DeLoss Dodds, Texas men’s athletics director, took action today to minimize concerns that school officials are pushing the envelope in regard to NCAA rules with plans for the Longhorn Network to show
high school football highlights as part of network news reports.
An ESPN spokesman acknowledged plans Thursday to air the highlights on the network _ a collaborative effort between the school and ESPN _ despite a recent NCAA ruling that existing bylaws “prohibit youth programming on institutional and conference networks and broadcasts.” ESPN officials believe the ruling applies only to live game telecasts, not news-related highlights. Further clarification could come Monday at an NCAA meeting to discuss the issue.
Dodds made it clear that Texas will pull the plug on anything that threatens to put the school in danger of breaking NCAA rules.
“We’re not going to work in a gray area,” Dodds said. “The ESPN people live in a different world than we win live in. Obviously, they want to do the high school (telecasts). But we’re not going to do anything to break the rules … We are totally committed to the Big 12 and totally committed to following the rules.”
Dodds said Texas remains in negotiations about televising a conference game on the Longhorn Network but no deal has been finalized. A likely target could be the team’s Nov. 19 home game against Kansas State, which recently started its own digital network.
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_ Jimmy Burch