Sterling, the NBA, race & sports media’s racist history

Kareem Abdul-Jabaar is right.

L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling. (Photo from

In his editorial for Time, the former Los Angeles Laker great wrote that Clippers owner, billionaire racist Donald Sterling is “a handmaiden to the bigger evil. In our quest for social justice, we shouldn’t lose sight that racism is the true enemy.”

But what do sports writers do with an enemy within, an enemy that can’t be defeated?

Today, the establishment sports media wrote about a winner: Adam Silver. Twitter lit up with praise for the NBA commissioner when he banned Sterling for life.  Continue reading

NBC Sports Radio’s Page to visit Quinnipiac

Courtesy NBC Sports

Courtesy NBC Sports

Jason Page, host of NBC Sports Radio’s The Jason Page Show, will speak to Quinnipiac University students from 3:30-4:30 p.m. on Monday, March 17 in SC120.

After an introduction by assistant professor of journalism Molly Yanity, Page will speak with all interested students, faculty and staff about current topics in sports and sport media.

Page is an NFL expert and has plenty to say about everything from the Knicks to the Oscars.

He is also one of just a handful of national sports radio personalities to publicly come out as gay.

Continue reading

Te’o & an epic fail of journalism, culture

Maybe you believe star Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o had nothing to do with the hoax that allegedly broke his heart.

teo-cover-resizeMaybe you buy that an online relationship could serve as the foundation for a hero-triumphs-over-heartache story.

Maybe you swallow what Notre Dame AD Jack Swarbrick is serving up with online hoaxes, social media ills, ” a lot of tragedy,” and real tears.

I do not know Manti Te’o and I hope — for everyone’s sake — that it is all true.

This bizarre story of a made-up girlfriend, uncovered today by Deadspin (and Ohio University Scripps School alum Timothy Burke), is an indictment of many things, Te’o included, to be sure. Continue reading

AWSM@OhioU takes off

I’m excited to announce a new student organization at Ohio University I launched last month: AWSM@OhioU. It is a provisional student chapter of a national group to which I’ve belonged for years: The Association for Women in Sports Media.

The student chapter is open to both young women and men who are interested in careers in sports media — everything from writing and editing to producing and broadcasting to public/media relations.

With the help of some of the classiest women in the profession, our weekly gatherings will mostly consist of Skype sessions.

CBS 2’s morning sports anchor, Lisa Kerney, kicked things off for us this week. The former Lisa Gangel, with whom I became friends while she worked at KING5 in Seattle, is now making it happen in the Big Apple. She discussed her career path, which began in Butte, Montana, and some of the challenges and successes along the way. After her talk, AWSM@OhioU member Taylor Petra tweeted, “Makes me so excited for the future!” and Olivia Arbogast added, “Going to AWSM meetings always inspires me to go and apply for jobs or internships.”

Continue reading

A Penn State problem?: Not by a long shot

A trail of university administrators may be following Jerry Sandusky to prison, and Joe Paterno’s legacy is drowning in a scum-covered pond.

The Joe Paterno statue outside of Beaver Stadium.

The rest of us sit in our Ivory Towers and pretend Sandusky’s systematic rape and abuse of young boys was an isolated incident, something that will never happen again, a terrible tragedy confined to the halls of the Lasch Building.

Some of my favorite journalists have weighed in with categorical judgments of administrators and coaches. Sally Jenkins explained the weight and specificity of Paterno’s lie. Rick Reilly implicated himself in helping to launch Paterno from coach to deity.

It’s all good reading, but – like the rest of the overall reaction to this tragedy — the focus is entirely too narrow. Continue reading

Notebook: A Pulitzer Prize winner, Chicago & comps

What a wild month it has been.

All of us Scrippsies with the Scottie Pippen bust at the United Center. That's Chuck Swirsky on the left (and me over his left shoulder.)

Last weekend, I helped lead a group of Ohio University students on a Scripps alumni-sports journalism trip to Chicago. Cubs game, Bulls game, dinner with Jim Litke. Yeah, it was awesome.

However, it took me about five minutes at the Associated Press offices for that old painful feeling to pang at my heart. One news meeting in and I heard that internal voice say, “You miss this life.”  Continue reading

Live stream of my interview with Sara Ganim


At 6 p.m. ET, Friday, April 13, I will be interviewing Sara Ganim, the Patriot-News reporter who broke the Penn State/Jerry Sandusky scandal. Read here for more on Ganim and the story on which she has led the way since March 2011.

If you can’t make it to Ohio University’s Baker Theater, you can watch the interview through live streaming video at the following link:  (UPDATE: CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE INTERVIEW.)

Thank you for your support.