Wednesday, September 14, 2011

On A Roll

Kevin Scarbinsky of the Birmingham News is on a major roll this week.  On Monday he had a great column featuring Gus Malzahn's reaction to Cam Newton's smashing NFL debut.  Today Scarbinsky lays the wood to ABC/ESPN for putting 0-For-Auburn Urban in the color commentary slot for the Auburn-Clemson game:
In December of 2010, Meyer was the only SEC coach with a vote that didn't put Auburn No. 1 on his final regular-season ballot in the USA Today poll. He put Oregon first and Auburn second.

But those slights pale next to the role Meyer may have played as a wizard behind the curtain of the Cecil Newton-Kenny Rogers story last fall.

According to multiple news reports, before that story broke, Meyer had vowed on a three-way call with his protege, Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen, and former Mississippi State quarterback John Bond to tell it to The New York Times and ESPN.

There's no similar justification for ESPN/ABC to send Meyer to Clemson, not for cameos but for a game-long stint in the booth, and there are more than enough reasons to believe that he isn't neutral in his feelings toward Auburn.

[T]his goes beyond "a competitive rivalry that existed" while Meyer was coaching. This is wrong person, wrong place, wrong time.

ESPN should change assignments for this weekend, and Meyer, at the first opportunity, should change careers. He should go back to coaching. That way, he can try to do something he's never done. Beat Auburn on the field.
Extra kudos to Scarbinsky for remembering the name and role of Mississippi State booster/street agent Kenny Rogers, both of which the "major" sports media have assiduously avoided mentioning over the past several months.  Strike off a point, though, for not noting Meyer's rarely-disclosed personal and business relationships with Pete Thamel, Thayer Evans and Mark Schalbach.

Still, nice work again from Scarbinsky, who's about the only genuinely independent sports writer in Alabama these days.  Read the whole thing.

1 comment:

John Stubbs said...

What relationship do those guys have with Meyer? I'm not aware of them.