ESPN is under the microscope.

The network is at the center of one of the biggest controversies in sports.

And ESPN is now facing a federal investigation for one behind the scenes maneuver.

Kansas Republican Senator Roger Marshall fired off a letter to the Justice Department demanding a federal investigation into ESPN’s role in Texas and Oklahoma leaving the Big 12 for the Southeastern Conference.

ESPN just signed a massive $3 billion TV deal with the SEC to televise all the league’s football games beginning in 2024, and many suspect ESPN and the SEC cut the deal knowing plans were in place to entice Texas and Oklahoma to leave the Big 12 and jump to the powerhouse SEC.

Texas and Oklahoma leaving the Big 12 spells the end for a league that began in 1996 when the Big 8 merged with remnants of the Southwest Conference.

The remaining eight Big 12 schools are now scrambling to join other leagues as the “Power Five” structure, which ruled college football since the beginning of the playoff era, comes to a close.

Other leagues may not survive either as rumors continue to float around that Clemson and Florida State continue to explore the option of leaving the Atlantic Coast Conference for the SEC.

That could set off a chain reaction of moves that would leave college football with just two or three super conferences that have no shared history or geography.

Sports with Balls will keep you up-to-date on any new developments in this ongoing story.