Understand that at the time, the SWC was the dirtiest conference in America. ALL of the schools (including us) cheated and paying players was how it was done pure and simple. There is nothing new under the sun.
Beginning in 1982, the oil bust created the Houston / Texas depression. Economic times in Texas (in general) and Houston (in particular) rivalled economic times in the US during the great depression.
What happened to us during the latter part of the SWC years was that our money guys were hurt badly by the oil bust. Others, who were loyal to Yeoman stopped supporting the program because they were mad at the way Yeoman was treated by the University when coach was fired. Our ability to compete in a free agent money game was gone.
When we had the financial backing, we competed with anyone in the country. When that evaporated, we were one of the worst programs across the board in the country. Then we doubled down on stupid by going through a 10 year period where we felt sorry for ourselves for not being included in the Big 12. By the way, UConn is doubling down on the same stupidity.
Today could we compete with Texas or A&M on the field or on the court? Absolutely. If we can beat Florida State, we can beat Texas or A&M. Will we get the chance? Absolutely not. Playing us doesn’t do anything for A&M or Texas until we spend a period of 5 to 10 years finishing ranked ahead of them.