When the Longhorn Network launched last year, the $300 million third-tier partnership between ESPN and the University of Texas was supposed to be a landmark deal to further increase the exposure of Longhorns athletics. However, it’s mostly caused complications and hasn’t been picked up by as many carriers as was originally thought. Now, Texas coach Mack Brown is expressing his frustration with the network and its “all access” approach.
“Like I said, I didn’t ask for it,” Brown said about the six hours a week he apparently spends taping shows for the network. “We were given a deal we had no input in, and we’ve been trying to make it the best we can for both (UT and ESPN).”
The network gets access to the first 30 minutes of practice each day… which Brown says may be tipping off coaches to schemes, injuries, etc… which is an excuse eight letters long rhyming with “pull spit.”
“It’s a true advantage (for opponents),” Brown said. “They can watch our attitude, they can watch our coaches.”
Can they watch the missed tackles? How about the quitting attitude your team showed against Oklahoma in the Red River Shootout this year? Not sure the 100 people who actually get the LHN needed 30 minutes of practice time to see that. But criticizing Brown for whining about something every other program in the country would take in a heartbeat is too easy. The fact is Brown just publicly took shots at a rather high-profile and very influential business partner. We’ll let that speak for itself.
In response, ESPN issued the following response to the Houston Chronicle: “UT, along with ESPN, launched Longhorn Network to serve the school’s tremendously passionate fan base with quality content. A network of this kind has never been done at this level and it continues to evolve.” Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds added “Anything that’s troubling to Mack we will address.”
What both parties have told or will tell Brown in private is likely to be more interesting, but it also won’t be anything Brown doesn’t know already. Besides, it was Brown who essentially answered his own concerns about the LHN and the “overexposure” it gives the program.
“I’m a soldier,” Brown said. “They tell me to go work with the Longhorn Network, I’ll go do it.”
Yes, you will, and so will the next coach who takes that job.