Texas' Longhorn Network doesn't debut until August 26, but it's already making an impact across the Big 12.
Texas officials, including athletic director DeLoss Dodds, talked with various Big 12 athletic directors and presidents this week to calm fears that the network was an unfair advantage.
The network was announced in the spring, but recent plans to televise high school games involving high school athletes Texas is recruiting has raised eyebrows across the league.
For now, commissioner Dan Beebe told the Dallas Morning News, plans to televise high school games are on hold, "pending decisions by the NCAA and the Big 12 about how to handle single-school and conference networks."
From the Associated Press:
The Longhorn Network is a pioneering project and the NCAA doesn't have rules covering how it would select and broadcast high school games that could include Texas recruits, Dodds said.
Texas officials have asked the NCAA for guidelines, he said.
"We're in a bold new world," Dodds said. "And we're walking through it."
If the network does broadcast high school games, Dodds said Texas will insist that it not be involved in selecting games and that all references the Longhorns and their famous logo be removed.
"We do not want to use it as a recruiting advantage. We don't want it tied to Texas," Dodds said. "ESPN knows we don't want to violate any NCAA rules and they don't want to."
Texas had also planned play two games on the network this season, instead of the planned one when the network was first announced.
"We want to play by the rules," Dodds added, in reference to possible NCAA violations that would come with broadcasting high school games. "We want everything to be in the open with integrity."
However, for now, those plans are on hold, too, Beebe told the Dallas Morning News.
"It’s not going to happen until and unless the conference can make it happen with benefit to all and detriment to none," Beebe told the paper.
Texas A&M regents were scheduled to meet on Thursday to discuss the network, and a source told Sporting News that Texas A&M and Oklahoma were considering a move to the SEC because of the network.
Asked about the possibility at SEC Media Days, SEC commissioner Mike Slive told the Sporting News that "It is my job to make sure the SEC is the premiere league. ... For me to exclude any action that would preclude that from happening would be inappropriate."
Dodds told The Associated Press that he didn't believe the network would put more pressure on the league, which faced near extinction last June before Texas pledged allegiance to the Big 12 with a handful of options on the table, and Oklahoma and Texas A&M turned down reported SEC offers.
"I think the conference is in great shape," Dodds said.
Asked about the prospect of losing Texas A&M, Beebe told the Morning News "some people are interested in seeing that happen, like citizens who rush to an accident to see the blood. That’s what not we’re discussing here."