Bill Byrne: It's All the Longhorn Network's Fault But It Won't Work Anyway

As Texas A&M inches closer out the door of the Big 12 to the SEC, Athletics Director Bill Byrne took a few more shots at "our friends over in the state capital," in a Birmingham, AL newspaper.

Among other things, Byrne continued to blame the Longhorn Network for the divorce, while also touting the idea of a an SEC regional network. He also understands that when it comes to future scheduling, "his friends over in the state capital" won't be picking up the phone anytime soon.

"I feel badly about that," Byrne said. "I'm very foolish. I assumed -- and it was a rash assumption on my part -- that our friends over in the state capital would want to continue playing us. It turns out they didn't think we were as much of a rival as we thought of them."

Byrne said he was okay with the LHN when it was proposed and when it looked like it would carry only one UT football game. He said that when the idea of telecasting high school games came up it was the last straw. He also denied that he turned down an opportunity to join Texas in a regional network.

As for the lack of distribution of the LHN at this time, Byrne took a "I told you so" attitude.

"I think there's too many other kinds of markets in Texas," he said. "Comcast signed off (to distribute) every single ESPN product except the Longhorn Network. That says something. I think it takes more than one football game to drive a network."

But Byrne loves the idea of an SEC Network penetrating the Texas markets.

"They've added about 35 million people to their footprint (with Texas A&M and Missouri), and we're a pretty popular commodity in this state," he said. "I suspect there should be enough of a footprint to do it. There's certainly nobody better at this than Mike Slive. If that's the right thing, he will do it."

Right now the Aggies are busy scrubbing all the Big 12 logos off their facilities, while also adding over $1 million for additional travel beginning with the 2012-13 school year. Texas A&M and Missouri become official members of the SEC on July 1, 2012.

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