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Sports Headline

The LONE Star Monopoly

The University of Texas announced a television partnership yesterday with ESPN.  Worth an estimated 300 Million over a 20 year span.  The Athletic Department will see 25 Million alone for the 1st five years of the new deal.

Texas already the nations largest sports department in college, just became even larger with little or no room for any other university to come close to what they can provide a future college athlete.  The only other “Program” to have a deal like this is Notre Dame.  But by comparison the “Golden Domers” contracts with NBC have usually been 5 to 7 year deals worth no more than $9 Million annually.  While being an independent Notre Dame has no ties to any another schools, so there is no issue with revenue sharing.

The 24 hour channel will feature at least one exclusive football game, eight men’s basketball games, women’s basketball coverage of games not televised elsewhere, and Olympic sports coverage. There will also be pregame and postgame shows for football and basketball games, coaches’ shows for every sport Texas sponsors and other daily programming. Plans call for 200 events a year. (ESPN).

What intrigues me most in this story is that it wasn’t just 8 months ago that Texas and Texas A&M agreed to keep the “Big 12” (with only 10 schools) together.  Texas was set to jump to the Pac 10 while A&M was ready to join the SEC.   But for the sake of their own rivalry and in state traditions the two institutions felt it was in the better interests to keep that conference in tact.

A deal like this with ESPN does not happen over night.  Which leaves me to believe this deal has been in the process since even before the possible defection of Texas.  Their is no way with Texas in the Pac 10, do the Longhorns get a TV Deal with ZERO revenue sharing with the other universities.  It’s bad business.  Great for the University of Texas, but for every school they are affiliated with, it creates an unfair balance of power.

What’s the point of recruiting the state of Texas, when you now know that you can’t offer the same exposure that Texas can provide there in state talent.  Whats the point of the other schools in Texas recruiting “Blue Chip” players anymore?  I guess at Baylor you can sell the idea of being an Engineer, or at A&M you can be Bio Science major.  They’re student athlete’s first right?

Where does the 300 Million go?  Maybe to fancy cars for future players?  That couldn’t happen, because that’s against NCAA rules and unfortunately Texas is still not part of the SEC, where the rules don’t apply.  But seriously where does that 300 Million find its self? Most will likely fund future academic programs and buildings at the University. While other parts will funnel its way into creating the biggest college sports program this country has ever seen for men and women.

I want to be the 1st to congratulate the “Longhorns” on successfully  screwing over the other 9 programs in its conference.  As well as I want to send and extra special pat on the back to the 9 schools who allowed this to happen.  When Colorado and Nebraska left,each university had the chance to make a move, but you all lobbied to keep Texas where it was.  I want to wish all the other schools in Texas good luck over the next 20 years fighting each other for 3 star recruits, after Texas takes all the 5 star, and Oklahoma and the other top national programs cherry pick the 4 star, the rest of you are just left with 3 star players.

Steve

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