ESPN and the University of Texas' walking conflict of interest marches on, trying to only grow bigger and conflict-of-interest-ier as they reportedly aim to add a live broadcast of a second Longhorns game on Longhorn Network, and high school football highlights.
Longhorn Network is, if you don't know, a partnership between UT and ESPN to start their own TV network focusing on the Longhorns and Longhorn-related issues. As if the idea of a supposed journalistic entity partnering with an individual school doesn't scream potential disaster — what if Texas' has its own Nevin Shapiro hiding in the wings?— the network has expressed interest in broadcasting high school football games.
That idea was put to bed, albeit slowly and clumsily, by the NCAA earlier this month. I guess they finally wised up that if a college is offering recruits a chance to be seen by a national television audience, that might give them an unfair advantage over schools.
UT and ESPN have decided to keep trying to push the envelope, however, as they discuss plans to only air highlights. I'm sure those high school kids totally wouldn't be swayed by a college only airing their best plays on national television, while simultaneously being able to show more potential recruits. No conflict there.
As far as the second television game — Texas' season opener vs. Rice will already be shown on — both schools will need to sign off on it, and, if it's a Big 12 game, so will the conference. NBC's Ben Kercheval, who broke the story, hypothesized it could be the Kansas State on Nov. 19 because KSU has its own digital broadcast network.
Obviously both of these ideas need to be approved before they come to fruition, but if LHN keeps pushing, eventually the NCAA is going to concede something, we just don't know what quite yet.
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