In a blow to ESPN's vision of the Longhorn Network, the NCAA ruled on Thursday that current bylaws do not support the broadcast of high school sports by school or conference networks, less than two weeks after the Big 12 ADs met and agreed to place a one-year moratorium on such broadcasts on LHN.
The decision came down after strong lobbying by Texas A&M for the NCAA to hand down on interpretation because of the school's objections to such broadcasts on LHN. The NCAA will still hold a summit on August 22 and there's still a chance that the governing body could alter the bylaws to allow some broadcasts.
Whether the decision helps allay Aggie concerns about the Longhorn Network giving Texas an untenable advantage remains to be seen. Deloss Dodds conceded to league demands regarding the broadcast of a Big 12 conference game, the Aggies now have a great deal of resolution to the concerns that set in motion the potential plans to move to the SEC. Will the administration back down from those plans as the excuses for a move weaken?
For the Texas fanbase and recruitniks everywhere, while the decision makes sense from a fairness standpoint, as the NCAA certainly has every right to keep what is by nature an unlevel playing field between the have and have nots of college football as level as possible, the decision is disappointing for the football-rabid fans in the state of Texas and recruitniks across the country pining for more high school football coverage.
With the proliferation of recruiting coverage both in the new media and the mainsteam media, it's clear that there is a huge desire for more and the hope here is that networks like ESPN and Fox Sports can step up to give viewers more of what they want. And what they want is to see prep football stars in action.