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Draft King Analysis

August 29, 2011
Lou Pickney,

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First things first: congratulations are in order for my friend Josina Anderson, who is joining ESPN next month to cover the NFL, the NBA, and other sports for the network out of the Chicago area. Josina is a wonderful person and a hard worker, and I'm thrilled that her hard work in Denver (and elsewhere) has paid off for her. I'm sometimes critical of ESPN, but this was a great hire and something that ESPN deserves praise for doing.

Here in the Nashville area, a sports-talk radio war is in motion with 102.5 WPRT-FM flipping from Hot AC to sports-talk as of this morning. Nashville now has 102.5 the Game, 104.5 the Zone (Titans flagship station WGFX), and SportsRadio 560 WNSR. I had a job interview with one of those outlets last week, and while the timing wasn't right for it, I have friends and acquaintances at all three places and don't have a defined rooting interest. I do enough media spots in relation to this site to appreciate having the flexibility to pick and choose what I do, but I'm enough of a fan of the radio biz to appreciate a good radio war. Plus, the more sports radio that's available, the better, at least in my opinion.

Along those lines, I recorded a podcast with my friend Josh Tinley last week. I've known Josh since my freshman year of college in 1995 -- his room was just down the hall from mine at Hughes Hall at the University of Evansville. I've known his wife going back to when I was in high school, which is kind of crazy to think about, particularly in how many years ago that has been. The older you get, the faster time seems to move.

The podcast is now online; you can listen to it here. We talk about everything from the 2012 NFL Draft to college football to University of Evansville related topics.

The 2011 college football season begins on Thursday, with a strong crop of games slated for the weekend with games every day through Labor Day next Monday. The crown jewel of the weekend, a battle of top five teams with Oregon vs. LSU in Dallas at Cowboys Stadium on Saturday, has dropped in prestige with the respective suspensions of Oregon CB Cliff Harris and LSU WR Russell Shepard for the game. Harris is a possible first-round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, and Shepard is an outstanding receiver. But, even without them being involved, it should be a good game.

There is a connection with LSU and Oregon that goes beyond the neutral site showdown: a man named Will Lyles. If you don't know the story, read what Charles Robinson and Dan Wetzel wrote on the topic in July and you'll see the connection. It's not good for either university.

It's worth noting that there are more and more people digging for dirt and looking for evidence of wrongdoing in the world of major college football. ESPN isn't breaking many of the stories, particularly not with their top college football reporter, Bruce Feldman, having been put on ice since July and appearing unlikely to reappear anytime soon. But Yahoo! Sports has been bringing the heat, and along with indie sites like SportsByBrooks and Outkick The Coverage looking closely at everything and the NCAA doing its own investigating on various cases, it has become more and more difficult for rulebreakers to escape without detection.

Some teams have outright banned their players from using Twitter, which is comical and counter-intuitive when you think it from the standpoint that college is about education. You have adults playing big-time college football and you're telling them arbitrarily that they can't speak their mind on a given social media site? That is mind-boggling to me, though maybe it shouldn't be. Big money is on the line, after all.


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