Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Big 12(10) Puts the Brakes on High School Broadcasts

The Big 12, mainly Texas, has announced plans that it will put a hold on broadcast content from high schools around the nation, the conference said Monday. The 20 year, $300 million TV that ESPN announced in January was slated to contain content featuring "randomized" games of interest from around the country. Yeah, if those games are chosen at random I'll eat my hat. This is from David Ubben of ESPN.com:

Texas and ESPN announced plans to launch the Longhorn Network in January, and the network planned to broadcast games featuring high school athletes shortly after its launch on August 26.

Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe put those plans on hold on July 20, until the league had a chance to meet and discuss the matter further.

The Big 12's athletic directors also plan on requesting the NCAA make the mandate nationwide, so every NCAA member can determine whether broadcasting high school games can be permissible.

"The ADs recognize that this issue is complex and involves a detailed analysis of the recruiting model in many areas, including existing NCAA legislation related to the publicity of prospective student-athletes and the rapidly evolving world of technology," the league said in a statement. "This process will take an extended period of analysis."

It looks like to me that this last statement can be loosely translated to, "The rest of the conference got rightly pissed off when we tried to take them to the recrtuiting woodshed. Texas is going to have to re-think a new way around this."

If I were employed by the Big 12 front office, I'd be doing everything I could to stop as much of this as possible. As we talked about in today's podcast, this is essentially going to disembowel what's left of the Big 12. TAMU led the charge to stave off some of the provisions in the deal with ESPN and they've been looking for a way to get out for the last two years. They're going to find a way pretty soon and that will be curtains for the entire conference.

It's basically class warfare on the part of Texas, who's trying to completely turn under the rest of the conference. I, personally, don't see this turning out as well as the Horns thought it would. If the Big 12 does break up, where would they go? I don't see a logical choice.


  1. TCU part of the Big East, BC part of the ACC, southwest schools potentially going to the PAC 10 or SEC. Yeah, I know it's all about TV markets and the associated money, but I don't see how it benefits the fans and the game in the long run. You think BC fans are excited about losing all of their local rivalry games so they could go to places like Wake, Clemson, UVA and FSU? Those programs will never be true rivals, primarily because they are in distinctly different parts of the country.

  2. Easy, they will go independent and make more money than god.

  3. Seems that is where Texas is headed - being an independent like Notre Dame(for football only) and now BYU. Would a conference allow Texas to do the same thing that the Big East does with ND(allow them to participate in all sports except football?).

    Not sure how it's going to work out for BYU. It will give them a few more high profile football games, but will have a negative impact on the win-loss column.