NEW DETAILS IN UNC FOOTBALL INVESTIGATION
Thanks to Petey Pablo for this piece: Some fine investigative reporting by Yahoo! Sports has revealed more details in the Marvin Austin saga at UNC, including receipts for a hotel stay in California that cost more than $1,800 and various other nuggets.
My takes (and I have several): First off, my journalistic hat is off to Charles Robinson of Yahoo! for his work on this investigation. He has gone well beyond the call of duty and has done some good ol’ fashioned reporting here — which is disappearing more and more in my industry.
But it begs the question — with all the fine sports journalists in the Triangle (and there are some of the best in the nation there), why is a faceless, almost-foreign entity like Yahoo! Sports breaking all these developments on this story? As much as I play with the Tar Heel faithful here on the blog, I respect UNC as much or more than any professional in the field today. The folks I have dealt with in Chapel Hill in the past two decades – from the coaches to the athletes to the supporters and the media relations staff — are among the best in the country.
But is there a fear in the Triangle of covering this story for backlash? I can’t help but feel that if this was N.C. State, Duke or Wake Forest (or heaven forbid, ECU), that this story would be covered harder by the media up there.
As for this specific case, I think you can pretty much bank on that Austin will never appear in a UNC jersey again. And remember, this is just the tip of an iceberg — there are still other athletes who have allegedly dealt with this agent and others.
MCNABB EXPECTING CHEERS FROM EAGLES FANS
Washington Redskins QB Donovan McNabb (damn, it feels weird typing that!) said he expects a warm reception from Philadelphia Eagles fans on Sunday when he plays in Philly for the first time since being traded in the offseason.
My take: Quite honestly, that’s what he should get — he gave 11 years of his life to the Eagles, took them to the NFC championship game five times and one Super Bowl.
But remember — these are the same Eagles fans who booed Santa Claus, and what the heck did HE ever do to them?
My gut says he’s going to be lustily booed because Eagles fans — among the smartest fans in any sport — are going to do their best to get in his head. McNabb has always been a little too touchy-feely to me and I think being booed will affect him. Of course, I hope I’m wrong.
COWBOYS’ DEZ BRYANT STUCK WITH $55,000 DINNER BILL
Dallas Cowboys’ rookie WR Dez Bryant took his teammates out for dinner Monday night — and was left with a $54,896 bill from a steakhouse. It appears it was payback from Bryant’s veteran teammate, Roy Williams, for Bryant not carrying his shoulder pads in training camp.
My take: You know, it would’ve been cheaper for Bryant just to carry the pads. I know Bryant has more than $8 million in guaranteed salary, but a $55,000 dinner bill still stings!
And how did Coach Wade Phillips — who makes me look skinny — not get in on this?
The iPod shuffle
Rock And Roll All Nite — Poison
Talking In Your Sleep — The Romantics
Pink Houses — John Mellancamp
Believe It Or Not — Nickelback
Party Like A Rock Star — Shop Boyz