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Memo to NCAA: it’s beyond time to address the ESPN/Texas relationship

Longhorn Network Logo

In  January of this year, ESPN and the University of Texas announced the official creation of what would come to be called the Longhorn Network, an endeavor that would initially entitle UT to an estimated $300 million over 20 years from the WWL.

For that money, ESPN would also provide a reported $400 million in production value in exchange for content that ranged from one or two UT football games a year to basketball to Olympic sports to “non-athletic fare like musical performances, plays, and documentaries by faculty members and students” to high school football games in the state of Texas to… wait… what?  Televising potential football recruits on a television network dedicated to a single university?  Yeah, some individuals who would be impacted by that development took issue with the prep aspect of things.

“I can’t speak for the NCAA, but I would imagine the governing body will look into the use of a collegiate television network airing games of prospective student-athletes,” Texas A&M athletic director Bill Byrne said a week after UT made their announcement. “I understand networks such as FSN and ESPN airing high school sports, but whether or not employees under contract with a university that may have additional contact would seem to be an issue.”

Unbelievably, this high school issue as it relates to the Longhorn Network is still in play, and even more unbelievably a vice president of programming from ESPN has found the gall/balls to trumpet the high school aspect of the arrangement with the University of Texas in an on-air, on-the-record interview with an Austin radio station. — follow him @SPORTSbyBROOKS if you’re into the Twitter thing — has a partial transcript of ESPN Programming VP Dave Brown‘s interview on KZNX-FM conducted last month.  And, to say the least, the hubris of the high-ranking WWL official is astounding:

“We’re going to follow the great [high school] players in the state. Obviously a kid like [unsigned Texas verbal commit] Jonathan Gray. I know people [Longhorn Network subscribers] are going to want to see Jonathan Gray, I can’t wait to see Jonathan Gray.

“Feedback from our audience is they just want to see Jonathan Gray run whether it’s 45-0 or not, they want to see more Jonathan Gray. So we’re going to do our best to accommodate them [Longhorn Network subscribers] and follow the kids who are being recruited by a lot of the Division I schools. Certainly some of the kids Texas has recruited and is recruiting and everyone else the Big 12 is recruiting.

“One other thing, you may see us, I know there’s a kid [unsigned Texas verbal commit] Connor Brewer from Chapparal high school in Arizona. We may try to get on one or two of their games as well so people [Longhorn Network subscribers] can see an incoming quarterback that’ll be part of the scene in Austin.

In summation, a VP of the company that’s involved in a business relationship with a university is openly proclaiming the virtues of top recruits who have yet to sign Letters of Intent and how good they would look on the network and OMG I can’t wait to see Jonathan Gray LOL  smh.

The fact that the high school football talk has gone on unfettered for the better part of six months with nary a public response/rebuke from the NCAA is unimaginable.  The fact that ESPN is very publicly braying about high school prospects is unconscionable — but not nearly as unconscionable as the NCAA allowing this discussion half a year after it should’ve been shutdown to continue on.  And even as the director of UT athletics brazenly espouses “a first-class way, in the light of day, and we will do it the right way” tack of dealing with the Longhorn Network televising high school football games.

And, if the NCAA decides to continue sitting on its hands when it comes to the UT/ESPN/high school football relationship?  The Association needs to never again bring sanctions against any Div. 1-A football program for “recruiting violations”.  Simply put, if televising potential in-state — and specifically targeted out-of-state — recruits on your own television network is not a violation, how could The Association ever again look any school in the eyes in the future and accuse them of doing something illicit in gaining an advantage in recruiting?

This is an interesting precipice on which the NCAA is currently standing.  One way or the other, and for better or worse, their next move will be fascinating to watch.

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44 Responses to “Memo to NCAA: it’s beyond time to address the ESPN/Texas relationship”
  1. centexhorn says: Jul 20, 2011 8:41 AM

    I think you’re being a little melodramatic. Sure, there’s some things to work out, but right now Dave Brown is operating under the assumption that it’s not a violation of NCAA rules. So why would he speak about it with trepidation? As long as they schools aren’t PAYED for the right to air the games, I don’t see much harm in it. Is it any different than showing the videos on your website? These are guys who are already committed to play for the Longhorns. No one else has a shot with these guys. They’re not decommitting. They’ve been wanting to play for Texas most of their lives. So while they technically haven’t signed LOI’s, they’re not just anybody’s recruits. They’ve already given rock-solid verbal commitments to Texas. The idea that A&M thinks they have a chance with these kids is beyond hilarious.

  2. lakesidegator says: Jul 20, 2011 8:47 AM

    PAYED = PAID (in most cases)

  3. lucky5934 says: Jul 20, 2011 8:54 AM


    Sounds a little arrogant saying their verbals are “Rock Solid”. Kids change their minds every year. Texas has lost recuits as well. No one team escapes the hypocracy of “Verbal Committments”. So to say that a Texas A&M team who is on the rise (or any other big name school) has no chance at these recruits is absurd. The only thing that is hilarious is your naive outlook on Texas Longhorn football. No in regards to the article. The Longhorn network should not be allowed to have an advantage that every other Division 1a football program in America should be allowed to have. Just because they want to sell their recruiting souls to the devil, doesn’t mean it is the right move.

  4. jaggedmark says: Jul 20, 2011 8:54 AM

    This drum should be beaten until everyone’s ears bleed.

  5. centexhorn says: Jul 20, 2011 9:13 AM


    I follow UT recruiting very closely. Basically, no one ever decommits.

    The lone exception would be Christian Westerman, but he wasn’t a Texan.

  6. centexhorn says: Jul 20, 2011 9:14 AM


    Also, it’s not an “unfair advantage”. Any Big 12 team can start their own network anytime they want.

  7. polegojim says: Jul 20, 2011 9:33 AM

    They don’t have to be ‘paid’ to experience an unfair advantage.

    Hey – come play at UT and you’ll get more exposure than most other kids in college football.
    Is that not a ‘benefit’ equal to pay?

    How are tatoo’s a benefit violation (it wasn’t pay, right), but guaranteed TV time, is not?

    That type of exclusivity has inherent market value, which = $$$. Don’t companies pay to advertise on TV? Is it really any different than dropping 25-50k cash per kid, per game?

  8. polegojim says: Jul 20, 2011 9:37 AM

    @centxhorn – that’s exactly the point, NO they can’t.

    Texas, like Michigan and a few others, is a very, very cash rich program. That asset base is not even remotely even with all schools.

    Building/Remodeling an awesome stadium/venue is one thing. UT network is totally another.

    It equates to a very strong potential to ‘buy’ recruits with benefits.

  9. WingT says: Jul 20, 2011 9:50 AM

    And just what exactly should the NCAA do about this? What is their grounds or basis for preventing this from happening?

    There is no basis or grounds and Texas simply capitalized on a big loop hole.

    I wish the recruitment process rules would get over hauled. Sign a player to a LOI at anytime from his junior year on. Cut out all this groveling and drooling over these 17 and 18 year olds.

  10. intergalacticbronco says: Jul 20, 2011 9:56 AM



    I follow UT recruiting very closely. Basically, no one ever decommits.

    The lone exception would be Christian Westerman, but he wasn’t a Texan.

    oh really? What about John Brantley, Florida’s starting quarterback?

    Quincy Russell, last summer, (later re-committed…but still)

    -Just making a point.

  11. lucky5934 says: Jul 20, 2011 10:16 AM


    I seriously doubt EVERY Big 12 team has the money to fund a network. Not to mention I wasn’t referring to just the Big 12, but to all of the schools in Division 1A. So that is when it becomes an advantage for the Longhorns. But hey, after last season’s 5-7, no bowl game debacle, they need to bend the rules a little to get back on top (or at least to stay relevant in the Big 12 title race).

  12. lucky5934 says: Jul 20, 2011 10:19 AM


    I absolutely agree. We need to cut out all of this “Verbal” crap. Make a kid decide and stick with his decision anytime after his junior year is completed. No more hard or soft verbals (insert joke here), just a kid signing his letter of intent without any media or hoopla.

  13. 78lion says: Jul 20, 2011 10:30 AM

    Would be like Notre Dame having a network locked up and said network having an all-star game where the players are in part (large part) selected by Notre Dame butt buddy Tom Lemming.

  14. 78lion says: Jul 20, 2011 10:39 AM


    Disagree. Kids only position of strength is prior to LOI day. After they are the property of the school.

    The pressure all but the few elite will get to sign early would go up a thousand fold. The problem is media hype and fans fawning all over these kids.

    If college football fans would ignore recruiting the media would stop pimping high school kids.

  15. floridaconservative says: Jul 20, 2011 11:21 AM

    2010 4-Star Receiver Ross Apo from Arlington, TX decommited to Texas in order to play for BYU (redshirted due to injury last year). Even if most commits are solid, at least some change their minds.

  16. mike2347 says: Jul 20, 2011 11:22 AM

    I can see how this will turn out…kid,you commit to texas and we’ll have every move you make on the field on tv every week.

  17. thompgk says: Jul 20, 2011 11:33 AM

    I didn’t read the article because I didn’t see anything about Alabama in it.


  18. centexhorn says: Jul 20, 2011 12:09 PM

    UT fans are ALREADY watching all these kids’ videos. Are you going to argue that having a fan base that is large and that cares about recruiting is an unfair advantage? There’s a difference between advantage and unfair advantage, you know.

    My point was that there’s no rule saying that other teams besides Texas can’t start their own network. If they don’t have the money or the fan base, whose fault is that? They also don’t have to do a deal as big as ours with the WWL to start their own network. And the broadcast area doesn’t have to be as big as ours. I mean, come on. There’s networks for everything now. Why not for universities? There’s some cool stuff going on at these universities. We’re going to be airing “non-athletic fare like musical performances, plays, and documentaries by faculty members and students”? That’s cool shit! Austin is an artistic place, with a film department attended by greats like Robert Rodriguez and Wes Anderson. It will be genuinely fucking cool programming.

    Anyway, I don’t care if these kids’ videos are shown on the network. We don’t NEED to show them for the programming to be good. It’s kind of stupid because we’ll have to pretend that these kids aren’t going to be playing here, but whatever. I guess we can show plenty of games from kids after they’ve signed LOI’s. Or is that not allowed, too?

    By the way, I foresee a bunch of teams in the SEC starting their own networks, so get used to these kinds of things.

  19. buckeye4278 says: Jul 20, 2011 12:23 PM

    I don’t know how anyone can’t see the competitive advantage gained by putting players you are recruiting on your national network. “Any BIG12 team can start a netwrok anytime they want”. I’ll keep holding my breath for the Iowa St Cyclones network.

  20. florida727 says: Jul 20, 2011 1:01 PM

    This has the potential to go in so many directions.

    On the one hand, it could be the ultimate media bust. Texas will always be a football school, and an inability to televise ALL their games on THEIR network renders it meaningless (with all due respect to hoops, baseball, and other UT sports).

    The flip side is, what happens if Texas says, okay, we’re done with the NCAA. Don’t want ’em, don’t need ’em. We’ve got hundreds of millions assured and the NCAA can’t stop us. Notre Dame has prospered for decades without a conference affiliation, and oh, by the way, they have NBC, we’re just doing the same thing with ESPN, and we’ll live off of our brand.

    The thing I can’t figure out is if this is a great “deal” or a really stupid one… long term.

  21. centexhorn says: Jul 20, 2011 1:45 PM


    With all due respect, what do you know about UT? We’re the winningest baseball team in college baseball history. We’re a pretty damn good basketball program. We win championships in a bunch of different sports. Saying we are just a football school is wrong. There’s no way this thing can be a bust.

    We don’t need to televise all our football games on the network. One or two is enough to make it in-demand. Texas fans aren’t going to miss ANY of their games. So, they’ll be forced to get this network if they want to watch these games. I think that’s the difference between us and everybody else. We aren’t content with missing ANY of our games. And that goes for basketball, too. We constantly have players on the caliber of LaMarcus Aldridge, Kevin Durant, and Tristan Thompson coming through our basketball program. Only so many people fit into the Frank Erwin Center and we don’t want to miss ANY of our basketball games, either.

    People need to keep in mind, the ONLY thing people are saying the NCAA needs to look at is the airing of high school games. There’s nothing else about the network that is possibly against NCAA rules.

  22. ukeone says: Jul 20, 2011 1:56 PM

    Let’s not all get ahead of ourselves. Just sit back & be patient, everyone,..the BIG DAY is coming!

    Yes, it’s an awful thing brewing between ESPN & UT over this new LHN initiative to air high school games (especially the very athletes they are recruiting & have not yet signed). Let us remember there is indeed nothing in NCAA by-laws that state it is illegal to “plan on” or “make plans” to do something which (when actually ‘acted-out’) would be deemed by the NCAA as an illegal recruiting tactic. No action has yet occurred, my friends, at least for now. And UT believes they are all-powerful, all-invinceable, ALMIGHTY…and cannot be told that they are actually wrong about something…anything….NOooooooooooooooWay! Old Mac & Company won’t have that!

    The NCAA deals with “violators” and issues sanctions and penalties befitting the violation(s) committed. Certainly, the NCAA could (if they really wanted or had the time to) talk to tEXAS and warn them of the consequences. But where’s the fun in that? They don’t need to babysit anyone. That’s why each university (including UT) has a committee in place to see that no violations are ever committed, and to report them once they have. I wonder what that committee is doing at UT these days? Oh yeah, it’s summer vacation!

    Face it, folks, the NCAA is currently busy up to their necks with actual violators and don’t have the time or inclination to watch over anyone. My guess is that the NCAA is merely sitting back, fully aware of what is about to take place…wait until 10, 15 or 20 of these so-called recruits show-up on LHN programming…then will come at UT ‘full-force’ with penalties, fines, probation, loss of scholarships (even though UT has the resources to ‘buy’ whomever they want), and maybe (yes-yes-yes) even get the “death penalty” & destroy UT altogether! What a great day that will be for all of college football.

    To all my previous critics (on previous postings): yes, I thoroughly HATE tEXAS, and I can’t wait to sit back & watch them “hang themselves” over $300M and some promises from potential recruits. Let’s see how many recruits they will get once they are slapped around by the NCAA, and maybe even stopped altogether. UT may have to use that $300M to set-up their own collegiate association: the NBAA (National BEVO Athletic Association)….with one bowl game (always in Austin), which will always include UT vs. another member school (or maybe with one of the high schools they feature on LHN). LOL

    When that happens, I and all my loyal UT hatemongers will be dancing in the streets, and shooting-off fireworks to the music of (apply lyrics to the music from ‘the Wizard of OZ’):

    “Ding Dong! The Horns are dead! Which old Horns? Those Wicked Horns!
    Ding Dong! The Wicked Horns are dead!
    Wake up – ESPN, take back your bucks, where have you been.
    Wake up, the Wicked Horns are dead.
    They’ve gone where the BEVOes go,
    Below – below – below. to HELL, let’s open-up and sing and ring the bells out.
    Ding Dong’ the merry-oh, sing it high, sing it low.
    Let’s all know
    The Wicked Horns are dead!”

    I can’t wait…a national holiday is brewing! Get your picnic baskets ready and let’s party!

  23. frug says: Jul 20, 2011 2:36 PM

    Simply put, if televising potential in-state — and specifically targeted out-of-state — recruits on your own television network is not a violation

    Here’s the thing, it’s not UT’s “own” network, it’s an ESPN network that focus exclusively on University of Texas content. The University has no equity in the network nor do they have control over programming, which means as long no University employees are directly involved with high school broadcasts, there is really nothing the NCAA can do about it. This may sound like a technicality, but the NCAA (like most bureaucracies) is built on techinicalities (look at the Cam Newton situation or the OSU players in the Sugar Bowl).

    Now I hate UT as much as anyone born and raised in Oklahoma (though my parents were Cowboys), but it seems to me that ESPN and the Longhorns have found a way to pull this off.

  24. pricecube says: Jul 20, 2011 2:38 PM


    So I take it you are an Aggie? Just a guess… and my apologies if that is off. This certainly seems like an unfair recruiting advantage… however the NCAA has never done anything about Notre Dame their relationship with NBC (no offense to your employer JT and BK). I have never understood how that works either… but fwiw it sure doesn’t seem to be helping the Irish…

  25. wlschneider09 says: Jul 20, 2011 2:53 PM

    Isn’t this a bit hypocritical coming from a website where only on college team has their own dedicated blog?

    I guess the NBC/Notre Dame relationship is completely fair to all…

  26. burntorangehorn says: Jul 20, 2011 2:59 PM

    JT, you’re really overstating this. There’s a pretty clear separation between Texas and ESPN. There’s collaboration, but Texas officials are not involved in the high school components at all.

  27. John Taylor says: Jul 20, 2011 3:09 PM

    When NBC has a 24-hour channel dedicated to Notre Dame, you can come with that argument. If you can’t see the Grand Canyon-like difference, well, that’s your issue not mine.

    And burnt, I’ll respectfully disagree. The NCAA simply cannot allow high school games to be broadcast on a network solely dedicated to a single university.

  28. WingT says: Jul 20, 2011 3:10 PM

    I see your points and can not disagree with them. This is a very big problem. The media is all over it because it sells advertising. Fans love it because they can never get enough “news” on their favorite team.

    ESPN will air every high school game on the Texas Network that will generate enough $$ and anyway you look at it the Longhorns have an advantage to recruiting that other schools don’t have.

    This is no small problem.

  29. frug says: Jul 20, 2011 3:37 PM

    The NCAA simply cannot allow high school games to be broadcast on a network solely dedicated to a single university.

    But I think the point that burntorangehorn and I are trying to make is they may not have any choice. Fair or not, the nothing in the NCAA rule book appears to prohibit what ESPN and UT are doing and it would be exorbitantly difficult for the NCAA to set up new rules after the fact.

    At best the NCAA could try and have ESPN declared a booster for UT which could put some restrictions on ESPN regarding its contact with high school players during broadcasts, but that would require the NCAA to stretch and bend its interpretation of its rules even more than ESPN and UT are, and it still likely wouldn’t work. Plus, do you really think the NCAA is going to risk pissing off its most powerful program and media partner when its unlikely that anyone outside of the Texas A&M is likely to make a major issue about it? (Assuming Oklahoma is still committed to creating a Sooners Network they will likely want as few restrictions as possible and no other Texas or Oklahoma school has the pull to do anything).

  30. pricecube says: Jul 20, 2011 4:08 PM

    You’re right John there is a Grand Canyon like difference. It sounds like the Longhorn Network will only air 2-3 UT games a season whereas NBC nationally televises virtually every single regular season game the Irish play.

    I have always thought that was ridiculously unfair. It may not be a 24 hour network but my god how would that help? People are not going to subscribe to LHN so they can watch intramural fencing at 2:00 AM. Notre Dame has a very prominent 24 hour presence on the web here … almost exclusively devoted to football. But again … I can only be so upset… I feel sorry for my friends who are Notre Dame alumni… there program has been down so long… The last time they were really good Lou Holtz was coaching them.

  31. pricecube says: Jul 20, 2011 4:09 PM

    ugh… “their program” not “there program” … really should proofread.

  32. zzboomer says: Jul 20, 2011 5:38 PM

    Since when did the criteria of something is allowed by the NCAA or not is if it is “fair?”

    Is it “fair” one team has a bigger/nicer stadium than another?

    Is it “fair” T. Boone Pickens gives $$$ to Oklahoma State and not everyone else?

    Is it “fair” one team has better looking women on campus?

    Is it “fair” one team pays their coaches more than the other?

    Is it “fair” we have nukes, and many other countries don’t?

    Then some of you are trying to define levels of fairness? It’s OK and fair that Notre Dame is on NBC, but not fair Texas is on a network 24/7? So at what hour per day on a network does the unfairness start? 4 hours a day? 6, 12? What is the level where it suddenly is unfair?

    It might not be “fair” that Texas will have the Longhorn network, but to be honest, life isn’t fair. Unless it violates some NCAA rules of some kind, whether it’s fair or not is immaterial.

    When competition of any kind is involved, it is a desirable trait to try and come up with every competitive advantage you can, within the rules. Often the other competitors who didn’t think of the innovation, or simply are unable to compete will complain, whine, and even try to make new rules (sometimes successfully), but that’s how it works.

  33. ukeone says: Jul 20, 2011 5:40 PM

    Oh, hello pricecube….nice to see you’re still around with your feeble attempts at being compassionate & hateful at the same time. It’s still not very convincing, though.

    So, you ask me if I’m an Aggie? Not in your wildest dreams, bugger! Anything from the state of tEX-ASS is a little too ‘dry’ for my taste.

    But I see you and I have something similar going: I hate the Longhorns & you (obviously) have something noticeably negative against Notre Dame. You must be Protestant and Anti-Papist or something. Or maybe ND kicked your schools’ ass one nice autumn Saturday. It’s remarkable you have any ‘friends’ at all at Notre Dame…(“…I feel sorry for my friends who are Notre Dame alumni…” LOL….hahahahahahaha)
    Oh, & don’t worry…I.m not too much of an Irish fan either (but I do respect them a lot more than the Horns because they are on a totally different playing field than ‘dishonest’ UT).

    Oh, and by the way: NBC may play just about every ND game there is; however, NBC is not playing high school games of potential recruits for ND. The ‘canyon of difference’ here is what a network (NBC) ‘can legally televise’ and what is clearly ‘illegal’ (LHN-ESPN). Anyone can assume LHN & UT is not responsible for the telecasts because it’s technically operated by ESPN. That’s the way UT thinks & operates: they won’t do anything unless there is a possible ‘loophole’ somewhere that they might get away with…so, let ESPN go ahead & claim they are broadcasting the HS games & not UT…because as long as UT benefits from it financially—& untimately in recruiting—then I assure you, it will be deemed ‘illegal’and UT will pay dearly for it!

    If that is the case, then let ESPN televise them altogether, not LHN, and therefore not pay UT one fuckin’ cent for the telecasts. Would UT sacrifice $300M for a few measly looks at some potential recruits? I hardly think so! UT couldn’t do anything with all their 5-star recruits in 2010 (during their…umm…’down’ year). LOL

    …. so don’t respond by asking me another stupid question about my affiliations or making more idiotic assumptions that you’re obviously not capable of supporting…you idiot!

  34. ukeone says: Jul 20, 2011 5:56 PM

    Oh, and I can proofread as well (another similarity between you & me, pricecube), so pardon me for my ‘horrific’ error:

    ‘ultimately’….not untimately

    For a second there, I thought I was from A & M!

  35. pricecube says: Jul 20, 2011 6:41 PM


    No idea what I did to piss you off but go take some of your meds dude…

  36. joerevs300 says: Jul 20, 2011 7:22 PM

    If you are going to dedicate a network (with ESPN integration) to a powerhouse university like UT, then it is beyond past time to finally do the right thing and follow-through with the “pay for play” rights these athletes deserve.

    Yes, they get a scholarship. Ask yourself this question:

    Assuming the value of a scholarship is $50,000, and that means the school is “losing” $3M they would have got from students paying BUT they are making so many more times that amount in revenue from the program, WHO WOULDN’T look to make that deal 100% of the time?

    Look, the NCAA rule book is about as confusing as the USGA Rules of Golf. It is in need of a SERIOUS streamlining and freshening.

    If this genie is allowed out of the bottle, it is incredibly bad news for anyone outside of a Power 6 conference and, to take it a step further, the “weaker” teams in these conferences (like Duke, etc.).

    How do you recruit against a school who has their own NETWORK?

    It’s inherently and patently unfair to the rest of the Big 12, and there isn’t a damn thing anyone can do about it.

    Forget a BCS playoff…this threatens to be the Pandora’s Box that will destroy any balance in College Football.

  37. lucky5934 says: Jul 20, 2011 10:20 PM

    I agree with you John…. The comparison’s to Notre Dame are lazy at best. NBC covers Notre Dame, but they also are not soley devoted to the university. The big 12 will never attract top programs with that longhorn network. And now Oklahoma and Texas A&M would be justified in leaving for the SEC.

  38. ukeone says: Jul 20, 2011 10:28 PM

    @ pricecube

    …Just re-read John Taylor’s brilliant summation of the problem at hand, then go back & read your responses. And by the way, taking any meds just won’t work because I’ll still see you as an idiot! Damn!

  39. ukeone says: Jul 20, 2011 10:37 PM

    Thank you, lucky5934!

  40. wlschneider09 says: Jul 21, 2011 11:04 AM

    I think we can all see the difference between the NBC/Notre Dame relationship and The LHN/Texas relationship, but thanks for assuming we’re all stupid and or lazy because we don’t agree with you. Great way to foster discussion.

    My point remains the same. Just because the LHN/Texas thing is worse, it doesn’t make this blog’s stance any less hypocritical. The kettle may be significantly larger than the pot, but both are still black.

  41. coolhorn says: Jul 22, 2011 6:57 PM

    The Longhorn Network is gonna make UT a boatload of money over the next twenty years. Advantage UT, except…..
    The UT athletic department is already one of, if not the richest in the country. The UT facilities are second to none, and UT players and fans lack for nothing in accommodations. I doubt UT is going to spend all of that ESPN money to make what’s already the best even better.
    The Longhorn Network is an unfair recruiting advantage because it gives UT a higher profile than schools that don’t have a network. Advantage UT, except…
    UT already is one of the best-known universities and athletic programs in the country. I suppose a little extra advertising can’t hurt, but I seriously doubt it’s going to be the difference maker some others in the Big Less Than Twelve are claiming.
    The Longhorn Network, if it does broadcast some high school football games, might give UT a big recruiting edge over the competition. Advantage UT, except…..
    Mack Brown is a recruiting wizard, and his classes have generally finished in the top five or ten most years, WITHOUT the advantage of a Longhorn Network.
    The Okies this time around have joined agricultural in fretting about what an advantage the Longhorn Network will be to UT. Funny that it should be them. Minus the network, all of the other advantages mentioned above have been in place for years, and last time I checked, there are a lot more Big 12 championship trophies in Norman, Oklahoma than Austin, Texas. Come back and see me on this being a huge UT advantage AFTER UT wins a few more Big 12 football titles.
    I know folks in College Station and Norman don’t want to believe this, but ESPN, not the University of Texas, owns the Longhorn Network. The WWL is paying UT for the Longhorn brand for the next twenty years. When push comes to shove, IF ESPN wants to run high school football on the network, it’s doubtful the NCAA will even try to stop it, no matter how much noise comes from other locales in the Big 12-2.
    That being said, UT Athletic Director DeLoss Dodds is not turning an unsympathetic ear to the complaints coming from Norman and College Station. He has, and is meeting with officials from all Big 12-2 member schools to try to make peace over the network concerns. The high school broadcasts have been shelved for the time being, if not permanently.
    UT is trying to be a good neighbor, and a good partner in the Big 12. The network has been a work in progress, and known to all Big 12 schools for some time now. Any other school in any other conference would be foolish to not leverage whatever competitive advantage they can get, WITHIN the rules. The Longhorn Network is within the rules, and maybe it’s time to sit back and see if the other Big 12 schools want to hear DeLoss Dodds out, to be good neighbors in the conference.
    I, for one, will be watching the Big 12 media days in Dallas early this next week with keen interest.

  42. coolhorn says: Jul 22, 2011 7:06 PM

    One last thought on all of this “fairness” talk. Some others here have already noted that life’s not fair. Some people eat bologna sandwiches while others are dining on T-bones. NOTHING in life is fair, but it’s pretty silly to hate those you ain’t. Lots of schools with a lot less resources than UT win a lot of games. The old TV cowboy Maverick used to say “Money’s only a way to keep score.”

  43. rajanzen says: Jul 24, 2011 1:40 PM

    I can’t get too excited about ut’s recruiting successes. If you take a look at the Big 12 pre-season all-conference picks, there are around 12 texans on the list. Only two of those are at ut. All the others are spread out over the conference, not just at OU as everyone always proclaims. I can, however, understand aTm’s concerns over a network televising HS games. That’s going over the edge.

  44. bradentonbuc says: Jul 24, 2011 8:06 PM

    If the NCAA does not nip this in the bud NOW it is going to turn into a real mess down the road

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