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What History Did A&M Find Under G. Rollie?


G. Rollie White Coliseum at Texas A&M began coming down in August, and pretty soon after, some of the structure went up for sale. But there's been a secret that was hidden under the court and hidden from the public until now, and it's led to another chance to own some history.

Sports were just some of the events that shaped Aggie experiences at G. Rollie White. When the Holler House came down, memories of graduations, rodeos and concerts came flooding back.

Bricks were probably the most noteworthy part of G. Rollie that were made available to own, but there was a 20-year-old court, too.

"We gathered a lot of interest," said Clint Netherland, A&M's Zone Facility Manager, "and through the process of kind of digging around, pulling out these pieces, we discovered this."

"This" being a second floor, believed to be the original floor from the 1950s, complete with old logos like the Southwest Conference's.

"Everybody was just in shock, couldn't believe that these pieces right here were underneath," Netherland said. "Everything we had been told (was that) the old court had been ripped out and the new court was put in."

Marks are all over from where the last court was nailed in on top. The assumption was that the first court had been lifted out because it had been on many occasions before. G. Rollie had hosted rodeos, after all.

"I think there were a couple of other flavorful words used when we saw this," Netherland said, "like 'holy cow, what in the world are we looking at? What do we have here?'"

What they didn't have was a lot of time to salvage the treasure.

"We basically had just a couple of hours just to get it out before asbestos abatement started for G. Rollie White," Netherland explained, "and that was going to be a three-week process."

For Assistant Athletic Director for Events Steve Miller, the find was an eye-opener, too.

"It's like Indiana Jones going underneath the bowels of G. Rollie White when you don't know what's there and discover something you had no idea was there," he said.

Miller and Netherland both showed how the old court had clearly reached its limit, sanded down as far as it could go. They knew the final court was laid in 1992.

"From the floor contractor that we talked to, when he looked at it and inspected it, he said there is literally nothing left of wood surface here to play a basketball game on," Netherland said.

Now, decades of history covered for two decades is set to be made available to the Aggie faithful again. Through the Aggie Athletics website, an auction will run from Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. until December 5 where the Aggie faithful can purchase logo sections and the center court circle.

"It's going to help bridge that gap, that, 'yeah, I played basketball, I walked across here, I had class on top of here, I got my diploma on this, and now, even though it's not there, I still have that piece that I can cherish, that I can pass on,'" Netherland said.

History that, unbeknownst to everyone, was under everyone's feet the whole time.

As noted by the Aggie Athletics, not all of the floor is going to be auctioned off. Some select pieces will be kept for display in the new letterman's facility, which is part of the Kyle Field redevelopment.


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