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Did Bill Byrne Blow It? DeLoss Dodds Says He Turned Down Dual Network

This one is a lot of he-said-he-said, but DeLoss Dodds has declared that Bill Byrne passed on his offer to work out a dual school network for the University of Texas and Texas A&M. 

Dodds told The Associated Press he first met with Texas A&M athletic director Bill Byrne about the idea of an Aggies-Longhorns network about four years ago but Byrne didn't seem interested. At the time, the Longhorns weren't sure they could carry a network on their own.

Byrne tried to re-open discussions about a year ago, but by then it was too late, Dodds said.

Byrne, of course, disputes the account, but his denial was a little specific. 

Byrne wrote that he liked the original joint network idea but assured Texas A&M fans he did not pass up a $150 million deal for his school.

"Our fans should know me better than that," Byrne wrote. "That never happened."

As is detailed by the AP story, no one knew that the money would be so big at the time, so did Byrne just underestimate the potential of the deal, personally leading to the recently unfolding events?

"Nobody seemed concerned with it until it was done," Dodds said. "I find it interesting that it's a problem today ... If somebody is surprised by this deal, they haven't been paying attention."

Dodds also told media that he wouldn't close the door on eventually moving to another conference and said that "Everybody's nervous, for good reason," about the Big 12's future.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.