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Longhorn Network Gets NCAA's Attention

Aug 23, 2011
Originally published on August 23, 2011 4:30 am
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DAVID GREENE, Host:

Good morning, Tom.

TOM GOLDMAN: Hi, David.

GREENE: The Longhorn Network, tell us about it and tell us what's going to be on.

GOLDMAN: "Texas' Greatest Games," "Longhorn Legends," "Texas Game Day." Sensing a pattern here?

GREENE: I'm sensing a pattern.

GOLDMAN: There will be telecasts of 20 different sports, like that volleyball match you mentioned. But during the football season, Texas, a lot of football. So much that Texas coach Mack Brown has said publicly he's a tad anxious about all the access the network's asking for.

GREENE: Well, you know, we mentioned that TV and college sports have this long history. What exactly is the NCAA worried about with this?

GOLDMAN: The high school youth sport issues dominated that discussion. And the NCAA says it was the start of a process that will lead to a final policy decision in about six to nine months.

GREENE: Talk about the evolution of college sports on TV. I mean, Notre Dame games showed up a lot of NBC Sports for a long time, but you're saying this is taking it to a whole direction.

GOLDMAN: I talked to Marc Ganis, a smart sports business guy in Chicago. He told me Congress might get involved, because the schools left behind have sympathetic lawmakers in D.C. And they'll make a lot of noise about antitrust and the like.

GREENE: And, Tom, if ESPN is managing this network, I gather it will mean a lot of money for the school.

GOLDMAN: Yeah, about $11 million a year.

GREENE: Is there any connection, Tom, briefly, between all of these issues and the unfolding scandal at the University of Miami, which has certainly gotten the NCAA's attention, where a booster allegedly gave athletes money, jewelry, even access to prostitutes?

GOLDMAN: Well, yeah, I think there is. In going forward in the future with these big deals and all the money, there will be pressure to attract star high school athletes even more, as colleges try to be one of the economic haves. That potentially could lead to more inducements, more NCAA rules violations.

GREENE: Tom, thanks.

GOLDMAN: You bet.

GREENE: This is NPR News.

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