The NCAA has finally stepped up and announced that Oregon has allegedly violated recruiting rules by the way it used recruiting services over the past 4 years. What’s interesting about this is the coverage Oregon and Miami have received during their incidents.
It has been almost one year since Miami was accused of receiving illegal payments from a convicted felon. Yet the media, specifically ESPN, has said almost nothing about the violations.
The NCAA has been looking into Oregon’s recruiting practices since questions arose over a 2010 payment of $25,000 to Willie Lyles and his Houston-based recruiting service. Lyles had a relationship with a player from Texas who committed to Oregon. Yet again, we have heard almost nothing.
However, let’s raise two other incidents in college football that ESPN not only led off almost every sportscast, but also tried to compare. Those would be the Ohio State and Penn State stories.
First, when former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel ran into problems, the media not only camped out at him office and parking lot, they also put up posts outside his home. They would hound him, take pictures of him leaving his house and entering his car. Every report on ESPN was covering the story and leading with a “countdown” as to when he would resign.
Same in Penn State. Joe Paterno’s home was regularly seen and you couldn’t watch SportsCenter without seeing his home and getting a new update.
Later ESPN tried to compare Paterno’s lack of phone calls on the Jerry Sandusky incident to Tressel failing to notify his higher-ups he knew 5 OSU players received tattoos and a combined $1700. Not only was the comparison wrong morally, it was poor journalism.
To compare tattoos to child abuse is irresponsible, yet nobody complained because most feel ESPN is just too big. However look at the outrage and the quickness the media outlet moved with during the Jeremy Lin incident. A firing and suspension soon followed.
ESPN has an agenda. They aren’t concerned with journalism. They want “sensationalized” journalism. And they have a vendetta with the Big Ten.
See in 2004 when the Big Ten was creating the Big Ten Network, ESPN wanted in. Much like they did with the Longhorn Network, ESPN wanted to invest in the conference network. It was to be the first conference to ever try such a venture and ESPN wanted to be involved.
Jim Delany, the league commissioner, decided against taking on ESPN as a partner. Instead the Big Ten went at it alone, with the money coming from the member schools and then sharing it equally. ESPN walked away empty handed and upset. They become more and more upset every year they see the Big Ten network working and making money.
Instead of “gotcha” journalism, ESPN should consider strait forward reporting. Their involvement in the Longhorn Network has almost single handedly changed the atmosphere of college sports. Look at the conference hopping we have now because of this.
Now let’s see the coverage the Oregon situation receives. Does anyone in the right mind think there will be reporters parked outside the Oregon athletic complex waiting on Chip Kelly? Doubtful.
They’re in the wrong league.