Blog Entry

Texas A&M AD releases Longhorn Network statement

Posted on: July 21, 2011 8:35 pm
Edited on: July 21, 2011 10:55 pm

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Concerns about the Longhorn Network were made official today, what with Dan Beebe addressing them in a statement earlier Thursday. The Longhorn Network was set to air two Texas football games -- including a conference game -- and had made plans to televise high school football games involving Texas recruits, even before the NCAA could make a ruling on its permissibility one way or the other. Fortunately for the rest of the conference, Beebe put the kibosh on that idea Thursday.

Still, that wasn't in time to stop a meeting by the Texas A&M Regents on the issue, and now Texas A&M athletic director Bill Byrne has become the first administrator to make his thoughts on the network public, in the somewhat ominous statement issued Thursday. The statement is reprinted in full below.

I have continued to have concerns about the Longhorn Network since the original announcement by ESPN and Texas. Since last summer, the Big 12 member institutions have committed to work together in a spirit of unity and equality. Recent news reports concerning this network; however, have created a considerable amount of uncertainty.

We had an agreement in place that Big 12 members would have the right to one non-conference football game and four to six basketball games for third tier, or institutional rights. The concept of the Longhorn Network broadcasting two live football games—with one of these being a conference game—had not been discussed among the Big 12 athletic directors.

Our concerns were heightened further when news reports surfaced that the Longhorn Network would be broadcasting high school football games featuring Texas high school recruits, including recruits living outside the state of Texas. Knowing how restrictive NCAA rules are regarding any collegiate representative contacting prospects, we contacted the NCAA for an interpretation. We are still waiting for the NCAA’s response.

I have continued to communicate our concerns to the conference office and my fellow athletic directors. We are pleased that the Commissioner has started to address these concerns, but many questions remain. These are significant issues for all of collegiate athletics as they relate to broadcast rights, revenue distribution and the recruitment of student-athletes.

Obviously, there's more than a little lingering dissatisfaction here, and if Texas and its new network don't address them to Texas A&M's satisfaction -- which might be asking a lot, considering we're talking about rivals with a very divergent set of opinions on what constitutes an optimal deal -- that could spell disaster for the conference's already teetering stability.

Still, it's also unfair to say that Beebe has merely "started to address" these things. He has already said that, until further notice, Texas can't show high school games on the Longhorn Network or televise more than one game on it, and those rules will go for any other school's network if/when they start up. That is as fully addressed as those concerns can be at this point, is it not?

And still, Texas A&M may continue to claim uncertainty, since Beebe left the door open for those things (but only with the other conference members' approval, and that ain't exactly happening anytime soon). And in these types of situations, "uncertainty" is really just an acceptable way of saying "political cover for acting more selfishly." So this is all music to the SEC's ears, if they want the Aggies or anybody else feeling a little more disloyal to the Big 12 these days.


Since: Jan 10, 2010
Posted on: July 22, 2011 11:31 am

Texas A&M AD releases Longhorn Network statement

note to texas: u are the reason the big 12 will be history in a few years. u cheat and cheat and cheat and dont wanna split money properly. its so bad that now teams are leaving the league bc of u. 2 have left already bc they cannot stand your ignorance and more are to follow w/ every passing season. soon texas u will be on probation or simply be in a conference all by yourself. i blame the greedy bastards in texas for the demise of the league. the funniest thing is that u would think texas was the best team in the league but they are not.

Since: Sep 16, 2006
Posted on: July 22, 2011 10:49 am

Texas A&M AD releases Longhorn Network statement

Its time for A&M, OU to understand, like the rest of the BIG 12 allready understands, without Texas they are not a conference.

Since: Sep 16, 2006
Posted on: July 22, 2011 10:46 am

Texas A&M AD releases Longhorn Network statement

Lets examine why Texas went the direction of having its own network. The PAC 10, SEC, BIG 10, BIG EAST and several other conferences have thier own networks. The BIG 12 4 or 5 years ago talked about a network, there was not enough support for it, Texas and OU were the only schools actually interested. Last year Texas and OU explored the idea of having thier own networks. Its not like one day the University of Texas woke up and said, I think we will have our own network, this was tried on a conference basis first.

Since: Jan 1, 2007
Posted on: July 22, 2011 10:22 am

Texas A&M AD releases Longhorn Network statement

When the Longhorn Network was announced last summer there was no mention of it televising conference (only 1 OOC game) or high school football games. This has only come to light recently and has understandbly upset the other Big 12-2 conference members.

Since: Aug 11, 2010
Posted on: July 22, 2011 10:09 am

Texas A&M AD releases Longhorn Network statement

It's about time A&M grew a pair.  When they agreed to stay in the Big 12 minus 2 last year they basically admitted they were UT's biotch.  In all reality they are postering to get a piece of the Texas network revenue.  I don't think the politicians would let Texas and A&M be in different conferences.  Whether the Pols should get involved at all is a separate issue.

Since: Nov 19, 2006
Posted on: July 22, 2011 9:40 am

Texas A&M AD releases Longhorn Network statement

So aparently we have a showdown between Texas and the rest of the Big 12.  If Texas wins out, then Texas A&M will almost certainly leave the Big 12.  That alone would be enough to start the Domino afffect and dissolve the Conference.  If the other Big 12 schools win out, Texas, with their buddies ESPN, will probably tell the rest of the Big 12 members what they can do with their rules, and go Independent.  Either way, the odds of the Big 12 surviving seem to dwindle every day.

Since: Jul 29, 2009
Posted on: July 22, 2011 9:07 am

Texas A&M AD releases Longhorn Network statement

No high school player wants to go play for a team with consecutive loosing seasons.The morons have put a bulls eye on there ugly orange jerseys for this season.I don't see them winning 6 games. Greed often back fires.

Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: July 22, 2011 8:55 am

Texas A&M AD releases Longhorn Network statement

The Longhorn Network will drive Texas A&M to join the SEC. Oklahoma has the same invitation. If the Sooners leave, kiss the Big 12 bye bye.

Since: Oct 18, 2010
Posted on: July 22, 2011 8:41 am

Texas A&M AD releases Longhorn Network statement

Wow, a Washington Huskie football fan talking smack.  LOL.

Since: Sep 24, 2006
Posted on: July 22, 2011 4:44 am

Texas A&M AD releases Longhorn Network statement

The problem here is that broadcasting high school games for top prospects (which is what UT will do) is an unfair recruiting advantage. Plain and simple. I mean, what big headed prospect wouldn't say yes to the offer that he sign with UT and his high school game will go on TV? The NCAA needs to step in here and do something. They already meddle in enough, might as well get one right.

And if any "Longhorn" fan thinks this is fair...I KNOW you'd complain if it was OU or LSU or A&M that did this.  

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