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It's The Longhorn Network's Fault

Paranoia Strikes Deep, Into Your Life It Will Creep

Erich Schlegel

When times get tough, coaches love to call on the "us against them" mentality to rally the troops -- and times are indeed tough on the 40 Acres.

Even after a win, Mack Brown found it necessary to separate the wheat from the chaff when it came to "friends of the program."

But as Scipio points out, we don't need to confuse the man with the program.

Now it turns out that even those who are showering the program with dollar bills are not helping matters. Mack Brown admitted today that the Longhorn Network is making it really, really hard for the coaches to do their jobs.

"I didn't ask for it," Brown said Monday, noting he's worried that the six hours a week he spends taping three television shows and the network's access to the first 30 minutes of daily practice may tip opposing coaches to player injuries, tendencies and schemes.

Brown said he even brought it up with Baylor coach Art Briles before last Saturday's game (the LHN is on in Waco). Brown also said he believes opposing coaches watch the LHN to pick any information they can on the team. "We were given a deal that we had no input in," Brown said.

Apparently somebody in the sports media office is monitoring the LHN on a daily basis to make sure nothing of import is broadcast. Fans who have the LHN are given an "inside look" at practice once a week, which only show the first 8 periods when nothing or very little having to do with strategy or the upcoming opponent is worked on.

Then there is the worry that maybe player information, say about injuries, could be leaked out. Mack has that covered.

Brown even said if a player needs to have an ankle taped, the UT medical staff will tape both ankles so anyone watching LHN won't know if a player is injured.

So the 20-year $300 million deal with ESPN, which brings unprecedented revenue is a problem. The Texas administration will get right on it.

Dodds said school officials talk with the network every week.

"If there are issues we feel are necessary to talk about we will. It's a great thing for Texas. We are pioneers in this. Mack's issues will absolutely be addressed by me and Mack and the Longhorn Network," Dodds said.

ESPN released a statement saying the network was created to serve the school's passionate fan base.

"A network of this kind has never been done at this level and it continues to evolve," ESPN said.

I once heard a great quote about letting petty details and distractions keep you from doing what needs to be done.

"Don't be stomping on ants or you might have an elephant stomp on you."

There's an elephant in the room, and somebody needs to acknowledge it.

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