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New Longhorn Network Already Causing Troubles In The Big 12

The new Longhorn Network — a partnership between ESPN and the University of Texas — will create a $300 million windfall for the Texas athletic department over the next 20 years.  You’d think that would be the worst of it for Texas’ Big 12 rivals.

You would be wrong.

When the deal for the network was announced, one small part of the press release caught the attention of the people at Texas A&M.  It seems the Longhorn Network plans to carry some high school games in addition to all those many hours of Texas’ football, basketball, baseball, tic-tac-toe, badminton, and cross-country ballroom dancing. 

Texas A&M athletic director Bill Byrne — no doubt speaking for every other person attached to a Big 12 school not located in Austin — believes the NCAA might want to take a look into those plans.

“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,” Byrne said.  “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.”

Yes.  A huge issue.

Let’s say Mack Brown spots a high school running back out of College Station that he likes.  He tells the folks with the Longhorn Network of his interest.  All of a sudden, said prospect’s high school games are picked up and aired by the official University of Texas sports channel.  A recruiting advantage for Texas?  You bet.

No one in the Big 12 trusts one another after the backdoor dealings, backstabs, and attempted double-crosses of last summer.  So launching Texas’ new network is akin to pouring gasoline on a fire.  Sooner or later — probably sooner — the Big 12 is going to go up in flames.

When it does, expect A&M and possibly Oklahoma to call Mike Slive in hopes of finding new living arrangements.




Who made Texas the bad guy? We just reported that a) the money is going to cause an even bigger rift between Texas and the other Big 12 schools (which is a fact) and b) Texas A&M is already complaining about UT's plans to show high school games on the network (which is a recruiting advantage and will probably be nixed by the NCAA).

Thanks for reading, but maybe you should read what we write more closely.


I didn't realize that Nebraska forced Texas to include high school football as a recruiting advantage in its new network. Those Cornhuskers sure are devious villains.


Which is more likely, Mr. Pennington, OK sticking with Texas or forgetting Texas to join the SEC?


Geezus. The constant attempts to brand Texas as the "bad guy" just defies logic. Nebraska caused the problems in the Big 12 last year - not Texas, if you really looked at the facts. As far as this ESPN deal is concerned, Texas eneterd into a deal that makes terrific business sense. Trust me, any university in the SEC will do the same, whether it be Bama, Florida, etc, when the opportuinty presents itself, which I am sure will be soon. Villifying Texas just seems the trendy thing to do.


It makes prefect business sense but the problem lies with that university having a unfair recruiting advantages, when televising high school games on a collegiate network! There is no university in the SEC that would do it because the SEC would not allow such a thing!


who wants to watch another channel about two horned unicorns and fairies living in a fantasy.... plenty of cartoon networks on air already... and like those this one will go down in flames soon as someone sees their first recruit signed following an appearance on the ho's network...

H-Town Dawg
H-Town Dawg

And you don't think the other schools in the Big Whatever have a reason to complain? You're right that any team would love to be able to have the influence that Texas has with it's own network but it's silly to pretend that the other schools wouldn't be outraged and oppose it. The fundamental flaw with the Big Whatever Conference is that Texas can do whatever it wants. Florida and Alabama might WANT to do it...but the SEC is sound enough not to LET them do it...


So A &M and Oklahoma join the SEC and the Big Ten and Pac-12 Pick up the others to have 14. The Big 12 and their obsession with Texas is to blame. What happens if Texas continues to fall. This could get messy.


  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by MrSEC, Nathan Faulkner. Nathan Faulkner said: RT @MrSEC: Longhorn Network The First Step In The Next Break-Up Of The Big 12: The new Longhorn Network… [...]

  2. [...] to air High School Games – Is it fair? Slightly different take on ESPN-UT pact. Interesting. Alabama | Reply With Quote + Reply to Thread « Previous Thread | Next [...]

  3. [...] if that network could potentially speed up the Aggies drive eastward.A day later on January 26th, we reported that indeed the network was already causing troubles.  Issue #1: Is it even legal under NCAA rules for a school’s own network to air high school [...]

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