Of course, it doesn’t take a degree in journalism to see the conflict of interest between ESPN’s role in college football and their sizeable financial backing of the Longhorn Network. Heck, it makes Craig James look like a beacon of virtue (oh hey Poynter, we’re still waiting for that Craig James article by the way). We’ve covered the news exaustively at AA in the offseason, but now that the college football season has started, we’ve seen how ESPN has decided to delicately dance around the 10,000 pound elephant in the room.
First, there was the mysterious appearance of Texas on ESPN’s website amongst other top 25 teams when the team wasn’t ranked. Now today, during the Red River Rivalry game, fans saw the definition of a shameless plug from stalwarts Brent Musberger and Kirk Herbstreit. Naturally, amongst all the talk of how important it was for people in Texas to call their cable operator, there was no mention of ESPN’s involvement in the network. But hey, you get to watch LIVE TEXAS PRACTICES!! I guess mentioning the force and money behind the Longhorn Network would actually involve transparency and journalistic integrity and all of those silly things ESPN clearly doesn’t believe in any more.