AUSTIN (AP) – Deep into training camp as he tries to rebound from a losing season, Texas coach Mack Brown sounds uneasy about the access to his program he’s being asked to give to the soon-to-launch Longhorn Network.
The network has asked to film and broadcast practices and meetings that are normally closed to the media and public and a cameraman is always following Brown or someone on his staff.
Brown said Thursday he can’t let the network demands create a distraction for a team trying to return to a national title contender status after last season’s 5-7 finish.
He has already turned down a network request to broadcast Saturday’s scrimmage online.
“A year from now we’ll all know what it means. We’ll have worked together. But obviously the Longhorn Networks’ objectives … are different that mine,” Brown said.
The school’s 20-year, $300 million venture with ESPN is scheduled to launch Aug. 26 and Texas opens the season Sept. 3 at home against Rice.
Brown says he likes the exposure the network will give his players and assistant coaches. But he’s also struggling to figure out how to let the network film practices without allowing opponents to study offensive plays or defensive formations.
A request to put a microphone on an assistant coach for a meeting prompts Brown to ask the coach “Are you saying anything today we don’t want anybody to see?”
And Brown is facing an increased workload of media events for the network schedule. His weekly radio program will now be broadcast on TV along with a new weekly game review and preview shows.
Brown has mentioned his concerns and the new demands on his time several times in recent weeks in meetings with reporters and at public appearances.
“I’ve got to make sure it doesn’t’ change the responsibilities I have in this program,” Brown said. “But I’m going to be doing more things than I’ve done.”
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