Texas men’s athletic director DeLoss Dodds said school officials will take part in an Aug. 22 educational summit arranged by the NCAA to discuss broadcasting high school football games on the Longhorn Network and comparable networks run by schools or conferences.
Dodds said he received an invitation Monday from Kevin Lennon, NCAA vice president of academic and membership affairs, to send a three-member contingent to the summit and plans to do so. Until the NCAA provides a go-ahead to televise high school football, no games will be shown on the Longhorn Network, which will debut on Aug. 26.
“We’re not going to violate any rules,” Dodds said. “We’re not going to jump into something and not know the outcome.”
The idea of showing live high school games on Texas’ subscription-based network has drawn the ire of fellow Big 12 administrators and coaches who believe showing such contests would give the Longhorns a recruiting advantage. Big 12 athletic directors plan to discuss the topic at an Aug. 1 meeting.
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“It’s a lack of common sense to think that the network can have high school games on their network,” Missouri coach Gary Pinkel said. “To me, there’s no common sense there.”
Dodds provided documentation showing the summit will address “NCAA member and conference networks broadcasting youth sports,” a session that would be applicable to other schools or leagues with similar plans to televise high school events in their areas.
Asked if he thought the Aug. 22 summit would lead to a binding NCAA decision on televising high school games, Dodds said: “No, I really don’t. But I hope they do It’s going to take a while to get their arms around (the issue).”
In the state of Texas, UIL rules prohibit live telecasts of Friday night high school football games unless the contest is sold out in advance.
Texas A&M coach Mike Sherman says Big 12 teams are “only as good as your backup quarterback” because of the physical nature of the league. That is why he considers the backup quarterback race between three freshmen candidates, including Arlington High School graduate Matt Joeckel, an important position to settle in fall camp. Sherman said Monday he expects to make a decision “within the first 10 days of camp” between two redshirt freshmen — Joeckel and Jameill Showers — and incoming freshman Johnny Manziel as the backup to senior starter Ryan Tannehill.
“They need to compete and (the winner) will get the bulk of the reps for the backups” during the second half of fall camp, Sherman said.
Baylor officials have kicked off the Heisman Trophy campaign for quarterback Robert Griffin III, sending out cards to voters with the slogan: “In the 2011 Heisman race keep your eye on third.” The card includes “RG3” and Baylor logos on the front. The back includes a photo of the back of Griffin’s jersey, showing “Griffin III” and the player’s signature. Griffin said he welcomes the opportunity to shine a brighter light on the Bears’ program and is not concerned about the increased pressure that comes with being labeled a Heisman hopeful.
“Expectations have always been high for me my whole life,” Griffin said. “I don’t bow down to the pressure. I accept it. I’m a winner. I want the ball in my hands when the game is on the line.”
Gordon’s future unclear
Baylor coach Art Briles said he has “no idea right now” if receiver Josh Gordon, who caught seven touchdown passes last season, will return to the team this season. Gordon received an indefinite suspension Saturday for an unspecified violation of team rules.
Briles said the Bears are “going to move forward and we’re going to be good” regardless of Gordon’s status in 2011.
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