Blog Entry

Texas A&M has "many questions" about UT network

Posted on: January 26, 2011 12:11 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen

The recently-unveiled "Longhorn Network" hasn't even started broadcasting yet, but it's already provided Texas with plenty of benefits: a contract with ESPN worth millions upon millions of dollars, a high level of "buzz" regarding what the finished product will look like (and what kind of benefits it might offer down the road), and -- unsurprisingly -- an awful lot of ticked-off Texas A&M Aggies down the road in College Station.

At least, we're assuming that's how most Aggies feel about their archrivals' latest venture, considering that Aggie athletic director Bill Byrne made clear yesterday that he is -- to put it politely -- not a fan. He's asked for the NCAA to have a look-see:
"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 in a statement. "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" ...

"There are many questions regarding this new contract that will be discussed at length here at Texas A&M and within the Big 12 Conference, as well as with our television partners."
An NCAA official contacted by CBS said that without the "particulars of the specific arrangement with the network," they could not determine whether high school games airing on the Longhorn Network would violate NCAA regulations or not.

But even aside from that issue, "many questions ... that will be discussed at length" is A.D.-speak for "dude, we are seriously not pleased with this." Byrne's not the first A&M-affiliated official to express his misgivings about the Longhorns striking up their own TV deal, either; a "prominent Aggie" who spoke with the Austin-American Statesman's Kirk Bohls last week suggested that A&M could try to arrange its "own deal" with the television powers-that-be, or even rally the league's other eight non-Texas schools into an "Everybody But the Longhorns Network."

However you slice it, the natural rivalry between the two schools appears to have grown into a legitimate administrative rift, and one that's showing no signs of closing any time soon. When the Pac-12 and (according to some) SEC came calling last summer, A&M nonetheless elected to follow their in-state brethren's lead and remain in the streamlined, wobbly-looking, title game-less, 'Horn-dominated Big 12 . If the Longhorn Network proves to be as beneficial to Texas's bottom line and on-field product as Byrne and the rest of A&M are clearly worried it will be, the Aggies may decide their best interests dictate a different course of action next time around.


Since: Mar 8, 2008
Posted on: January 27, 2011 3:07 pm

Texas A&M has "many questions" about UT network


The Big12 does revenue sharing. It is people like you who fill idiots heads with disinformation. Nothin you posted is true or plausible. I suggest you stop being the idiot and educate yourself on the topic BEFORE posting an assinine comment.

Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: January 27, 2011 12:25 pm

Texas A&M has "many questions" about UT network

This will be the death of the Big 12. A&M and possibly Oklahoma will bolt to the SEC where the ESPN TV contract is $15+ million a year
per member institution. The SEC has revenue sharing and the Big 12 doesn't. End of story.


Since: Nov 19, 2006
Posted on: January 27, 2011 9:13 am

Texas A&M has "many questions" about UT network

I think before A&M, or anyone passes judgement on this, we whould wait to see if it has any success at all.  Right now, that looks very questionable.  ABC/ESPN will televise the games that have any meaning at all.  The others are probably unimportant to anyone except Texas fans.  I certainly will not be standing in line waiting for the Texas-Kansas game to be televised.  USC, while on probation, had every one of their games televised, either by ABC/ESPN, or Fox.  They did not have to start their own network to get blanket coverage of their football team. 

If Texas A&M wants to jump to the SEC, they do not need a dancing partner to do so.  During the last round of Super Conference Rumors, Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Texas Tech were headed for the Pac 12, and only Texas A&M was headed for the SEC.  A&M is beginning to look like the lottle brother always crying to mommy becaquse their big brother did something that they did not like.  A&M, you choice is very simple.  If you do not like what Texas is doing, leave the Big 12-2.  The Big 12-2 is on very shaky ground as is, and it would not take much for the conference to crumble.

Since: Jan 26, 2011
Posted on: January 26, 2011 9:30 pm

Texas A&M has "many questions" about UT network

Let's see, LSU started Tiger Vision back in the 90's.  The Big 10 has had their own network a few years.  It seems texas figured out they can get on their own network.  It's open to any university to do this so just get with the program.  You'll need a National Following though.

Since: Nov 10, 2006
Posted on: January 26, 2011 9:25 pm

Texas A&M has "many questions" about UT network

I've said since last summer that going to the SEC is the only way A&M will ever climb out from under UTs shadow and they should take it if it's offered. The only problem is that the SEC isn't going to take A&M unless Texas or Oklahoma is part of the deal and the two seem to be married to each other, athletically, even moreso than Texas is to A&M.

So the Aggies are stuck with this and it really sucks to be the ugly stepsister but that's just the way it is, If A&M ever gets into the SEC, I'll just salute them and say "well done". But they'll need a dance partner to get in and everyone knows the SEC is not as hot for Revillie as much as they are hot for Bevo. 

Since: Jun 10, 2010
Posted on: January 26, 2011 7:45 pm

Texas A&M has "many questions" about UT network

I agree.

In my eyes, the UIL's Texas high school football, basketball, etc. is of more interest to me than UT soccer, gymnastics and rowing!  I don't see how LSPN will fill 24 hours.  I can't wait to see how much cable providers charge for this "premium" channel.

But, I can't blame UT for taking the money!  From what I've read, at least $5MM per year will be earmarked for education initiatives.

Is every university now going to have their own networks?  There can only be so many fans of the lower level sports out there.  I am still not sure why ESPN would pay $20 milllion a year for UT's network, but there are an awful lot of Texan's out there, so maybe they are bigger gymnastics fans than I would have thought.  Having said that, I think the end of the Big 12 is near.  Many of the schools already almost went to the Pac 10, and this will probably move some of those schools to one of their border conferences, be it the Pac 10, SEC, or Big 10.  I am not a fan of the 14 or 16 team conferences, but it sure looks like we are heading in that direction.

Since: Jun 10, 2010
Posted on: January 26, 2011 7:37 pm

Texas A&M has "many questions" about UT network

That comment is, at best, a half truth.

UT called A&M's bluff about joining the SEC and they blinked.  The colleges are inexorably joined at the hip b/c of TX politics and are much better together than apart.  BOTTOM LINE - all members of Big XII Lite will make more money in the 10-team conference.  At least short-term until the TV contracts are renewed.  We're sharing larger pieces of the same pie, thanks to NU and CU's departure.

Blaming UT for the conference's break-up is a weak and tired argument. NU left b/c their football program was on the decline and they didn't make the money expected nor did they have UT's (and OU's and A&M's) clout at the negotating table.  Payouts and bonuses are based on conference titles, TV appearances, etc.  It was a great deal for the Huskers back in '96 when they signed the deal!

CU bought into the Pac-12 b/c they are more aligned with the left coast culturally (and academically???).  They bought into Larry Scott's doo-doo.  I hope that it works out for them.

A little clarification - if not for A&M, Texas was gone to the Pac 10 last summer. A&M refused based on a standing offer from the SEC and it was Texas that balked and decided to stay, forming the Big XII Lite.

There was a lot of spin out of Austin last summer, but that's what went down. Once the Texas legislature completes the biennial budget later this year, we just might be hearing some talk of A&M to the SEC - Texas is already spinning should this happen that A&M is to blame, but anyone who's been paying attention knows that the Big XII's failure is on the hands of the folks in Austin.

Since: Dec 3, 2007
Posted on: January 26, 2011 6:32 pm

Texas A&M has "many questions" about UT network

michaelgse, I do so love it when Beakers start squawking their greatness, but the Big East was prepared to extend invitations to Kansas, K-State, Mizzou and Iowa State.  No one was getting picked over the other.

Since: Oct 16, 2007
Posted on: January 26, 2011 5:50 pm

Texas A&M has "many questions" about UT network

Honestly, I think KU would have gone to any major conference in order to keep it's program where it is.  Going to the MWC or anything like it would have hurt recruiting in a big way (just my opinion).  KU would have rolled all over those conferences in basketball and still be unlikely to get major tv exposure.  You also have to keep in mind that a lot of the KU administration has past Big East ties to I think it would have been inevitable. I actually read in multiple places that KU (and Utah) would have been considered an alternative choice for the PAC 10 if A&M would have decided to go to the SEC instead of joining the rest in the PAC 10.  Also, who's to say what Oklahoma & Oklahoma St. would have done given the choice between SEC and PAC 10, especially if A&M was resolved to go to the SEC.  Personally, I'm just happy the Big 12 has stayed together in its current form and we didn't have to find out.  whatever we do next I hope we pick up two additional teams so we can have conference championships again. 

Just a side note: I do think KU fans, alumni, etc... have realised that were not going to get a major conference invitation by just having a great basketball team.  Hopefully, that will push everyone to lay more emphasis on the football program.  The student body and alumni love footbal but have always given it a backseat to the basketball program. 

Since: Sep 1, 2008
Posted on: January 26, 2011 4:59 pm

Texas A&M has "many questions" about UT network

Kansas fan.

I actually did consider that for a second but I also took a second and thought does Kansas want to be in the same conference as Cuse, Ucon, Pitt, and all the other elite basketball teams?  I only took Missouri over Kansas because they are competetive in both sports but don't really win championships.   Kansas is a championship basketball team don't you think that would be a little to much for the Big East with all the elite teams it has already? 

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or