DALLAS _ DeLoss Dodds, Texas men’s athletic director, said school officials will take part in an Aug. 22 educational summit arranged by the NCAA to discuss broadcasting high school football games on the Longhorn Network and comparable networks run by schools or conferences.
Dodds said he received an invitation today from Kevin Lennon, NCAA vice-president of academic and membership affairs, to send a three-member contingent to the summit and plans to do so. Until the NCAA provides a go-ahead to televise high school football, no games will be shown on the Longhorn Network, which will debut on Aug. 26.
“We’re not going to violate any rules,” Dodds said. “We’re not going to jump into something and not know the outcome (from an NCAA standpoint).”
The idea of showing live high school games on Texas’ subscription-based network has drawn the ire of fellow Big 12 administrators and coaches who believe showing such contests would give the Longhorns a recruiting advantage. Big 12 athletic directors plan to discuss the topic at an Aug. 1 meeting.
“It’s a lack of common sense to think that the network can … have high school games on their network,” Missouri coach Gary Pinkel said. “To me, there’s no common sense there.”
Dodds provided documentation showing the summit will address “NCAA member and conference networks broadcasting youth sports,” a session that would be applicable to other schools or leagues with similar plans to televise high school events in their areas.
Asked if he thought the Aug. 22 summit would lead to a binding NCAA decision on televising high school games, Dodds said: “No, I really don’t. But I hope they do … It’s going to take a while to get their arms around (the issue).”
_ Jimmy Burch