April 18, 2014

Browns LB Scott Fujita Rips NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell

The NFL has announced new suspensions for participants in the Saints’ bounty scandal. Among them, current Browns linebacker Scott Fujita has been handed a 1 game suspension. And while the league seems to acknowledge Fujita was not a participant in the bounty scandal, he is still being suspended for 1 game for not speaking up (or something like that).

Obviously, this does not sit well with the beleagured linebacker, and on Wednesday, Fujita fired back at the commissioner, calling him out for his abuse of power and condescending tone. Speaking to the media before practice, Fujita said:

“Additionally, I am now purportedly being suspended for failing to confront my former defensive coordinator for his inappropriate use of language. This seems like an extremely desperate attempt to punish me. I also think it sets a dangerous precedent when players can be disciplined for not challenging the behavior of their superiors. This is an absolute abuse of the power that’s been afforded to the Commissioner.

For me, the issue of player health & safety is personal. For the league and the Commissioner, it’s about perception & liability. The Commissioner says he is disappointed in me. The truth is, I’m disappointed in him. His positions on player health and safety since a 2009 congressional hearing on concussions have been inconsistent at best. He failed to acknowledge a link between concussions & post-career brain disease, pushed for an 18-game regular season, committed to a full season of Thursday night games, has continually challenged players’ rights to file workers compensation claims for on-the-job injuries, and he employed incompetent replacement officials for the start of the 2012 season. His actions or lack thereof are by the league’s own definition, ”conduct detrimental”.

My track record on the issue of player health & safety speaks for itself. And clearly, as I just listed, the Commissioner’s does too.”

No word yet on whether Fujita will appeal this suspension.

Ohio State Wins ESPN’s Lawsuit Over Public Records

If you recall a while back, we talked a little bit about the ESPN lawsuit they brought against the Ohio State administration. The basis of the case is that when the Jim Tressel scandal broke, ESPN’s Tom Farrey made repeated requests for information from the University, citing Ohio’s Open Records Laws.

While OSU did turn over much of what Farrey and ESPN requested, some items were withheld by the University with the school arguing that turning over the records would violate FERPA’s student privacy protection guidelines. ESPN wasn’t satisfied with that answer, and took it to the courts to try to get the documents handed over to them.

It was an interesting case with some fairly serious ramifications no matter which way the courts decided. After several months of arguments, the court has reached it’s decision:

The court on Tuesday unanimously ruled that for the most part Ohio State properly shielded records as either protected by federal privacy laws or attorney-client privilege.

The court said in a few cases Ohio State must remove certain names from documents which it then must provide ESPN.

The court also denied ESPN’s request for attorney fees.

This is a big decision, not just for Ohio State, but for all public Universities with high profile athletic departments. While many media outlets were aligning with ESPN in the case, several educational institutions were siding with Ohio State. By upholding Ohio State’s right to protect the privacy of its students, a precedent has been set for similar future cases with other schools.

[Related: ESPN v Ohio State: The Lawsuit and What It Means]

NCAA Completes Ohio State Investigation, OSU Imposes More Sanctions

When The Ohio State University went through the scandal with former coach Jim Tressel, the hope of the University and its athletic department was that firing Jim Tressel and self-imposing probation plus forfeiting the last season would be enough.

For a while, it looked like that might be the case when the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions delivered OSU a positive letter in response to their investigation into the Notice of Allegations.

All of that changed when the news of the Bobby DiGeronimo booster scandal rocked the program. The NCAA essentially slammed the brakes on their investigation and delivered OSU a supplemental Notice of Allegations. [Read more...]

ESPN Mysteriously Pulls LeBron James Las Vegas Tell-All

From “apparently” nude women in bathtubs to pouring vodka on the floor of a Las Vegas nightclub, ESPN’s Arash Markazi penned a night-in-the-life discourse on former Cavalier LeBron James and his close friends.  But just moments later, he didn’t.

After only several minutes of being a live link on ESPN’s Los Angelese affiliate site, the Markazi piece had inexplicably vanished.  But, in a fashion that LeBron James knows all too well following the Jordan Crawford “Dunkgate” tapes from a year ago, the Internet always wins. 

Not exactly casting James in the best of light as a professional or as a father of two, it is easily understood why this piece would top the list of the Greatest Hits that have come out since “The Decision.”  Alas, the piece was disseminated rapidly on Twitter, posted on message boards and even encapsulated in to image files.  Clips of the piece can be found after the jump.  An explination as to why the post is no longer in original form will likely not be found anywhere anytime soon.  Have at it, folks. [Read more...]

While We’re Waiting… More A-Rod, an MLB Salary Cap and Limiting Anderson Varejao

While We’re Waiting aims to be the round-up of the recent WFNY-esque information for your morning viewing. Have something you think we should see? Send it to our tips email in the sidebar.

“So, I guess, when it came to Alex Rodriguez and steroid use, I was probably well to the left of the norm. I wish he hadn’t done it, and I think it’s a mark on his permanent record, but I still think he was and is a great baseball player, one of the greatest of all time. And I don’t think he should go to jail or be deported or be forced to write ”I will not do steroids“ 10,000 times on a chalkboard. He’ll get booed at ballparks, people will bring ”Druggie“ signs to his games, reporters will mention the positive test in countless stories from here on in, it surely will cost him some Hall of Fame votes too. He’ll pay a hard price in his own way. And I don’t think he did much different from many other players, including some who would no doubt shock us even more.” [Joe Posnanski]

[Read more...]