Travis County court rules in favor of Texas over ESPN


A Travis county judge ruled today in favor of the University of Texas in a lawsuit against ESPN involving the privacy of the school's conference realignment documents from 2010.

The lawsuit stemmed from a June 22, 2010, public records request ESPN sent to the university. After Colorado and Nebraska elected to leave the Big 12 in 2010, ESPN requested records from Texas that disclosed the workings of the conference realignment process. Big 12 chairman at the time, and university president William Powers denied parts of the network's request, which ultimately led to the lawsuit about whether the records were public.

Texas argued that it was within reason to withhold some information because Powers was wearing two hats at the time as the conference chairman and school president. As president his emails could have been subject to closer scrutiny, but Texas argued that much of the conference realignment correspondence that took place between Texas and other member schools at the time were under the guise of his Big 12 chairmanship position.

"...While Powers wears two hats, UT System gets to decide which hat he has on, depending on which documents are at issue. ESPN's position is that it is not the hat, it is the man," said one of ESPN's attorney.

Shortly after, ESPN and the university agreed to a 20-year, $300 million dollar television deal called the Longhorn Network.