Texas A&M Bill Byrne is not a happy man and just may be ready to take his ball and go home (a new home that is).
Apparently not satisfied with the job that Big XII commish Dan Beebe is doing (what!?!), Texas A&M administrators have taken their case against the Longhorn Network to the NCAA per documents obtained by CBSSports.com.
CBSSports.com obtained documents that show A&M wants TLN classified as an "institutional publication", per bylaw 22.214.171.124, which would make it an "athletics representative of the institution." The 1994 interpretation dealt most mostly with what was, at the time, an explosion among specialty print publications. Several newsletters, magazines and weeklies sprung up in the 1990s that covered individual schools' sports. Several of those publications reported recruiting news in varying degrees as part of their coverage.
They were, in essence, what could interpreted as print versions of what the TLN is attempting to become in 2011. A&M is asking that the NCAA apply that Nov. 1994 ruling -- regarding those print publications -- to video-based publications.
If not, the school said, "the NCAA, in allowing institutions to create video-based publication agreements without any restriction on content, is opening Pandora's box."
On the eve of a scheduled Monday meeting involving all the Big XII ADs, things are beginning to feel eerily similar to this same time last year. It was at a similar meeting that the seeds for Nebraska and Colorado's departure were planted and it's hard not to think the if Texas again refuses to back down that it might be the final straw for a school like A&M.
Texas A&M is lobbying the NCAA hard to the point that ruling in favor of Texas "may cause more than simply discussion and consternation among the NCAA membership. It may lead to undesirable developments, a fear of creeping recruiting advantage that compels members to try to create situations for themselves similar to the Longhorn Network ...
" ... then the next step," A&M states to the NCAA, "could easily be an initiative to broadcast nonscholastic events during the otherwise slow collegiate sporting event summer period and it does not take much of an imagination to target men’s and women’s basketball summer tournaments/camps as being of interest to sports fans."
The NCAA already has its hands full with controlling the influence of those non-scholastic events. Basketball is rife with abuses. The association's enforcement department is working diligently trying to control non-scholastic third party influences in football.
The presumption seems to be that this will all blow over, at least for now, and cooler heads will prevail. Though I'm not necessarily inclined to believe that. To be honest, I'm just not sure I see the powers that be at Texas responding well to a threat from the powers that be at A&M. I'm not sure why Texas, or perhaps more importantly ESPiN, are going to respond well to being told what to do. ESPiN clearly holds Dan Beebe, the Big XII, and apparently the NCAA in very little regard considering they've been told to hold off on any work towards broadcasting high school football. So their response is to go sign a contract with two TX high schools.
Does anyone really think Texas isn't the one in the room thinking to themselves "All these chumps need us, we don't need them"? If, and it's the king of all ifs at the moment, A&M really does have this standing offer from the SEC that all their
delusional fans claim they have then it's time to accept it. It's clearly the only way you're ever going to be happy, if that's even possible, and it's the only thing that is going to end this. The first domino that has been perilously teetering on the edge of falling for over a year now needs that final nudge, so sack up and push the damn thing already.