignore us because we are the best of the best.”

But despite the recent success of the men’s basketball and football programs, among others, Khator stressed how important maintaining that level of success is to the future of UH.

“At this point, (what matters is) that we make sure that we keep winning,” Khator said. “At the end of the day, if you’re not winning and you have everything else, who cares? You’ve got to win.”

Additional reporting by Greg Fails.

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  • The alumni couldn’t even fund the new stadium. Future students had to shoulder it. The stadium was delayed a year and is still not finished.

    • But it was done, and, with future alumni. So, are you saying UH should just sit like a wet noodle? Glad you’re not in charge.

    • It is true that our alumni base is not as big as, say, UT’s, but our enrollment now stands at 40K+ and we will soon have a bigger base. Also, in the last year, the non-alumni in the city have started supporting us. All this will help our fund raising. Besides, right now, I don’t think our facilities are standing in the way of a P5 membership.

      • That 40K includes commuter and part-time students who rarely become engaged/contributing alumni. So it’s the number of full-time students that really matters and we definitely lag behind UT, A&M and Tech in that regard.

    • Ridiculous post. We are in better shape on athletic performance, fan base, attendance and tradition than majority of existing P5 programs.

      So Mr. Barnhart finds a black cloud in the silver lining.

      Face it, we belong in P5 and should let nothing obscure our focus to achieve that destination.

      What are you, an Aggie transfer?

  • Agree 100%. UH must strive for excellence in Academics and Athletics and let the chips fall where they may…Its no different for UH alumni striving for excellence in their careers and personal lives……..So glad we the leadership in place with Renu Khator, Tillman Fertitta, etc to lead UH into the future…..Lets all jump on board and make this University great!!! UHEX, Class 1974!!

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