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: Oct 16, 2007
Posted on: January 26, 2011 4:42 pm

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

You've got to be kidding those of you below that think the Big East (basketball conference) would take Missouri or Texas Tech over Kansas.  If everything would have hit the fan and schools parted for Pac10 & SEC then KU was headed to the Big East.  Our coach, AD and Big East represenatatives all acknowledged this. 

Since: Sep 1, 2008
Posted on: January 26, 2011 4:30 pm

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

Wait bad math TCU, Missoui, Tex A&M would make eleven. The Big East could even take two other schools Troy along with the others previously stated if they wanted a good football conference and a even basketball conference.

Since: May 14, 2008
Posted on: January 26, 2011 4:23 pm

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

"I am not a fan of the 14 or 16 team conferences, but it sure looks like we are heading in that direction."

Actually, a 10-team deal works real well. But if there is a CCG matchup, I think 14 works better than 12 and 16 is way too much. At 14 with 7-team divisions you have more of a chance of a sudden-death CCG. You get 6 In-division games with 2 to 3(preferably 2) Ou-of-division games and still have 4 OOC games. Then that way the whiney hiney teams like Bloise gets into a conference that has to compete against a host of tough teams throughout the season. If they win it all, then they're legit. If they're cellar dwellers, so be it, they asked for the chance. 

If there were 16-team conferences then there wouldn't be as much cross-divisional games and or OOC games. Limits the variety. This is NOT the No-Fun-League!!! This is COLLEGE football.

What is odd is the make up of the conferences. I really think a more regional approach is more beneficial to the schools and the athletes in all the sports as well as the fans.  The latest issue with TCU going to the Big East is an oddity for sure. As much as SFU replacing Miami(Fla). It's understandable why both the Big East and TCU did this. The way things have been going in CFB, who knows what things will look like in a year or two or three even? It's almost like both the MWC and the Big East are sitting in the trees like vultures, waiting for the Big12-2 to tear themselves apart some more so they can scavenge the remains. The BE would move on the remains of the B12-North in a New York Minute! The MWC would love to get back into TX with what was left there. Maybe that's why they announced that they like their current membership the way it is? Waiting for the next conference realignment storm to hit?

The BE makes a bogus call to Villanova as the 10th? There's no way Nova would ever be at the FBS level. Even in their best year, their NC run, they avergaed around 7500 asses in the stands of their 12K old suburbian stadium. It would cost them an easy 100mill to make it happen even if they wanted to. I think that Nova invite was a ruse. A diversionary stalling tactic. No UCF? No ECU? Of course no Memphis. Not even a Houston? Waiting for bigger game? Noter Damed? In their dreams! BUT, in a 7-team division, ND can push their "scheduling freedom" while negotiating their own TV contract as well. I bet they'd do it then if everybody else started getting bigger. Especially IF this UT network flies, independently and within the B12-2 conference. That also would prove viability for BYU to have their cake and eat it too while in a conference. Hence an invite from the B12-2? Man! This call all turn back into a crap shoot again!

Since: Sep 1, 2008
Posted on: January 26, 2011 4:23 pm

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

I have been saying for the longest that the other teams should jump of the Texas ship and people called me crazy! But it is even more crazy than any top tier teams will go to the SEC.  That conference will implode if it added another team let alone two because you would be forced to play more conference games instead of having four OOC games.  It would be great for strength of schedule but watch out for what you wish for if you want to accept it or not a lot of the SEC lower tier teams have been getting bowl eligible because they were able to play four easy wins.  If you switch to a nine or ten conference format you will see what the Pac-10 has had to go through for so long.

But if anyone did happen to leave the Big 12 I could see the lower tier teams like Baylor and Iowa St to the Big ten or whatever it is? The Big East would be a pefect fit for Missouri, Texas A&M, and possibly UCF to have a 14 team conference and twenty in basketball. Tech, OU, Kansas, Kansas St would be better of going MWC and renaming it. And last Conference USA would take Troy as a twelth member.

Since: Jan 12, 2007
Posted on: January 26, 2011 4:06 pm

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


Since: Mar 8, 2008
Posted on: January 26, 2011 3:54 pm

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

no one agreed to take less money to stay in the big12, shutup with your lies BuckInOK10. The Big12 guarantees each team a base plus a bonus based on actual TV ratings/exposure. OU, not Texas, is the leading Big12 TV revenue winner with Texas #2. The teams that stayed in the Big12 agreed to the same TV revenue distribution system they having been using all along with the exception of guaranteeing A&M a mininum amount.

If A&M wants more money then they should try winning more. If A&M wants its own TV network then go make it!! Good luck finding a production partner.

PS-the ONLY reason the SEC or the PAC-12 was interested in A&M was because they thought they would get Texas aswell. No one wants A&M by themselves!! What a joke that idea is.

Since: Oct 25, 2009
Posted on: January 26, 2011 2:37 pm

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

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

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: Mar 7, 2007
Posted on: January 26, 2011 2:24 pm

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

It's even more interesting from a legal standpoint.  The UIL, University Interscholastic League manages almost all High School sports(including all football) in Texas. The guy who runs the UIL has an office on the UT campus.  He a UT VP.  In essense, UT's UIL sells the broadcast rights of High School football games to UT's Longhorn Network.

As long as the production of High School games is done by contractors(not employees) and does not include any UT employees it's legit with the NCAA.

After the Big 12 decided to stay with only 10 teams, aTm demanded a minimum yearly payment(I think between $14 and $17 million) to stay, Beebe guaranteed aTm they would get their minimum.

Byrne is making noise to get attention onto aTm.  There is a small chance he's trying to judge whether the Aggies should have their own network. There are lot of Aggies in the military and they are all over the world.

The new Big 12 contract will include UT and the B12 Net. will also have priority over the Longhorn Network showing any live broadcast of a UT game.

Since: Nov 29, 2006
Posted on: January 26, 2011 1:59 pm

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

Longhorn Scott... Is that you?

Since: Jul 24, 2008
Posted on: January 26, 2011 1:59 pm

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

I would like to see this as an opportunity for the SEC to take A&M and OU.  Texas obviously wants to act as an independent. 

If the BIG 12 imploded, I guess Tech would end up the MWC.  They might finally win a championship if that happened....and Coach Tubbervilles prediction would come true!

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