UTSA football ‘Come and Take It’ tradition is dead, university president ends rallying cry

Phrase has ‘become a distraction from our mission,’ UTSA president says

The fourth quarter of the University of Texas at San Antonio football games will look a little different this year with the “come and take it” tradition going the way of the dodo bird.

UTSA President Taylor Eighmy announced Tuesday that the six-year-old tradition of running an enormous flag emblazoned with “Come and Take It” and the rallying cry, with the same words, echoed from the student section would no longer be part of UTSA tradition. Along with the unfurling of the flag, a cannon would be fired off during the fourth quarter of UTSA football games.

Eighmy said the rallying cry “has become a distraction from our mission and is likely to continue shifting our focus away from our work yet to be accomplished.”

The phrase, which was made famous in the historic Texas Revolutionary Battle of 1835 in Gonzales, Texas, will also be removed from UTSA digital platforms, licensed merchandise and UTSA buildings.

“Over the last decade, the phrase has become increasingly affiliated with cultural and political issues beyond its traditional historical context,” said Eighmy. “A simple online search of webpages, articles and images involving this phrase reveals the myriad of ways numerous organizations have adopted it for their particular cause. Many of these organizations have values and agendas that differ significantly from ours and our clear focus on excellence in intercollegiate athletics and higher education.”

In a letter Eighmy sent to UTSA faculty, staff, students and alumni, he said he recognized removing the tradition would be unpopular with loyal fans but despite good intentions when the tradition was adopted - he believes the message is incongruent with UTSA values.

“For our athletics program and our university—each with so much promise and upward momentum—there is no benefit to becoming embroiled in a divisive issue that could carry well into the future and negatively affect our progress,” Eighmy said.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the last time the Come and Take It tradition was seen at a UTSA home game was on Nov. 23, 2019.

For upcoming football games, Eighmy said this season’s home games will have special celebrations for individuals and groups that have made the football program a success.

Lisa Campos, vice president for intercollegiate athletics, has been charged with spearheading a new fourth-quarter rallying tradition that will debut in the fall 2022 season.

Related: UTSA president addresses concerns over ‘Come and Take It’ signage at new RACE facility

About the Author:

Mary Claire Patton has been a journalist with KSAT 12 since 2015. She has reported on several high-profile stories during her career at KSAT and specializes in trending news and things to do around Texas and San Antonio.