Big 12 taps the brakes on Longhorn Network’s high school football coverage


Well, that didn’t take long.

A little more than 24 hours after an uproar over The Longhorn Network’s plans to cover high school football games — or, more specifically, the comments of an ESPN executive during an on-air radio interview in June — went national, all of the parties involved have decided to take a step back and regroup.

Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe told Dallas Morning News‘ beat writer Chuck Carlton that, in light of ESPN VP of Programming Dave Brown‘s comments as well as concerns on the part of some members of the conference — Texas A&M and Oklahoma are rumored to again be eyeing the SEC over the situation — a temporary compromise has been reached: for the time being, plans for TLN to televise upwards of 18 high school football games on Thursdays and Saturdays this year have been put on hold while the conference and the NCAA sorts out the situation.

Additionally, it was announced earlier this month that TLN would televise one conference football game this year in addition to one non-conference game; that plan has been delayed as well as Beebe scrambles to allay the fears of some/most/all-but-Texas members of his conference.

“It’s not going to happen until and unless the conference can make it happen with benefit to all and detriment to none,” Beebe told Carlton.

For his part, UT athletic director DeLoss Dodds stated that his school is “for the conference”; “want[s] to play by the rules… everything to be in the open with integrity”; and “televising high school games… would not be a way we want a recruiting advantage.”

As asked by Carlton, the question now becomes whether this temporary move alleviates A&M’s, and to some extent based on the rumors, OU’s concerns.  Only A&M would know the answer for certain, but common sense would seem to dictate that, if the temporary decision to hold off on televising high school football games becomes a permanent one, TAMU’s fears may be allayed to one degree or another?  If not?

Say hello to months upon months upon months of A&M/OU-to-SEC speculation/rumor/innuendo being churned out by media outlets far and wide.

Nebraska, UCLA among teams interested in Arizona grad transfer QB Brandon Dawkins

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One thing’s for certain: Brandon Dawkins won’t be lacking suitors, including Power Five ones, in his quest to find a new college football home.

According to Adam Rittenberg of, Florida Atlantic, Indiana, Nebraska and UCLA have all expressed interest in the quarterback. Rittenberg adds that Dawkins has plans to visit the campuses of FAU and IU in the coming weeks.

On Twitter late last month, Dawkins announced that he would be transferring from Arizona.

Dawkins is set to graduate from UA this coming May, which will make him eligible to play immediately in 2018 at wherever he lands. The upcoming season will serve as Dawkins’ final year of eligibility at the collegiate level.

Dawkins started nine games in 2016 and the first four games this past season before the force of nature known as Khalil Tate took over. All told, he played in 23 games during his four seasons in the desert. The 13 starts previously mentioned were the only ones of his UA career.

For the Wildcats portion of his playing career, Dawkins completed just over 56 percent of his 334 passes for 2,418 yards, 15 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. He ran for another 1,582 yards and 20 more touchdowns.

Fractured foot will sideline Michigan’s Tyrone Wheatley for all of spring practice

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Michigan kicked off its on-field spring season Friday, and they did so without a legacy on the practice field.

Jim Harbaugh confirmed that Tyrone Wheatley Jr. will be sidelined for all of U-M’s spring practice because of injury.  Specifically, the tight end “fractured the (metatarsal) in his foot” during that first spring practice session.

Just how Wheatley sustained the injury wasn’t detailed by the head coach.

The good news is that Wheatley, the son of former U-M running back great Tyrone Wheatley, should be fully healthy for the start of summer camp in early August.

The younger Whitley came to the Wolverines as a four-star member of U-M’s 2015 recruiting class.  After redshirting as a true freshman, Wheatley has caught three passes each of the last seasons.  On those six catches, he has totaled 61 yards and a touchdown.

Reports: Bob Diaco finalizes deal with Oklahoma

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It appears Lincoln Riley has all but officially gotten his man.

Earlier this month, reports surfaced that Bob Diaco was expected to take a job on Riley’s Oklahoma football staff. Friday, Pete Thamel of tweeted that Diaco has finalized a deal to join the football program.‘s Adam Rittenberg subsequently confirmed the initial report.

With all 10 of Riley’s on-field assistant slots filled, Diaco will serve as a defensive analyst for the Sooners.

Diaco spent the 2017 season as the defensive coordinator at Nebraska, let go after that one year following the firing of head coach Mike Riley.  Prior to that brief stint in Lincoln, he was the head coach at UConn for three seasons before being fired after going 11-26 during his time with the Huskies.

Prior to that, he was the coordinator at Notre Dame for four seasons from 2010-13.

Florida’s athletics facilities upgrade scheduled to be completed in 2021

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Dan Mullen is just breaking in his new office chair, but it will be a few more years until the new head coach to truly be able to get comfortable in his new digs. The University of Florida is scheduled to begin a complete overhaul of the athletics facilities in Gainesville this summer. When it is complete, a brand new state-of-the-art football training facility will be among the highlights of the $130 million project.

The new football facility is planned to occupy a space currently used by Florida’s baseball stadium. WOrk on the football facility will have to wait until the baseball program can move into its new stadium that is part of the renovation plans at Florida.

“With the change in facility locations for both baseball and football, we will now adjust the sequencing for these projects,” Florida AD Scott Stricklin said in a press release, according to Gridiron Now. “Baseball will need to be built first, which will allow us to repurpose the current baseball site and put the stand-alone football complex in that space.”

The new football training facility will take up a good chunk of the renovation costs with an estimated price tag of $65 million for a 130,000 square foot structure. Florida won’t have to wait until 2021 to use the facility, however, as the Gators should be expected to be able to start using the new complex as early as 2019 while the construction and renovation continues.