As it was announced that the University of Texas would receive their own ESPN-sponsored television channel, concern spread across the college football landscape like wildfire. In particular, several Big-12 universities voiced unease that the Longhorn Network -- as it has been affectionately dubbed -- would become the ultimate Texas recruiting tool.
The worries were understandably founded. ESPN Programming Vice President Dave Brown announced last month that the network would broadcast high school games from both inside and outside the state. Texas Athletic Director DeLoss Dodds extrapolated on Brown's words, explaining that the network would select the televised high school games based on what Texas "feels is best".
Immediate discomfort was felt by all within the conference. Greasing high school kids with the ability to broadcast their faces to the entire country is an utterly absurd advantage that no other university possesses.
Despite that, Texas officials maintained that they would keep this brave new world as ethical as possible. Though those claims suddenly seem to have shrunk to the backburner, following Brown's latest remarks.
“One other thing, you may see us, I know there’s a kid [unsigned Texas verbal commit] Connor Brewer from Chapparal high school in Arizona. We may try to get on one or two of their games as well so people [Longhorn Network subscribers] can see an incoming quarterback that’ll be part of the scene in Austin.“
If that doesn't scream unfair recruiting advantage, then I don't know what does. The rest of the Big-12 should probably prepare for an unparalleled era of ESPN-sanctioned Texas dominance.
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