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The Longhorn Network - A Problem No More!

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So against my better judgment, I've decided to release the solution to the major hang up regarding Texas and their new network.  This solution will allow them to overcome all the issues we Sooners, the Aggies, the Tigers, and all others have with the Longhorn Network airing high school football games.  I'm prepared to accept the responsibility of this great burden and have come to terms with the ramifications that I will be held responsible.  It was not an easy decision to come to and if I were a more ruthless individual, I would withhold this solution until the powers that be at the University of Texas came knocking on my door with a big Ed McMahon style check with my name on it.  However being the man of the people that I am, I've chosen to forsake a sure fortune and provide this information free of charge.  

First, let's clear a few things up.  To be fair, I can understand where Texas fans are coming from in questioning why everyone is now freaking out about this network.  Clearly these plans have been in place for some time and were widely known when Texas agreed to stay in the Big XII and in doing so pretty much guaranteed the conference's continued existence.  More than willing to paint themselves the savior while wheeling and dealing for their sole best interest behind the scenes, their self righteousness now is more than a little hypocritical.  Certainly no reasonable person would deny them the ability to act in their own best interest, but to go about it in such a brazen way with absolutely no regard or respect to their fellow conference mates, well frankly I'm not sure how they could have expected any other kind of reaction.  Then again, when you've been allowed to virtually dictate every term and condition in the past thanks to a sham of a conference commissioner who is deathly afraid of being cut off from the Longhorn teet, maybe I can begin to understand why they're so stunned after all.

As I understand it, there are two major problems people have with Texas and their network.  Problem #1 - The 2nd game to be broadcast.  Around this time last year, when UT was negotiating it's terms for keeping the Big XII together, the other teams in the conference were scared into agreeing that Texas would be allowed to air one game on their new network.  Fast forward about one year and suddenly ESPiN is announcing that the Longhorn Network will now air a second game and perhaps more importantly, it will be a conference game.  Well now, hold the phone. Amazingly, ESPiN executives were overstepping their bounds and announcing decisions before they had even been run through the proper channels.  But see there is why UT and ESPiN make such perfect partners, because they do whatever they want, whenever they want.  Rules?  Phhhhh!  They don't need no stinking rules.  Why not just solve the problem like they always do?  Just throw a bunch of money at it and it will surely go away.

So naturally, that is exactly what they attempt to do.  Offering to open up the coffers for any fellow Big XII school willing to totally sell out travel on down to Austin.  To date, it seems they've pissed enough people off that even all their hush money can't get them out of this one but it's also likely far from over.

No on to the much more polarizing problem and the one to which I have the perfect solution.  Problem #2 - Broadcasting high school football games.  Honestly, if UT has anyone to blame for why this has become such an ordeal it really falls squarely on one person in my opinion.  It's not anyone at OU or anyone in College Station.  It falls squarely at the feet, or more appropriately the big mouth, of their own employee.  Er, wait, their own "independent" contractor.  That man is Dave Brown of the Longhorn Network (contractual obligation to disclose that the Longhorn Network is a subsidiary of ESPiN).  Dave Brown was the idiot who went on an Austin radio station and gave an interview describing how they were going to feature kids who were committed to Texas because "that's what their viewers would want to see."  Going so far as to repeatedly mention current Texas commits by name no less and claiming that they would even go outside the state of Texas to feature UT commits high school athletes.  Stupidity in this form is truly quite rare.  Were it not for this moron, I actually think Texas would have been able to muscle this provision through.  So thank you Mr. Brown for being so incredibly dumb and creating the you know what storm we're currently witnessing.

Now for the moment you've all been waiting for, the solution to this dilemma.  It's actually so simple, I'm a little surprised that Texas officials haven't already come up with it themselves.  Texas should be allowed to broadcast high school football games, from any state, with just one simple caveat.

  • Any high school game that is featured on the Longhorn Network shall not include any player, on either team, who is currently being recruited by, committed to, or will eventually sign with the University of Texas.

Seems pretty simple right?  Texas and the Longhorn Network can air high school games 24/7 if they so choose, so long as none feature a prospective/current/future Horn.  If this lone condition is not upheld, it is an immediate major NCAA violation requiring the loss of nothing more than Texas, and it's business partner ESPiN, to return all advertising revenue received for the entire length of that respective high school football season and an additional minimum $25 million fine, both of which will be distributed to the other conference teams.  No loss of scholarships, no probation, no postseason ban.  Just an actual punishment that might finally be effective.  Instill what the NCAA geniuses have continually failed to realize, any "punishment" that does not take the only thing these people care about ($$$) away it fails to truly be a real punishment.  So if they'd like to show a game featuring current commit Jonathan Gray or Connor Brewer as Dave Brown suggested, no problem.  Just go ahead and breakout that gold plated checkbook.  If you're willing to risk showing a game with a player who you're not recruiting but eventually winds up giving you his signature on signing day, again no worries.  Just know that when that LOI fax comes in, it's got an eight figure invoice attached right along with it.

So there it is, like I said so simplistic in its effectiveness.  After all, wouldn't this solve the biggest problem of all?  The one that Mack (just ignore those brown eyes of his, it's just because he's so full of ___) tried to sell everyone on at Big XII media days.  How, really, the ones being hurt by not allowing them to air high school games are all the kids who won't have a chance at the exposure they can't get anywhere else.  Thus causing them all to avoid being offered scholarships if their games aren't broadcast on the all powerful Longhorn Network.  So doesn't this then solve that terrible tragedy while also ensuring that, like they all said, they didn't want the high school games to be affiliated with UT at all?  Pretty sure it does.  

I'll bet you, never in their wildest dreams, would Texas have expected a Sooner to come to their rescue.  So while I can't (nor would I ever want to) do anything about that, I can just simply say you're welcome Texas.

You're welcome.