(August 11, 2011) -- The NCAA is not allowing the televising of high school games on school or conference networks, the association ruled on Thursday.
For the moment, that seems to relieve some of the pressure created by the Longhorn Network's intention to televise such games. That was considered a main reason why Texas A&M is reportedly looking to move to the SEC.
The ruling has to be considered a blow to the Longhorn Network which forged a partnership with ESPN, based in some small part on the belief that Texas would be able to telecast high school games. An Aug. 22 NCAA summit had been scheduled to discuss the issue. The summit remains scheduled, NCAA president Mark Emmert said.
Emmert added that NCAA staff had made the interpretation and board of directors had approved it. Texas A&M had lobbied the NCAA hard for such an interpretation. It's unclear whether this changes A&M's reported intentions.
TLN and ESPN officials said previously they would be comfortable with whatever the NCAA decided. But clearly ESPN/TLN had ambitious plans. TLN chief Dave Brown said in June that the network had planned to televise up to 18 games per season. He also said there were plans to fly to different states to televise the games of players who had committed to Texas.
This does not affect the televising of high school games on networks not affiliated with a conference or school.