Big Ten Network Will Not Televise High School Games In Near Future
Big Ten Network President Mark Silverman and Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany Thursday said that while "televising high schools games has been discussed," the net will "not do so in the near future," according to Stu Durando of the ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH. Delany: "Maybe it's a recruiting advantage and maybe it's not. But that's not why the network was created. While we try to sort out the best way of doing business, it's going to be the Big Ten's position that we refrain from telecasting high school sports for at least the next couple of years." The NCAA "has scheduled a summit for Aug. 22 when it will address the issue," and all schools or conferences that "have started or plan to start a network have been invited." Delany said, "If the NCAA in its wisdom makes these games televiseable, we'll probably look at it. But it does nothing but confuse an already confused environment" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 7/29).
FOILED PLANS: In Austin, Cantu & Bohls report before ESPN "backed away from its plan to televise high school football on the Longhorn Network because of the outcry from other Big 12 Conference schools," network officials "approached a 'handful' of high school coaches about the possibility of airing their teams' games this season." Austin High School coach L.D. Williams Thursday said that he was "contacted 'two or three weeks ago' by Paragon Marketing, which acts as a third party to acquire high school games for broadcast by ESPN Networks." Lake Travis High School coach Hank Carter also said that he was "approached by Paragon about the Cavaliers' season-opening game against Westlake, scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 27." ESPN Dir of Communications for College Sports Keri Potts in an e-mail Thursday said, "We will honor all of our obligations (regarding the Longhorn Network). I think there's a handful (of high school games that were considered for broadcast), but not a lot. I really don't want to go beyond that" (AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN, 7/29).