Tuesday, December 15, 2009

ESPN’s OTL Story On FSU A Joke

I’m trying to figure out when the four-letter network sailed away from compelling sports journalism to pit bull-like, shady gossip columns. We’ve seen the recent events with Tiger Woods and it’s become a witch-hunt and a soap opera lovers dream. Rich, handsome sports figure allegedly having an affair with multiple women while his super model wife slaves all day over a hot stove and tends to the children. All we’re missing now is for someone to say to Tiger, “I’m your long lost half-sister” and then a patron from Tiger’s past mysteriously returns to his life with a case of amnesia. It’s totally daytime television and only a person with a marginal IQ gets sucked into the drama.

I’m not here to talk about Woods or his thirty mistresses…allegedly. I’m here to talk about that appalling OTL piece on the state of affairs at Florida State University. What a serious load of garbage that bit of so-called “journalism” was. To say that there isn’t an obvious agenda against the University and it’s employees is laughable.

First off, I’d like to know whom the Mensa member was that actually thought former Florida State wide receiver, Fred Rouse, was a credible source? For those of you who aren’t sure who Rouse is, I’ll give you a quick 411: Fred Rouse was a highly recruited receiver coming out of Tallahassee Lincoln. He signed his letter of intent to play at Florida State and was kicked off the team towards the end of the ’05 season for supposedly failing drug tests as well as the ever so vague, “conduct detrimental to the team.” Maybe a few weeks after his departure from the university, Rouse, and another former teammate, broke into Lorenzo Booker’s apartment and stole multiple items, including electronic equipment. He later transferred to the University of Texas-El Paso where he left the team due to “personal” reasons and now plays at some college no one cares about. This guy? This is OTL’s reliable, credible source? Once again, people with a marginal IQ will buy it while snacking on bonbons.

And to make it even funnier, Rouse attacked former FSU cornerback, Antonio Cromartie, saying, and I paraphrase, He could barely read. According to Pro Football Talk, Cromartie’s agent isn’t too pleased with the segment and how his client is being portrayed and I wouldn’t be too surprised to see a lawsuit filed against the four-letter network. Not like it would matter with their room full of lawyers. Gary Wichard, Cromartie’s agent, says he never commented for the OTL story, but the piece features a negative quote from the longtime agent. The “he said, she said” battle will ensue and this will get ugly.

Their “other” plausible source is a disgruntled ex-employee. What, Paula Jones wasn’t available for comment? She would’ve been just as dependable. When is a disgruntled, former hireling ever going to talk nice about their onetime employer, especially when they leave on bad terms? Brenda Monk and her comments, in my opinion, are off base and personally meant to be malicious with shady facts and a sketchy timeline. Yeah, I do my research. That’s good journalism? Finding someone who loathes their old boss and wants to take pot shots? But it gets better…

The one conducting the story is a University of Florida grad, and before you think that has nothing to do with anything you’re wrong. Throwing haymakers at your school’s rival, especially when they’re seen in a bad light like they are now with the Bowden situation as well as the academic scandal, is what a journalist hopes to one day accomplish. Is there a personal vendetta? No, but you think the reporter is going to turn down an opportunity like that? I don’t fault the guy. He did an excellent job. It was Star worthy and scummy, but brilliant.

To say these things don’t happen at every school is a joke. They do. I personally have friends, while receiving their Master’s Degrees at prominent universities, told me that they gave test answers to the football and basketball players. I have friends that have received test answers from student-athletes that were given the exams prior to finals that their tutors handed them. You can be blind and think up any silly story that comes to mind, but this is a blatant act to kick someone while they’re down.

I’m not one to believe blab.

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