Thu Jul 21 07:57am EDT
Making the morning rounds.
• I thought we were all friends here. The University of Texas-backed Longhorn Network has agreed to table plans to air high school games on the network this fall, amid rising concerns that broadcasting potential Texas recruits may violate NCAA rules and provide an unfair recruiting advantage over the rest of the Big 12. Yes, that would be the same Big 12 that only narrowly avoided oblivion last year by agreeing to allow Texas to pursue the network, but the reality of the distance it could put between the Longhorns and the rest of the conference has the league's other power brokers, Oklahoma and Texas A&M, playing hardball again. For now, commissioner Dan Beebe is with them, promising to withhold a planned Big 12 game on the network until every is on the same page: "It's not going to happen until and unless the conference can make it happen with benefit to all and detriment to none."
For his part, Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds said Texas is "for the conference," wants to "play by the rules" and has already talked with other Big 12 athletic directors and presidents this week. "I think the conference is in great shape," Dodds told the Associated Press, which is pretty hard to disagree with if you're DeLoss Dodds. [Dallas Morning News, Associated Press]
• WELCOME TO DIVISION I FOOTBAW ON ESPNU!!! ESPN unveiled its regular announcing teams for this fall's broadcasts, with few changes from last year and only two new faces: Former Florida coach Urban Meyer, who'll replace Bob Griese on noontime Big Ten games with partners Dave Pasch and Chris Spielman, and former Colorado coach Dan Hawkins, who'll bring his singular enthusiasm for Division I football to Saturday afternoon games on ESPNU. (Hawkins will be teaming up with Pam Ward, a booth that may as well be outfitted for its forthcoming Pammy Award right now.)
One notable absence from the lineup: Veteran favorite Ron Franklin, whose dulcet tones fell victim earlier this year to allegedly sexist comments he made to sideline reporter Jeannine Edwards during the Chick-Fil-A Bowl. [ESPN, Idaho Statesman]
• The Rap Sheet. Central Florida quarterback Jeff Godfrey, one of the most efficient passers in the nation last year as a true freshman, was arrested last weekend for driving on a suspended license — apparently by the same officer who ticketed Godfrey on the same charge earlier this year. Godfrey was booked early Sunday morning and released on $250 bond. [Orlando Sentinel]
• Oh, he'll be here. It will just be too fast for the human eye to detect. Florida coach Will Muschamp assured reporters at Wednesday's SEC media extravaganza that lightning-fueled tailback Jeff Demps will be back for his senior season this fall, even though Demps is currently in Italy with the U.S. national track team and may be considering giving up football for a pro track career. "He wanted to run with the U.S. team, he wanted to go to Italy," Muschamp said. "When he comes back we're going to re-evaluate where he is. But I fully expect him to be a part of our football team." Quarterback John Brantley, receiver Deonte Thompson and Demps' high school coach all echoed the same sentiment. [Gainesville Sun, ESPN]
• Brakes on Blakely. The NCAA has denied incoming running back Mike Blakely's request to play this fall at Auburn, forcing him to sit out his freshman season after transferring from Florida. Blakely, the No. 40 overall player in the 2011 class according to Rivals, originally enrolled in Florida in January, but sat out spring practice with an injury and decided to leave Gainesville when new offensive coordinator Charlie Weis arrived with his pro-style offense. [al.com]
Quickly… Dan Wenger is in the fold at Florida. … Upper level trollin' with the master. … Arkansas puts the entire team on the cover of its 2011 media guide. … Steve Sarkisian donates to the academic side at Washington. … And the Bylaw Blog breaks down Mike Slive's reform agenda, line by line.
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Matt Hinton is on Twitter: Follow him @DrSaturday.