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.