Students take a knee at Notre Dame


It all began when San Francisco’s quarterback Colin Kaepernick knelt during the national anthem before a preseason game back in 2016 to protest racial injustices and police brutality.

Now, hundreds of students at Notre Dame followed the peaceful protest with an extra approach. Being a religious college, the students wanted to express their beliefs through a Catholic point of view.

When Notre Dame played Florida State University on Nov 10, while the “The Star- Spangled Banner” played, students took that time to express their opinion based on the issue not only on racial injustices, but the mistreatment someone faces when one does not have the same opinion as everyone else.

When Kaepernick knelt, he faced  a lot of backlash, death threats, and along trouble finding employment when he became a free agent.

“To me, this is something that has to change, and when there’s significant change and I feel like that flag represents what it’s supposed to represent and this country is representing people the way that it’s supposed to, I’ll stand,” Kaepernick said, according to CNN.

And just like Kaepernick inspired other players to kneel beside him, so had the students at Notre Dame. Some knelt, some took that moment for silence and others prayed.
“One of the things we want to stress the most with this movement is that this is not a protest against the military or the flag, this is about how we treat each other as human beings. We don’t need to reduce people down in order to make a point. We can have a good dialogue, even if we don’t agree with each other.” said Brian Gatter, one of the organizers of the protest, according to CNN.
Although this peaceful protest was not accepted by a lot of Americans including President Donald Trumph, this incident did blow up the news media and luckily it was not kept quiet and also Kaepernick was not fired by the NFL, since their policy does not require players to stand for the national anthem.
Peaceful protests like this deserve the coverage they get, because these are the incidents that make history. Like the students protested, they were also following their former President Theodore Hesburgh footsteps as he linked arms when he protested along with Martin Luther King Jr. during a civil rights rally in 1964 as they sang “We Shall Overcome”
As for the students, no disciplinary action has been taken.

When bias clouds reporting judgment


College football writer Brett McMurphy has had an impressive career and gained the respect of many college football fans for his outstanding reporting. In 2017, after spending five years at ESPN, McMurphy was included in the round of layoffs that saw many writers and analysts let go by ESPN.

Since leaving ESPN, McMurphy saw his notoriety rise when he published a story about former Ohio State assistant football coach Zach Smith and his alleged history of domestic assault. McMurphy’s report led to an internal investigation by Ohio State and eventually a three-game suspension of head coach Urban Meyer stemming from his role in potentially covering up Smith’s alleged indiscretions. Unfortunately, this week McMurphy published another story about Ohio State that was irresponsible and exemplified his disdain for the program.

McMurphy’s story surrounded former Ohio State receiver Trevon Grimes and an altercation he may have had during a practice. According to McMurphy’s reporting, an altercation during an Ohio State practice ended in Smith directing the N-word towards Grimes, which led to his decision to transfer to the University of Florida. Before this story, it is widely believed that Grimes, a South Florida native, transferred due to his mother having been diagnosed with stage IV ovarian cancer and his desire to be closer to home.

The story also alleges that the waiver Grimes’ received from the NCAA that allowed him to play right away due to his mother’s condition may have been based on false, and that his mother does not have cancer at all. McMurphy’s main source for the story was Grimes’ estranged father Lebron Grimes, who Trevon claims he has not spoken to in over two years.

In reading the story, it is clear McMurphy was extremely diligent in his research for the story. He reached out to various players on the Ohio State team, Ohio State’s Athletic Department, friends of Grimes, and attempted to contact Grimes and his mother. Unfortunately, he wrote a story that was at the very least incomplete, and at the worst irresponsible.

He was also reckless in conducting his research, badgering both Grimes and his mother despite both of them personally, and through a University of Florida spokesperson, requesting he stop reaching out. McMurphy admitted as much in his actual story. McMurphy also gave a lot of credence to the story presented by Lebron Grimes despite his description of Grimes’ legal indiscretions and the allegations of domestic abuse that had been made against him by his ex-wife, Grimes’ mother.

Since the story has been published, Grimes, Ohio State’s Athletic Department, and all of his former Ohio State teammates have publicly denied the accusations in the story. While this is to be expected, McMurphy’s ultimate error was publishing a story prior to verifying the allegations in said story. Without a single Ohio State player or even Grimes agreeing to corroborate the Smith incident, it was irresponsible to publish that part of the story based on Grimes’ estranged fathers account.

As to the allegation regarding Grimes’ mother potentially lying about having cancer, McMurphy once again published a baseless accusation and badgered a woman who is not a public figure. While McMurphy’s research allowed him to create context for this story, without any evidence that Grimes’ mother actually lied about her condition, it was an irresponsible accusation to publish.

While the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 makes finding medical information about an individual very difficult, McMurphy had a responsibility not to publish the accusation without a source other than Grimes’ estranged father.

The story illustrated that McMurphy is a talented writer who conducts extremely thorough research, but it also showed his judgment has been clouded by a deep contempt of the current Ohio State program. The story was so diligently researched and transparently written that his own conclusions were both debunked. McMurphy’s search for the truth can be seen as a noble crusade, but he published a story with conclusions that he may have been able to prove or even disprove had he waited for further evidence.

Greatest college basketball team ever?


College basketball has just started after a long off-season of excitement. Back about 15 years ago, if you were good enough, kids were able to go straight from high school to the NBA. But the NCAA established a rule where student athletes have to do at least one year of college or overseas ball to pursue their dreams.

With that being said, this is our first time ever seeing the highest recruit players all play for the same college team! And some people are saying after one game against the respectable Kentucky Wildcats, that this is the best college basketball team to grace a court.

The Duke Blue Devils played the Wildcats on Tuesday and completely dominated from start to finish with a 118-84 final score.

RJ Barrett, who was the No. 1 basketball recruit in 2018, finished with 33 points, 6 assists, and 4 boards.

Cam Reddish, who was the No. 2 basketball recruit, finished with 22 points.

Zion Williamson, who was the No. 5 basketball recruit in 2018, finished with 28 points and seven rebounds. Zion is already being compared to by a player we all are very familiar with.

“I saw some kid on Duke last night who is pretty impressive my goodness … probably can’t say anything more, or mention his name, but  the one who’s 285 pounds,” Steve Kerr for the Golden State Warriors explained. “I thought LeBron, I thought that was a one-shot deal, but apparently the next guy that’s coming,” Kerr continued. “And before I get fined, I’m going to change the subject.”

Zion stands at 6-foot-7, weighing at 285 pounds and is a freak-of-nature with his physical ability. Probably the most exciting player on Duke’s basketball team, yet he is, respectfully, not their best player. 

Duke is currently ranked No. 4 but will most likely jump to No. 1 after routing the No. 2 team on Tuesday. Could this team possibly be better than the legendary Fab 5 from Michigan? Or maybe even the 1981 North Carolina team? How about Rick Pitino’s 1995 Kentucky team? We just have to wait and witness this year.

From stardom, to prison, to freedom


Life can really hit you fast when you are hauling in touchdowns on Sunday afternoons one day and serving up to a 20 year prison sentence the next.

But former Carolina Panther Rae Carruth is now a free man after being behind bars for 19 years. Carruth hired a hitman back in November 1999 to murder his then 24-year-old girlfriend Cherica Adams. Adams was eight months pregnant at the time when Carruth conspired the plan.

Adams and Carruth went to see a movie and when the movie concluded both parties were leaving in separate vehicles. When Adams was trying to leave, Carruth pulled up blocking Adams car in so she could not move. The hitman made his move, firing four shots that all struck to Adams. She had enough strength to call the authorities as well as a hospital where they performed a C section and save her child. Unfortunately Adams did not survive, passing away four days later. Carruth was convicted in 2001 for conspiracy to commit murder.

The NFL has already banned Carruth jerseys that some people are trying create through custom jerseys on Attempts to enter the jersey as a custom order are now met with an immediate warning that reads “We are unable to customize this item with the text you have entered. Please try a different entry.” It’s the same safeguard the site has put in place to block Aaron Hernandez and O.J. Simpson jerseys as well as those created with swear words, or hate terms.

Carruth is now currently in Pennsylvania under Pennsylvania Parole Board supervision, adjusting to life as a free man.

ESPN’s MNF broadcast needs reboot


ESPN”s “Monday Night Football” broadcast used to be the premiere football broadcast in the country. It was widely recognized by football fanatics as the best production on sports television.

After a revamp this off-season, it has quickly gone from best to worst. When Jon Gruden accepted the head coaching position for the Oakland Raiders, ESPN knew it would have an uphill battle to hire someone as popular as Gruden was to lead their broadcast.

ESPN decided to give Jason Witten, a recently retired tight end from the Dallas Cowboys, the opportunity to color commentate their flagship live broadcast. Although I give major props to ESPN for taking a shot with a new, unproven voice in the booth, the experiment has failed in an epic manner.

Along with the bad commentating and overall laziness of the broadcast, ESPN also rolled out a feature where Booger Macfarlane, a college football analyst at the network, roams the sideline on a ridiculous crane and gives analysis from his tower. The tower is so hysterically large that is actually prevents viewers at the game from seeing parts of the field while the tower is in front of them. ESPN’s fix to this issue? Slapping a 50 inch TV to the back of the crane that shows a live broadcast of their feed. Why would anyone want to go to an NFL game and actually watch it, when you can just watch the broadcast from your seat in section 101, row 4?

Covering the Rams’ perfect start


Since the 1972 Miami Dolphins, no NFL has been able to finish the regular and postseason undefeated. In recent years, only the 2007 New England Patriots have come close, with the Patriots losing in the Super Bowl XLII to the Giants in a 17-14 game.

While no team has accomplished the feat in more than 40 years, whenever a team can win the first seven games of the regular season like the Los Angeles Rams have thus far, it is natural for NFL writers to discuss the possibility of an undefeated season. While the odds are unlikely, the Rams have earned the right for a potential undefeated season to become a discussion. Ranking in the top five in both scoring offense and defense, while also leading the league in average margin of victory, the Rams have had an incredible season.

When most NFL writers discuss the Rams’ potential for an undefeated season, most will properly indicate that the feat is so difficult, it’s unlikely to ever be accomplished. But ESPN’s Bill Barnwell covering the topic from a different provided the type of context that all sports reporters should strive towards.

Instead of discussing the unlikely possibility of the Rams running the table, Barnwell explained how the way Rams head coach Sean McVay operates his football team makes the feat all but impossible. Barnwell explains that McVay rarely subs players when healthy and his history of resting players whenever possible. This manifested itself in resting starters in week 17 of the NFL season, despite the opportunity to secure the third seed in the NFC. McVay also rested most of his starters during the preseason, with starting quarterback Jared Goff not taking a single snap in four preseason games.

While much of an NFL writer’s job is report team news and provide basic scouting reports/team trends, Barnwell was able to talk about an unlikely scenario in a way that properly informed readers. By refraining from hyperbole and recording strong research for his article, Barnwell provides an example of excellent coverage from an NFL writer.

Fans offer more October Fenway magic?


The 2018 Red Sox division title banner went missing for about 48 hours last week, before it could even be hoisted at Fenway.

A 44-year-old Malden man, Louie Iacuzzi, says he found the precious banner on McGrath Highway in Somerville Monday. At first, he suggested he wanted something in return, but brought it to Fenway Park Wednesday afternoon when the story started to get a little suspicious.

The Sox confirmed shortly before 4 p.m. that the banner was in their possession. A team spokeswoman said the people who returned it received nothing in exchange.

The CEO of the company Flagraphs (who manufactured the banner), Tony Lafuente wasn’t sure if the original banner “fell off the truck or if it walked off the truck … I’ve been doing work for the Boston Red Sox since 1992. Nothing ever happened like this.”

Later in the interview, Lafuente said flatly that “these guys stole my banner” and “should be ashamed of themselves. This is not Boston.” He did, however, concede that his drivers sometimes use McGrath Highway during normal business hours.

Iacuzzi described himself as a good Samaritan, claiming that he and his friend did the right thing in stopping to recover the banner, because if otherwise it may have been ran over by on coming cars.

Roy Williams’ needs to be questioned


During the University of North Carolina’s news media day for its basketball team, Coach Roy Williams was asked about the ongoing FBI investigation concerning players receiving improper benefits. When discussing the investigation, Williams said, “It’s a massive thing that’s still going on, and I’m just dumbfounded.”

Williams was adamant that he had no knowledge of players receiving money from shoe executives in order to play for certain universities. Williams’ claim that he had no idea what has been going on in college basketball recruiting is, at its best, ignorance and, at its worst, an outright lie.

For reference, here’s Notre Dame Coach Mike Brey when asked a similar question, “We’ve had this underworld as part of the fabric [of college basketball] for a long, long time,” Brey told the Indianapolis Star. “A long, long time.”

Another issue with Williams’ claim is that he was indirectly involved in a similar incident back in 2000. Back then, AAU Coach Myron Piggie had been indicted on charges that he had funneled money to recruits to play for Nike schools. One of these recruits was JaRon Rush, who was at the time committed to Kansas when Williams was coach there. While Kansas was not involved in the payments to Rush, for Williams to claim he had no idea what was going on in college basketball recruiting is a bit of stretch.

While not a reliable source of information, in response to Williams’ press conference, Piggie told Yahoo Sports, “Well, that [expletive], I mean, come on. Come on. You know Roy knew. He was in the mix. He knew what was going on. Roy’s got amnesia.”

When a massive figure in college basketball makes such a definitive statement, one that on the surface seems untrue, college basketball sportswriters have a duty to question Williams’ statement.

Unfortunately, outside of Yahoo Sports, most major news media figures have not even mentioned Williams’ statement. Currently, ESPN has not written a single story on the comments and the sports two biggest media figures, Jay Bilas and Jeff Goodman, have made no mention of them.

While most in the news media have no issue broadly claiming corruption in college basketball exists, they were hesitant to criticize the coach at one of college basketball’s most popular teams. Until members of the news media are willing to question those at the top, don’t expect the corruption to end any time soon.

U.S. Ryder Cup team struggles in Paris


Although having what many to believe to be one of the most talented teams in U.S. Ryder Cup history, the United States were blow out by Team Europe at this years Ryder Cup.

Although the team struggled on the golf course, many unverified reports say that the team began having issues on the flight across the pond. French tabloids have run pieces saying that stars Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka almost fought both on the plane and in Paris.

The validity of these reports have been put in question as both Koepka and Johnson have vehemently denied the report as well as multiple team members. Dealing with these reports is something the team had to deal with in Paris and questioned whether or not the tabloid published the stories to cause a stir within the team.

Although tabloids have a pretty low standard to follow, it seems as though they don’t mind risking their journalistic integrity to ensure clicks and publicity.

College basketball is broken


This past week, a trial regarding James Gatto, a former Adidas executive, began as he is being charged with two counts of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. The charges stem from a $100,000 payment to University of Louisville guard Brian Bowen. The payment was made on behalf of the university in order to ensure Bowen would play basketball for the school.

While the trial has only just begun, Gatto’s attorneys have shed light on an issue that has been well known among college basketball fans for a long time. The issue is that major college basketball programs work with agents and apparel companies to pay high school students to play for them. Bowen’s case is hardly the first known instance of students being paid and certainly not the last.

Another recent example is Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton who also received $100,000 from an agent that was orchestrated through University of Arizona head coach Sean Miller. These cases are just in the past year, but the issue is widespread and widely known. The Ringer’s Mark Titus, a former Ohio State basketball player, explained the issue in a February column when he said, “For decades, it’s been the worst-kept secret in sports that the highest level of college basketball has been controlled by agents, shoe companies, runners, and rogue coaches.”

In response to these “new” findings, the NCAA will suspend the few players who were unlucky enough to get caught receiving benefits and ignore the fact that most top-level recruits are paid for their services. But why aren’t journalists looking to expose the entire system?

Young men who are offered great sums of money shouldn’t be expected to refuse, especially those who may need the money to support their families. And the coaches who participate in this system are required to in order to win games, because if they don’t, they will be fired for someone else willing participate in the scam. The fault lies on the governing body who is supposed to oversee and protect these student-athletes, the NCAA.

While it is easy to pick on the NCAA’s hypocrisy, all journalists, not just college sports journalists, should look to expose the entire issue. Unless someone is a die-hard sports fan, they would have no knowledge of the corruption involved in college basketball. But the issue of young men being offered grand sums of money while being expected to refuse it is something that should be exposed to all. Especially when you consider that march madness, college basketball’s premier event, generated almost $900 million in profit during the 2017 season.

Widespread corruption, big money and the potential abuse of young men should be a national story every day until everyone understands just how flawed the system is. Because handing down phony suspensions and sanctions to the programs that are caught won’t stop the issue anytime soon.

When sports media get it right


On Wednesday, Sept. 26, Clemson University senior quarterback Kelly Bryant announced his decision to transfer after being replaced by freshman Trevor Lawrence as the starting quarterback. After posting a 16-2 record as a starter, Bryant was frustrated by the decision from Coach Dabo Swinney and will finish his collegiate career at another school.

Due to a change in NCAA redshirt guidelines, Bryant will be able to regain his final year of eligibility by transferring prior to appearing in five games. of the season.

Despite having tremendous success on the field, Bryant had been facing competition from Lawrence since his arrival in the spring as the top-ranked high school player in the class of 2018. Upon learning that Lawrence would be named the starter moving forward, Bryant was quick to voice his frustration. In speaking to the Greenville News regarding the demotion, Bryant said, “I’ve never been a distraction. I’ve never been in trouble with anything. To me, it was kind of a slap in the face.”

While his frustration was clear and can be understood, sports news media members were careful not to disparage a young man going through a tough situation. Rather, many in the news media have provided context to the situation and have been careful not to mitigate how difficult the decision was for Bryant.

Grace Raynor, a Clemson beat reporter for the Charleston-based The Post and Courier, showed proper reporting in a tweet following the transfer announcement, “Thoughts on Kelly Bryant: 1. Kelly is good people. Super kind. I think he’ll be just fine. 2. Not many QBs have had the pressure he has had. Being sandwiched in between Deshaun and Trevor is no easy task. 3. There is no shame in sitting behind Trevor. That dude is crazy good.”

Other college sports reporters have also done a good job in pointing out exactly why this decision from Swinney was made now, despite being four weeks into the season. In a tweet following Swinney’s press conference addressing the issue, Fox Sports’ Bruce Feldman tweeted, “Good on Dabo Swinney to have made his QB decision before #Clemson’s 5th game. If he let this drag out another wk, it would’ve given his team more depth at a crucial spot but cost Kelly Bryant the season. Instead, he can transfer out & gets to play someplace else as a SR in 2019.”

The new transfer guidelines will likely lead to more instances of high-profile transfers, but as the first major example of the effects of the new rule, reporters have done a tremendous job in their coverage. From providing context to refraining from attacking a young man in a difficult situation, the coverage of Kelly Bryant has provided the blueprint for covering high-profile transfers.

New football league names teams


Remember the times when, after the NFL Super Bowl, we were forced to wait nearly six months to watch the pigskin get thrown in the air? Well the wait is finally over with the new Alliance of American Football league,better known as the AAF.

The AAF starts its season the week right after Super Bowl weekend. They have eight official cities that are hosting teams; Orlando, Atlanta, Birmingham, Memphis, San Antonio, Salt Lake, San Diego and Arizona.

The eastern teams already announced logos and team name. Orlando will be named the Apollos, named after a Greek mythology god of music, light and truth.

Orlando is full of players represented by schools all over the state of Florida. Standish Dobard, Paul Kelly, Tyriq McCord and Joe Yearby each went to the University of Miami and they were teammates in 2014.

“I feel like this is a second calling,” Standish explained. “Things did not go as planed with the NFL and I feel like this is God’s way of giving me a second chance especially playing with my former teammates.”

Florida, Florida State, UCF and USF each have players on the team that had stints with NFL teams.

The season will provide fans 10 games of football with two playoff games, including the championship game. The rules and regulations are the same as the NFL with only difference that there will be no kickoffs; instead teams will start offensive possession at the 25 yard line.

This will be the start of the new beginning for many players to get an opportunity to get back on the gridiron.

Cote shines light on LeBatard’s moment


If anyone follows the Miami sport’s scene, you are sure to have heard of Dan LeBatard and Greg Cote. Both are long-time sports journalists and columnists who have been writing about the variety things going on in Miami sports for quite some time. The duo are also long-time friends both professionally and personally.

Recently, LeBatard became engaged to his girlfriend during a safari in Africa. This prompted him to tell his close friends and family, including Greg Cote. As the weeks progressed, LeBatard kept the news under lock and key for the public.

That all changed when Cote decided to risk his friendship with LeBatard for clicks on an article for the Miami Herald. Cote decided to publish a story announcing the news, without permission of the newly engaged LeBatard himself. This prompted a hilarious outbreak from LeBatard on his national radio show for ESPN in which he was suddenly flooded with texts of congratulations.

In this new age of clickbait, especially in relation to journalism, I thought this story was a funny, but legitimate, example of how far some journalists can go in order to secure clicks on an article. Even if those clicks sacrifice the relationship between a mentor and a mentee.

NFL’s Vontae Davis retires at halftime


In 2018, most people realize that football can take an extreme toll on your body and brain, especially as for professionals. Players have become far more aware of the long-term consequences and therefore have been retiring earlier.

However, Buffalo Bills cornerback Vontae Davis took that to another level when he retired at halftime on Sunday, in the midst of their NFL game against the Los Angeles Chargers.

Matt Stevens and Jason M. Bailey wrote an article about this for The New York Times. They usually have very good insight in their articles and this one was no different. What was great about this article is that it addressed the massive scrutiny that Davis faced because of his actions. He is the only player to ever have retired in this manner and fans on social media and journalists for sports outlets alike laid into him for quitting on his teammates. Yet, the article points out why the decision shouldn’t be so heavily criticized

The article features a picture of Davis’ official statement to the press where he says that he “felt off” and didn’t feel like he should be out there any more, even though he was not injured. The article mentions other cases of people who were not injured that decided to retire early to prevent long-term health issues. Two examples that they use are Chris Borland, who retired after his rookie year, and John Urschel, a former Ravens offensive lineman who pursued his Ph.D. in higher mathematics.

So, the question is, should Davis had at least stuck it out until the end of the game? Probably, for his teammates, if nothing else. However, Davis has had three concussions in his NFL career (the article goes into this as well) and by going back out there and basically ‘feeling out of it’, he risks receiving another concussion which surely would do more long term damage.

Serena flops on big stage


Over the weekend, Serena Williams faced Naomi Osaka in the final of the Women’s U.S. Open. Usually, after such big tennis matches, the main stories are about the quality of the tennis within the match. In this case, however, Serena made sure the headlines would be much, much different.

Although much has been made about Serena’s childish actions and behavior that resulted her in being penalized a game in the match’s final set, I’d like to discuss how ESPN handled the controversy that ensued on their broadcast.

ESPN has the best tennis broadcasting crew in the game, hands down. It offers quality insight and great play by play commentary followed by interesting analytics. When Serena’s incident began to play out, ESPN clarified the rules extremely well, were objective  in their commentary, and also picked up every word that was said by Williams. The team’s coverage of the incident itself, quite frankly, was great.

Where ESPN failed was in there post-match coverage. At the trophy ceremony, they constantly referred to the incident itself rather than shine the light on Naomi Osaka’s (20 years old) absurdly good performance against the game’s greatest player. Naomi Osaka played the match of her life and felt the need to apologize in the post game interview because people didn’t get the outcome they wanted.

Although I understand why ESPN found the need to carve the narrative around what would get more clicks and headlines, the network failed to shine the light on the proper person and the proper story.

Soccer incident stirs controversy


For fans of the U.S. men’s national soccer team, the past year has been more disappointing then any in recent memory. Failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup was a devastating end to a tumultuous qualifying campaign that saw the team lose the first two games of the Hexagonal stage of the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (Concacaf) qualifying process and never bounce back.

Now 11 months removed from failing to qualify, fans finally had a reason to celebrate when the United States defeated rival Mexico 1-0 in an international friendly on the 17-year anniversary of 9/11. The team bounced back from a forgettable first half and was able to frustrate the Mexican side with extremely physical play.

The highlight of the game came in the 63rd minute when 6’4 center back Matt Miazga stared down the 5-foot-5 Mexican midfielder Diego Lainez and ended with Miazga mocking the Mexican player for his diminutive stature.

Following the encounter Mexican forward was shown a red-card hard foul and the U.S. capitalized three minutes later with a goal.

With both teams fielding extremely young squads for the friendly, it would seem that post-game commentary would reflect how the squads reacted to the incident. The youthful Mexican squad reacted poorly to the incident and allowed themselves to become frustrated by the antics of the U.S. When asked about the incident, Mexican forward Angel Zaldivar said, “They poked fun [and] tried to play a dirty game that honestly we don’t think is how you should play. That’s their game and we couldn’t do anything about it.”

Some in the news media also felt Miazga’s actions may have represented some greater issue with the overall mentality in U.S. soccer culture. As ESPN’s Sebastian Salazar tweeted following the incident, “Not surprised it was a #USMNT player who made a short joke on a soccer field. Obsession with & size in ‘coaching’ circle in this country is absurd.”

While Salazar’s claim should be considered inherently absurd, especially considering that two of the U.S.’s greatest talents ever, Christian Pulisic and Landon Donovan, both stand at 5-foot-8, it does illustrate a dangerous tendency in sports commentary. To make one instance of juvenile smack talk between two competitors a part of a greater discussion about U.S. soccer development is not productive and fails to enjoy what should have been a fun moment in a fun rivalry.

Saban comments draw criticism


As the college football season kicked off this past weekend, the major off-season story surrounding the defending champion Alabama Crimson Tide has been the quarterback battle between junior Jalen Hurts and sophomore Tua Tagovailia. After a dominant 51-14 win over Louisville in the opening game, the prevailing story surrounding Alabama has been the behavior of Coach Nick Saban in his post-game interview.

In an interview with ESPN sideline reporter Maria Taylor, in which she asked about whether the game provided any answers to the ongoing quarterback battle, Saban gave an answer that drew the ire of most members of the sports media.

“I think both guys are good players. I think both guys can help our team, all right? So why do you continually try to get me to say something that doesn’t respect one of them? I’m not going to. So quit asking,” said an irate Saban to the reporter.

Following the interview, many in the sports news media expressed their disgust with Saban’s answer to a question he should have seen coming. “He may be the best coach of all time, but when he continues to treat people like that … it’s classless,” said veteran college football analyst Paul Finebaum.

Along with the news media, some experts in sports journalism also weighed in on the controversy. Following the interview, director of sports journalism at Northwestern University J.A. Adande tweeted, “It’s hard to respect Nick Saban when he won’t respect other professionals who are doing their jobs and doing their jobs well.”

Although Saban has since issued an apology, none of the coverage surrounding the incident has focused on the source of Saban’s anger. In providing a defense for the outburst, former Alabama safety Vinnie Sunseri tweeted, “Love seeing Coach get animated when asked about QB’s after the game! Why he’s so great, cares for them on a personal level and respects both Jalen and Tua too much to say anything negative about either one ever!! #kingsaban.”

While Saban’s behavior was unprofessional and disrespectful towards Taylor, who asked a question that should have been expected, the root of Saban’s anger should have also been a part of the story.

Kaepernick news causes more tension


Nike recently announced that Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers’ quarterback, would be the face of its new advertising campaign. This has blown up on social media and caused withdrawn support for the company due to his decision to kneel during the national anthem at NFL games.

Out of all the national news media coverage it has received, I chose to look at the article that CNN published, titled, “Nike’s support for Colin Kaepernick protest has some destroying their shoes” written by James Masters and Gianluca Mezzofiore. As CNN is a liberal news media outlet, I wanted to see if they could look at this issue objectively, as this has become a liberal vs conservative debate. They tried (sort of), but ultimately failed.

CNN decided to choose three clips of men from Twitter who did not give their opinion on the matter, but rather just showed video clips of them burning their gear. One of the videos was a high school student who was laughing and playing the national anthem in the background. At no point in this story, did the reporters get someone who fully describes their point of view towards the company, and on the matter as a whole.

If they had done further research, they would have found that people are not solely upset that Nike is affiliating themselves with a former athlete, who many believe disrespected the flag and the military by kneeling. What a lot of people are upset about, is the slogan. The slogan says, “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”

It is referring to the fact that Kaepernick is no longer an NFL quarterback due to his decision to kneel during the anthem. However, Kaepernick has had multiple job offers in other professional areas since 2016, and many believe that he has not been signed to a team because of his poor quarterback performance. He is currently suing many NFL owners, accusing them of conspiring to keep him off a professional roster.

Additionally, Kaepernick is set to make millions with his Nike deal, possibly more than he would have made in the NFL, which causes people to question the legitimacy of the ad campaign and his willingness to “sacrifice everything.”

CNN could have made its point more efficiently if it chose its content to show the ideas on the other side of the debate, rather than three videos of people who are a terrible generalization of the people who are offended by this move by Nike. CNN kept the information at the surface level and added additional tensions between the general public by not trying to understand and present both sides of the argument.

The liberal side has a very good reason for supporting Kaepernick as he highlights racial injustice in America; an issue that there is no hiding from and needs to be worked on by all Americans. However, by pointing fingers, and showing a poor depiction of the opposing argument, they throw away any possibility of a meaningful conversation between both the left and the right.

McMurphy’s reporting raises concern


Over the summer, Urban Meyer and the Ohio State football program found themselves under immense scrutiny for their handling of former coach Zach Smiths domestic violence accusations that led to his delayed departure. Although the scrutiny was well warranted and fair, the reporting done that broke this story leaves a lot to be desired from a journalistic perspective.

Former ESPN reporter, Brett McMurphy, was the first person to break the story surrounding Zach Smith that sparked both Meyer’s suspension and the suspension of Ohio State’s athletic director, Gene Smith. Although this was certainly the most important story of his career, the reporting that went into breaking this story was questionable.

When Brett McMurphy was laid off from ESPN, he lost his platform to report stories. Like many other reporters who have been let go from their publications, Brett McMurphy took to posting his stories on Facebook to inform his followers about what was going on in the college football world. Evidently, this is where Brett McMurphy posted this bombshell story that quickly attracted attention.

In order to understand the reason as to why the reporting was suspect, one must understand what was initially reported and why the story was such a big deal. Brett McMurphy reported that Zach Smith was arrested in 2015 with a charge of domestic violence toward his former wife. This led people to believe that Urban Meyer was aware of that arrest and did nothing about it. The problem with reporting that Zach Smith was arrested is a pretty big one: Zach Smith was never arrested.

Reporters make mistakes all the time, it’s just something that happens in the industry. The problem with this mistake is that it was the basis of the entire story. If Zach Smith was never arrested, Urban Meyer would have never heard about the allegation and thus would have no reason to enforce any sort of action. If he was arrested, Urban Meyer would have probably been fired earlier this month, instead of getting suspended, because employing someone who has been arrested for domestic violence is grossly irresponsible is wrong.

The biggest problem with the reporting was how Brett McMurphy “fixed” his mistake. Brett McMurphy didn’t post anywhere that he made a mistake that changed his initial bombshell story. Of course he didn’t, because if he admitted this mistake then his story would significantly diminish in importance. Brett McMurphy simply went onto his Facebook post, edited the story to reflect that Zach Smith was never arrested, and went on with his day. Thankfully, people picked up on the fact that McMurphy edited his post without saying anything.

Instead of following journalistic procedures and properly updating his story, Brett McMurphy took a side and wanted to stay as relevant as possible in his moment of fame. In doing so, McMurphy changed the entire narrative surrounding the Ohio State football program based off a report that was simply untrue.

Steelers prefer Juice or hogs?


With the NFL season starting Thursday, teams are ready to lace up the cleats and win some games. Well at least majority of them.

Steelers’ running back Le’Veon Bell, the self-proclaimed Juice, has been holding out with the team organization all off season and the pre-season just to renew his contract to get what he believes he deserves. Bell, who ended top three in both rushing yards and rushing touchdowns in 2017, signed a $12.12 million one-year deal in 2017 and expects to be paid more. The Steelers put a $14.54 million franchise tag on Bell but has yet to agree to the deal and some teammates are getting bothered by it.

Offensive linemen Maurkice Pouncey and Ramon Foster were very out spoken about Bell’s situation and they were not happy.

“Honestly it’s a little selfish, I’m kinda pissed right now. It sucks that he’s not here. we’ll move on as a team. It doesn’t look like he’ll be in the game plan at this point,” Pouncey said through Tim Benz of the Tribune-Review.

“Nobody is taking this well at all,” Foster explained per Mark Kaboly of The Athletic. “That guy comes in half the season, and he still will make more than me so f–k it, right?”

Bleacher Report posted quotes from both of Le’Veon’s teammates on their Instagram page and Le’Veon left a simple comment under the picture saying “whoa.” The hogs, offensive linemen, are pretty upset simply because they feel “we’re the guys who do it for him,” Foster would say.

Second year running back, James Conner, played a limited role for the Pittsburgh last year as a back up to Le’Veon. He ended the season with only 144 rushing yards on 32 attempts with no touchdowns.

Conner looks great. We’ll worry about him [Le’Veon] in Week 2,” Pouncey said.

Steelers kickoff against a new and improved Cleveland Browns team at 1 p.m. this Sunday. Though they will be juiceless in their first game, the hogs are looking forward to leading Conner to a great game in his first-ever career start.