Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Unknown Future of the Longhorn Network


Months after its inception, the future of the Longhorn Network is still to be determined. As stated previously, University of Texas, Big XII and NCAA officials have an intricate process of finding out what exactly can be aired legally on the new Longhorn Network. With no ruling from the NCAA or the Big XII on the network's capabilities, the University of Texas took action in mid-July, signing a deal with Texas high school Brenham ISD (preseason ranked 7th in Texas 4A) to play their second game of the season against Lamar Consolidated on the Longhorn Network. It should be noted that Brenham has two student-athletes committed to Texas, but also two students who are committed to Texas A&M. Despite the equal number of future Longhorns and Aggies, Big XII presidents, even Texas A&M’s President R. Bowen Loftin, continue to fear what airing high school athletics on the Longhorn Network might do to the rest of their conference and the rest of the NCAA universities. On July 20th, Big XII commissioner Dan Beebe put a halt on Texas’ plans until “the league had a chance to meet and discuss the matter further.” This week, the Big XII established a “minimum one year moratorium on university-branded media platforms in the Big 12 broadcasting any high school content of any kind.” It seems that the Big XII will use this year to discern how the University of Texas can proceed with the Longhorn Network. Hopefully, the year moratorium will give the Big XII and the NCAA enough time to determine what is best for college athletics.

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