College Football’s First Nuke: Burnt-Orange Glow

August 26 ESPN and the University of Texas will unleash an inconceivable college football recruiting beast on, at the very least, the Big 12 opponents of the Longhorns.

Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe: Father Of College Football Recruiting's Nuclear Age

(Big 12 Boss Dan Beebe: Father Of ESPN-Led Nuclear Recruiting Age)

Last month ESPN Programming VP Dave Brown, who oversees the Longhorn Network, said during an interview with ESPN Austin affiliate KZNX-FM that ESPN will broadcast high school football games inside and outside the state.

On July 14, the HOUSTON CHRONICLE reported that Longhorn Network partner ESPN will, according to Texas Athletic Director DeLoss Dodds, “select the games based on what they [Longhorn Network management] feel is best.”

ESPN Longhorn Network VP Brown to KZNX on what those “best” high school football games - to be aired nationally on the Longhorn Network - will be:

“We’re going to follow the great [high school] players in the state. Obviously a kid like [unsigned Texas verbal commit] Johnathan Gray. I know people [Longhorn Network subscribers] are going to want to see Johnathan Gray, I can’t wait to see Johnathan Gray.

“Feedback from our audience is they just want to see Johnathan Gray run whether it’s 45-0 or not, they want to see more Johnathan Gray. So we’re going to do our best to accomodate them [Longhorn Network subscribers] and follow the kids who are being recruited by a lot of the Division I schools. Certainly some of the kids Texas has recruited and is recruiting and everyone else the Big 12 is recruiting.

“One other thing, you may see us, I know there’s a kid [unsigned Texas verbal commit] Connor Brewer from Chapparal high school in Arizona. We may try to get on one or two of their games as well so people [Longhorn Network subscribers] can see an incoming quarterback that’ll be part of the scene in Austin.

ESPN’s move to nationally televise high school football games of unsigned, prospective University of Texas student-athletes - and prospects who are still up for grabs - gives the Longhorns the equivalent of college football recruiting’s nuclear bomb, with UT free to use it while vying for recruits against Big 12 opponents and beyond.

Indeed, Texas AD Dodds sounded downright Oppenheimer-ish to the HOUSTON CHRONICLE as he awaited delivery of UT’s first ESPN-made recruiting game changer:

“We understand that this is a new world and that we’re leading the way in an area that is new to us and new to the NCAA and new to ESPN. Like everything else, we will do it in a first-class way, in the light of day.” 

Welcome to the NCAA’s brave new world! (Pay no mind to that unnatural burnt-orange glow Baylor fans, it’s perfectly safe to touch and taste.)

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More Payments Link Baylor Coach, LSU To Lyles

Joseph Duarte of the HOUSTON CHRONICLE today profiled Willie Lyles, the Houston-based recruiting service operator at the center of an NCAA investigation into the recruiting practices of the Oregon football program.

Art Briles coached Houston program paid Lyles company $10,000 in 2007

From Duarte’s July 8, 2011, piece in the Chronicle:

Lyles said he had informal conversations with other schools, among them the University of Houston and Rice, about purchasing his service. He occasionally contacted UH to recommend players “that they should look at” in an effort to build a relationship, but the school decided not to purchase his recruiting package.

The University of Houston football program may have not purchased a recruiting package from Complete Scouting Services, the company Lyles set up in late 2009 with Oregon football coach Chip Kelly’s blessing, but UH is documented to have made a $10,000 payment to a recruiting services company which employed Lyles at the time of the financial transaction.

In a Yahoo Sports report on July 1, 2011, Charles Robinson and Dan Wetzel reported how Lyles first met Kelly:

Lyles said he first met Kelly in 2007, when he worked as a Texas-area scout for Muscle Sports, (MSL) a New York-based service.

A search of the official website of the state of Texas comptroller revealed today that the University of Houston paid “MSL Combines” $10,000 during the 2007 fiscal year. (Before Oct. 17, 2007.)

On Nov. 28, 2007, former University of Houston football coach Art Briles left the school to take over as the head football coach at Baylor.

The 2008 Baylor football recruiting class included star quarterback Robert Griffin III, who had previously committed to Houston, and former Texas high school prospect Kendall Wright, who this week was named to the 2011 preseason watch list for the Biletnikoff Award.

Current Bears QB Griffin visited Oregon during his recruitment in 2007 and said on July 13, 2007, “During the season I’m going to try to take officials [official recruiting visits] to LSU, Stanford and Washington State.”

Like the Briles-coached UH Cougars, LSU also reportedly paid MSL Combines $10,000 in 2007. Former Texas A&M assistant coach Van Malone recently alleged that Lyles asked him for $80,000 in 2007 in exchange for delivering high profile recruit Patrick Peterson to the Aggies.

Peterson ultimately sign with LSU.

In 2007, Lyles was a MSL colleague of current Florida-based recruiting service operator Charles Fishbein.

In 2008, Fishbein started Elite Scouting Services (ESS). Of that transition, Fishbein told reporter Justin Hopkins of Oregon.247sports.com three days ago: Read more…

McCoy’s Wife: Longhorns ‘Didn’t’ Tell Agents ‘No’

Rachel McCoy, wife of Colt McCoy, called in to ESPN Radio’s The Herd with Colin Cowherd today to comment - in part - about the problems NFL agents presented at the University of Texas when her husband was a member of the squad.

“I know he was approached quite a bit (by agents), but you know how Colt is, he can brush it off, move on and not go down that road.

“But I saw so many of his teammates who didn’t have the self control (of her husband Colt) to be able to say no to somebody.”

Ominous comments from someone very close to the highest profile University of Texas football player in recent memory. Especially in lieu of the other major college football programs recently found to be fraught with NCAA violations involving players taking extra benefits.

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Video: The Finest Sports Documentary Ever Made

Today I watched a documentary by Richard Linklater about venerable Texas baseball coach Augie Garrido called, Inning By Inning: A Portrait of a Coach. Below is a small assemblage of clips from the finest piece of sports documentary filmmaking I’ve seen.


The video above, which is extremely not safe for work and inappropriate for children, was snipped from the full-length DVD which is available at Amazon.com.

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Bevo TV’s Dirty Little Secret: All About Recruiting

Last week the University of Texas announced a 20-year, $300 million partnership with ESPN that will lead to the creation of a nationally-televised cable channel devoted to the interests of the Univ. of Texas athletic department.

Bevo TV: Culturally Relevant

(So why would they broadcast football and basketball games anyway?)

But contrary to popular perception, Texas and ESPN plan to offer an “extensive” menu of sports programming that doesn’t include the school’s sports teams. More specifically, as detailed in the Texas-ESPN Network press release last week, the Univ. of Texas network will, “provide fans, students and parents with access to extensive Texas high school sports, including football, basketball and more, through this centralized home.”***

Snuck into the bottom of the Texas-ESPN official announcement, here’s the whole paragraph: Read more…

Franklin ‘High Road’ Is Considerably Less Traveled

On Jan. 6, two days after he was fired by ESPN for making obscene, degrading remarks to ESPN colleague Jeannine Edwards - and then failing to apologize for his admitted indiscretion by ESPN request - Ron Franklin wrote in an email to Richard Sandomir of the NEW YORK TIMES, “I just want this thing to end so we can have our lives back.

Ron Franklin's High Road

(Franklin Austin lawsuit same day as ESPN-TX announcement: Coincidence?)

Franklin’s Jan. 6 lament to the newspaper followed a public apology on Jan. 3 - made through ESPN - in which he admitted, “I said some things I shouldn’t have, and I’m sorry. I deserved to be taken off the Fiesta Bowl.” (Franklin never personally apologized to Edwards, which contributed to his firing.)

Yesterday on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin, ESPN and Texas school officials announced a groundbreaking partnership that creates a sports network expressly designed to carry Univ. of Texas sports programming.

On the same day, less than a mile away at the Travis County Courthouse, the attorney for Austin resident and former Texas football and basketball announcer Ron Franklin filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against ESPN on the announcer’s behalf.

Franklin’s lawsuit filing subsequently caused at least one outlet, the New York Times, to juxtapose ESPN’s big announcement about the Texas Network right next to the news of Franklin suing the very same sports network.

Ron Franklin story next to ESPN Texas story in NY Times

(NYT: ESPN-Texas announcement next to Franklin-ESPN lawsuit)

It’s common knowledge at ESPN that Franklin had viewed the ESPN-Texas television endeavor as a possible part of his own, personal active retirement. But thanks to his ouster at the network, not even Franklin’s staunchest allies at the Univ. of Texas were willing to jeopardize the $300 million dollar deal by demanding that the former venerable voice of the Longhorns be included on ESPN Texas Network sports broadcasts.

But why would someone who still makes his home in Austin and was the former sports voice of the Univ. of Texas file a lawsuit against ESPN at a courthouse less than a mile away from campus on the exact day the school proudly announced a landmark broadcasting agreement with the same company?

Read more…

Video: Welcome To Mack Brown Postblame Show

I don’t think it’s unreasonable to observe that Mack Brown embarrassed himself at his postgame press conference after his Texas Longhorns embarrassed themselves in a 28-21 home loss to Iowa State Saturday.

(V.Y. wasn’t surprised)

During flustered remarks to a soft-tossing media, Brown literally blamed everyone but himself for the loss to the Cyclones.

Mack Brown postblame show

Don’t believe me? Watch the video.

Read more…

Longhorns Encouraged Not To Miss Postgame No

Headline from University of Texas student newspaper the DAILY TEXAN the day before the OU-Texas game in Dallas on Saturday:

Daily Texas Headline Predicts Sexual Assaults During OU-Texas Weekend

Student reporter Aziza Musa notes in the predictive piece that with the rise in sexual assault reports following the OU-Texas football game involving Texas students “the past nine years, the UT Counseling and Mental Health Center staff are again bracing for a jump in reports from this weekend.

Why the spike? Read more…

Coach Mack Brown Can’t Spell Heisman With “I”

Randy Riggs of the AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN has what was likely the reason that Vince Young, after saying nothing about the 2005 Heisman Trophy for five years, suddenly stepped up on Monday and proclaimed, “I definitely want it.

(Brown Eyed The Heisman ‘On Behalf Of Texas’? Hmmm.)

Mack Brown.

Brown credited himself as the reason V.Y. reconsidered accepting the award: Read more…

Ex-Longhorn Football Player Hit Girl In TMZ Video

This week TMZ.com posted video of man punching a woman outside of a bar in Austin, Texas. The impact of the blow to the young woman, which came from behind and was never seen by the victim, sent her crashing face down into the pavement.

Rashad Bobino punched woman from behind and was then beatdown by MMA Fighter Roger Huerta

The man who was seen punching the woman was then confronted and allegedly beaten by MMA fighter Roger Huerta.

(TMZ video link)

While the identity of the man who struck the woman has not officially been released by the Austin Police Department, I’ve learned from multiple sources who threw the punch. Read more…