Berry Tramel: Longhorn Network turning Big 12 into a soap opera once again

by Berry Tramel Published: July 26, 2011

“I'm thankful and grateful that the majority of A&M grads and fans don't feel that way.”

We'll see. Rattle enough sabres, and soon enough, someone swings one.

Big 12 athletic directors meet next week to discuss the Longhorn Network, but expect the presidents to take over the decision-making. Here we are, less than six weeks from the season opener, and neither issue is resolved.

The NCAA eventually will outlaw high school games on university-branded networks, no doubt about it.

The second game on the Longhorn Network is dicier. If Texas Tech has to play on the Longhorn Network, revolution could ensue.

Or say ESPN cuts a deal with Tech to play without griping, in exchange for a couple of future prime television appearances. What if that costs Oklahoma State or Missouri a plush TV spot?

Maybe ESPN and UT just pay a Kansas State or someone to play on the Longhorn Network. And best-case scenario, ESPN offers a clean feed of the telecast back to the local market of the opponent, complete with its own announcers.

It's one big mess and needs to be sorted out soon.

“This has to work for everybody if you don't want everybody drawing their swords and seeing who's left standing,” Beebe said.

Beebe said he knows there are going to ah-ha moments in which doom will be proclaimed.

“We have an issue,” Beebe said. “There's disagreement. We can come together and solve the issue and be stronger than we've ever been.

“We're not going to have the benefit of the doubt for awhile. Some people can't wait to see the train wreck. I get it. Some of that is fair. Some of that is blown up way too big.”

The Big 12's new branding theme, unveiled Monday, is “How We Play.”

It's a little cheesy. Promotes things like all 10 schools being in the same time zone and all 10 schools being in I-35 states. Doesn't exactly match up with the SEC's five straight national championships.

But back to the theme. How We Play? Not very nicely. Big 12 schools are fussing again.

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at btramel@opubco.com. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.

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by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The...
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