Mack Brown on the LHN: ‘I didn’t ask for it’

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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.

Jeremy Pruitt felt some Tennessee players “flat out quit” in spring game

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New Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruit has a message to his players and Tennessee fans. If you are going to enter Neyland Stadium, you better be prepared to work.

Following Tennessee’s spring game in Knoxville, Pruitt reflected on his first spring game as head coach with the media and he was not about to let anyone off the hook for a mediocre performance in the spring game. One thing you never want to hear from a head coach is that some of his players seemingly quit. That was the case for Pruitt today, without naming any specific players.

Even fans received some gripes from the new head coach.

Tennessee estimated a total of 65,098 fans came out to watch the Tennessee spring game, which is an impressive total and right around the average Tennessee typically draws for the spring game. But the crowd buzz must not have impressed Pruitt, who could be setting the tone for the fans in the fall in hopes they turn things up a bit once the games actually matter.

The same message is now being sent to the entire team. Pruitt has a high standard in mind, which is to be expected after being an assistant at Alabama. Was Pruitt truly this displeased with his team’s effort in the spring game? Or was he simply trying to play things down in order to let his players know there will be no room for poor efforts?

Jalen Hurts speculation about to run wild after shaky spring game at Alabama

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If Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts was looking to build a case for taking the starting job for the Crimson Tide in 2018, he may have to rely on more than his performance in the spring game. Hurts turned in a sub-par performance in Alabama’s spring game on Saturday afternoon, leaving the door wide open for some speculation about his future as Alabama’s spring comes to a close.

Hurts completed 19 of his 37 pass attempts for 195 yards with no touchdowns and one interception. He also was sacked seven times. With Tua Tagovailoa out of action due to injury, Hurts was outperformed by redshirt freshman Mac Jones, who completed 23 of 35 passes for 289 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Jones was also intercepted once and was sacked six times. Of the two quarterbacks, Jones had the more inspiring performance.

Rumors speculating Hurts may end up looking to transfer will only continue to ignore following this spring, especially with Tagovailoa going into the offseason as the new hero in town after guiding Alabama back in the national championship game. It should be worth noting, however, a transfer for Hurts is not guaranteed to happen. That won’t stop fans and media from figuring out what will be next for Hurts.

Hurts’ dad recently suggested his son would be college football’s biggest free agent on the transfer market if he ended up losing the quarterback battle in Tuscaloosa. That may be a slight exaggeration, but there is no question Hurts would have plenty of potential and skill to offer any program he would potentially move to if he decides to leave Alabama. Alabama head coach Nick Saban tried to cool the tension by suggesting there is no reason to be concerned about the whole situation.

But this is Alabama we’re talking about. The Hurts watch is now in full force in Tuscaloosa, whether Saban likes it or not.

WATCH: Penn State fan with down syndrome runs for TD in spring game

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Early in Penn State’s spring game on Saturday afternoon, the Nittany Lions sent Brooke Fisher out to the field for the chance to score a touchdown. Fisher, a young girl with down syndrome, took the handoff from quarterback Trace McSorley and ran right up the middle 22 yards for a touchdown.

We’ll excuse the fact Fisher spiked the football prior to crossing the goal line. It doesn’t matter here.

McSorley ended up playing more in the first half than many likely expected, with three series on the field. He helped open the spring game with a touchdown drive capped with a pass to Mac Hippenhammer. McSorley passed for 107 yards and rushed for 41 yards in the first half.

No word on whether or not Fisher has any eligibility.

Alabama gets commitment from Taulia Tagovailoa, Tua’s younger brother

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Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa may not be playing in the spring game due to an injury, but there is still plenty of Tagovailoa news coming out of Tuscaloosa today. Taulia Tagovailoa, the younger brother of the national championship game hero, has reportedly committed to play for the Crimson Tide.

The newest commitment for Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide is a four-star dual-threat quarterback and will be a part of Alabama’s Class of 2019. Alabama won the recruiting battle against schools like Tennessee, Florida, Nebraska, and Michigan among others. According to Al.com, Lane Kiffin made a push to lure Tagovailoa to FAU as well.

Tagovailoa will go down as an in-state recruit for Alabama because the Tagovailoa moved to Alabama after Tua Tagovailoa enrolled at Alabama. If Tua wins the starting job at Alabama, then it is possible Alabama’s offense could be run by a Tagovailoa for the next six years. A dynasty within a dynasty? That’s dynasty inception, not to put too much pressure on either Tagovailoa brother.