Is ESPN really taking a hands-off approach to conference realignment?
The decision to partner with the University of Texas and launch the Longhorn Network created a new level of scrutiny for ESPN. It became clear that the network had no trouble playing favorites when big money was involved and other teams took note.
Texas A&M used the Longhorn Network as a final excuse to leave the Big 12 for the Southeastern Conference. Missouri is expected to follow the Aggies to the SEC.
ESPN officials say they aren't meddling and are merely bystanders in realignment, but is that the case? Last week, a member of ESPN's ombudsman team took up the issue. This week, USA Today tackled the question.