To my knowledge, this confirmation of a proposed joint UT-A&M Lonestar Network is new. I had always heard the rumors that Dodds had approached A&M with this idea, and was more or less laughed at or told "hell no," but I didn't take too much stock in those stories. It seems it was all true, though.
Contrast Dodds' interview with Byrne's self-righteous blog from yesterday:
"Three or four years ago we talked about doing a joint flagship channel. I liked the idea, but our fans should know me better than to think I would pass on a $150 million deal for Texas A&M. That never happened." What? What this says to me is "Y'all should know I wouldn't pass up a really good deal. But we did talk about it with UT. And I said no." I don't believe that's what really happened, but ok, fine. You didn't go in on the network idea with us, that's your choice, but STOP BITCHING ABOUT IT.When this A&M - SEC situation began in earnest about 3 weeks ago, I heard these rumors crop up again - that Dodds had sought some sort of Aggie partnership in a network deal. I was willing to give the Ags the benefit of the doubt, though, because a lot of people said Dodds' proposal to Byrne was a compete fabrication. After all, those greedy wHor(e)ns would never split their profits with anyone, much less Aggies, right? I figured A&M would never A) pass up such a deal, B) not at least explore the possibilities or C) once the deal came to fruition, bitch to high heaven about it and then join the toughest football conference known to man as a reaction. But, I gave A&M waaaaayyyyyy too much credit. I swear I will recite 100 Hail Bevos before the Rice kicoff as pennance.
In all serious, though, this puts a serious chink in the armor of a lot of the UT-bashing going on out there. So UT is a greedy, money-obsessed institution that cares only about profits and ultimately wants to go independent to make even more profit? Uh, from the very beginning we offered to split the network with our bitter rivals. Well, UT caused the current divorce with A&M, 100%. And they've never acted as a good partner school with the Aggies. Really? According to Dodds, we recognized that UT and A&M were BOTH the premier flagship schools in the state of Texas and went to them - and ONLY THEM - to discuss the network idea. Not Tech, not Baylor, not TCU. In light of Dodds' statements, it's pathetic for the Aggie administration to act in the way that they have done so.
I applaud Dodds' for speaking so frankly on this matter. With Byrne's and Dodds' public statements this week, I am worried that there is now too much bad blood between the administrations to continue the rivalry. But keep tellin' it like it is Dodds. Hook 'Em.