The Longhorn Network, a collaborative effort between the school and ESPN, is back in the middle of a discussion about plans to show high school football content. During a news conference today in Austin, a network representative acknowledged plans to show high school football highlights as part of news reports on the network, which still seeks its first carrier a week before its scheduled Aug. 26 launch.
A Big 12 spokesman said the league, which voted earlier this month to ban live telecasts of high school games on the network, will defer to the NCAA for a rules interpretation on the issue.
The NCAA is scheduled to meet Monday with representatives from networks and multiple schools, including Texas, to discuss the issue. Last week, the NCAA issued a ruling in support of existing bylaws that “prohibit youth programming on institutional and conference networks and broadcasts” but acknowledged plans to “evaluate the proper application of NCAA rules” on the subject.
In addition, LHN officials confirmed plans to televise a second football game in 2011. Kansas State (Nov. 19) is the likely opponent.
Texas A&M spokesman Jason Cook reiterated his school’s long-standing objection to high-school related content on the LHN because of recruiting implications.
“Our recent conversations are reflective of our ongoing concerns,” Cook said.
Cook also said A&M president R. Bowen Loftin was not on the conference call _ and did not take part in what was reported in Big 12 minutes as a unanimous vote _ when members of the league’s board of directors approved parameters to show a conference game on the LHN.
_ Jimmy Burch