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Friday, October 30, 2009

Another Embarrassment from ESPN

It's probably a bad idea to bash potential employers in this economic climate for newspapers, but I can't help but be aghast at how irresponsible ESPN is on a routine basis. The latest is this headline from their "rumors" department: "Charlie Strong... as Coach of UGA."

When you click on the link, you're treated to yet another great headline: "Would Georgia Go After Strong?"

Boy, two headlines suggesting Mark Richt is on his way out and the Dawgs have clearly focused on landing Florida's excellent defensive coordinator.

Except here's what the actual "rumor" is:

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Or in this case, raid them of their best assistant coach. Gene Frenette of has an interesting take on what could finally weaken the Florida Gators more than just Tim Tebow graduating. It would be the exit of D-Coordinator Charlie Strong.

The Gators have beefed up to become the best defense in the country under Strong, who is now a hot commodity in the head coach carousel. And, if all that fan grumbling of Mark Richt is true, one of the obvious suitors for Strong's services could be the Georgia Bulldogs.

Frenette writes, "If Georgia and everybody else in the Southeastern Conference is looking for a way to cut into Florida's league dominance of the past four seasons, maybe they should begin lobbying football programs with potential head coach openings to promote the most overlooked coordinator in the country." A Strong defense is just what could put an end to the Gator dominance of the Bulldogs and the rest of the SEC.

Not a word about Richt's job security other than there's "fan grumbling" and the only basis for any supposition about Strong comes from a hypothetical column in the Jacksonville paper that never so much as mentions Richt or Georgia beyond the quoted graph above which talks about lobbying OTHER schools to hire Strong.

All Gene Frenette writes in his column is that the best way to hurt Florida might be to make Strong a head coach elsewhere. After all, Strong certainly deserves a job. But at no point anywhere has anyone suggested anything about Strong coming to Georgia.

Look, I realize that in the age of the Internet, a "rumor" is as good as a story. But this isn't even a rumor. This is just ESPN downright making sh*t up.

I'm not a Georgia fan, so I'm not going to take the time to get angry about how ridiculous this is for the Bulldogs. I'll let you guys handle that. But as a journalist, this makes me sick to my stomach. ESPN is not some fly-by-night blog. They have editors, and whichever one wrote these headlines ought to be fired. They are an embarrassment to my profession.


Randy Powers said...

Everything about that article is absolutely absurd. I'm with you. That is shameful.

Michael A said...

And to think, this is the same network that brought us 24 hours of le mans and the lpba.

SEGaDawg said...


Anonymous said...

...they employ Mark May.

Nothing surprises me any more.

GATA Dawgs! To hell with Florida.

rossinalabama said...

"But as a journalist, this makes me sick to my stomach."

That may be the quote of the year. Have you been hiding in a cave somewhere for the past 20 years? Journalism has become one giant circus...full of sugar soaked funnel cakes, caged animals and freak shows!
Sure some of you newspaper fellows still try and carry on a respectable profession...but that doesn't seem to sell these days. The good news is eventually they'll be this world it's a what have you done lately mentality. I could easily see Georgia with a new head coach within the next 2 years. Anything is possible.

Muckbeast said...

This is the same network that lets Pat Forde (who wrote a book with Rick Pitino) publish lengthy defenses of Rick "I'm an Adultering Aborter Catholic."

Muckbeast said...

.. Pitno.

Missed that word in the last post. Heh.

Muckbeast said...


Go Dawgs!

flikdiva said...

unfortunately, David, "journalism" has turned into creating headlines that will draw the reader to click on the link, especially for a pay service like ESPN Insider. Once you click on the link, the story has NOTHING to do with what you read at first in the headline.

That's the ugly beauty of the internet and pay services like theirs.

Anonymous said...

Sunday, March 22, 2009
Coaching Rumors Heating Up

Georgia may be getting closer to finding its next head basketball coach.

Several sources confirmed Sunday that Virginia Commonwealth head coach Anthony Grant was a leading candidate for the vacant head-coaching job at Georgia and said that Grant was in Atlanta over the weekend, reportedly for a recruiting visit.

Georgia athletics director Damon Evans said Sunday, however, that no hire had been made and an agreement was not imminent with any candidate.

Anonymous said...

Why is the press not blasting the embarrassment of the SEC head office, the SEC ADs and University Presidents continuing to attempt to cover up the incompetency of certain SEC football officials? Threatening people to not speak the truth is not exactly a high moral position. Do they think the fans cannot see how bad the refs are? We get to see if over and over and in slow motion. Who is paying their salaries? The fans are. The ADs and University Presidents should remove the head of the SEC and put someone in place that will end the "good old boy" club of referees.

David Hale said...

Anon 10:33 -- What are you trying to say here? I reported what sources told me and included the response from UGA's AD. That's what a journalist does. ESPN made up the story. There weren't even rumors. It was completely fabricated.