After discussion and lobbying from multiple parties, the NCAA ruled that the new ESPN backed Longhorn Network will not be allowed to feature programming involving prospective student-athletes. On August 12, 2011, the NCAA stated:
“The academic and membership affairs staff determined it is not permissible for an institution- or conference-branded network to broadcast (audio or video) programming involving prospective student-athletes.”
In coming to its conclusion, the NCAA cited the following bylaws as authority:
NCAA Constitution 2.11: The recruiting process involves a balancing of the interests of prospective student-athletes, their educational institutions and the Association’s member institutions. Recruiting regulations shall be designed to promote equity among member institutions in their recruiting of prospective student-athletes and to shield them from undue pressures that may interfere with the scholastic or athletics interests of the prospective student-athletes or their educational institutions.
NCAA Bylaw 13.2.1: An institution’s staff member or any representative of its athletics interests shall not be involved, directly or indirectly, in making arrangements for or giving or offering to give any financial aid or other benefits to a prospective student-athlete or his or her relatives or friends, other than expressly permitted by NCAA regulations. Receipt of a benefit by a prospective student-athlete or his or her relatives or friends is not a violation of NCAA legislation if it is determined that the same benefit is generally available to the institution’s prospective students or their relatives or friends or to a particular segment of the student body (e.g., international students, minority students) determined on a basis unrelated to athletics ability.
NCAA Bylaw 220.127.116.11: The publication of advertising or promotional material, by or on behalf of a member institution, designed to solicit the enrollment of a prospective student-athlete is not permitted, except as provided in Bylaw 18.104.22.168.1. Accordingly, a member institution may not buy or arrange to have space in game programs or other printed materials published to provide information concerning the athletics participation or evaluation of prospective student-athletes (e.g., recruiting publications) for any purpose whatsoever, including advertisements, a listing of prospective or enrolled student-athletes who will attend the institution and informative materials related to the institution.
NCAA Bylaw 13.10.3: A member institution shall not permit a prospective student-athlete or a high school, college preparatory school or two-year college coach to appear, be interviewed or otherwise be involved (in-person or via film, audio tape or videotape) on:
(a) A radio or television program conducted by the institution’s coach;
(b) A program in which the institution’s coach is participating; or
(c) A program for which a member of the institution’s athletics staff has been instrumental in arranging for the appearance of the prospective student-athlete or coach or related program material.
NCAA Bylaw 22.214.171.124: A member of the athletics staff of a member institution may not serve as an announcer or commentator for any athletics contest in which a prospective student-athlete is participating, or appear (in person or by means of film, audio tape or videotape) on a radio or television broadcast of such contest. This restriction does not apply to contests involving national teams in which prospective student-athletes may be participants, including the Olympic Games.
NCAA Bylaw 126.96.36.199: A prospective student-athlete may not be interviewed during the broadcast or telecast of an institution’s intercollegiate contest. A member institution may not permit a station telecasting a game to show a videotape of competition involving high school, preparatory school or two-year college prospective student-athletes.
NCAA Bylaw 13.15.1: An institution or a representative of its athletics interests shall not offer, provide or arrange financial assistance, directly or indirectly, to pay (in whole or in part) the costs of the prospective student-athlete’s educational or other expenses for any period prior to his or her enrollment or so the prospective student-athlete can obtain a postgraduate education.
NCAA Bylaw 188.8.131.52: An institution may not provide funding, directly or through paid advertisements, to benefit a high school athletics program.