Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: ESPN fires Rob Parker, apologizes for Brent Musburger
|01.09.13 at 7:41 am ET|
WEDNESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Suns at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE; WEEI-FM)
NBA: Lakers at Spurs, 8 p.m. (ESPN; WEEI-AM)
NBA: Mavericks at Clippers, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Boston College at Virginia Tech, 7 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-AM)
College basketball: Nebraska at Michigan, 7 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: Louisville at Seton Hall, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Iowa State at Kansas, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Minnesota at Illinois, 9 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: Arkansas at Texas A&M, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: West Virginia at Texas, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: UNLV at New Mexico, 10 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Washington at California, 11 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Hawaii at UC-Irvine, 11 p.m. (ESPNU)
College hockey: Harvard at Boston University, 7 p.m. (NBCSN)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ Two days after Rob Parker went on a Detroit television show and attempted to convince people his comments about Robert Griffin III were taken out of context and that he was not questioning RGIII’s “blackness,” ESPN announced that it was parting ways with the “First Take” panelist.
“Rob Parker’s contract expired at year’s end,” a statement from the network read. “Evaluating our needs and his work, including his recent RGIII comments, we decided not to renew his deal.”
Parker, who had been on the show for six years, was serving a 30-day suspension. A “First Take” producer also reportedly was suspended, apparently due to the fact the show re-aired repeatedly with the offensive comments unedited.
In other ESPN news, the network apologized on Tuesday for announcer Brent Musburger gushing about the girlfriend of Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron during Monday night’s national championship game. Katherine Webb, the 2012 Miss Alabama, said she wasn’t offended — and her Twitter following has jumped about 200,000 since she was shown on TV during the game — but ESPN felt the need to silence critics of the announcer’s behavior.
“We always try to capture interesting storylines, and the relationship between an Auburn grad who is Miss Alabama and the current Alabama quarterback certainly met that test,” the statement from ESPN read. “However, we apologize that the commentary in this instance went too far, and Brent understands that.”
♦ Tuesday was a rough day for the NFL’s Ryan family. On the same day the Cowboys announced the firing of defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, Jets coach Rex Ryan confirmed that two of his assistant coaches (offensive coordinator Tony Sparano and quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh) would not be retained. The Jets also need to hire a new defensive coordinator to replace Mike Pettine, whose contract expires at the end of this month and is interviewing with the Bills, but apparently it won’t be Rex’s brother, as a New York Daily News reports indicates the Jets will go with Dennis Thurman.
“I inherited a team that was 31st in the league in defense and made them better,” Rob Ryan told ESPNDallas.com. “I [expletive] made them a hell of a lot better. I’ll be out of work for like five minutes.”
Rex Ryan, who has two years and more than $6 million remaining on his contract, acknowledged Tuesday that he had concerns he might not be retained after the Jets’ woeful 2012 season. Now, he has a renewed focus as he looks to turn around the team’s fortunes.
“I’m approaching this day like it’s the first day. Period. Like my first day as a head coach,” he said. “This is a new chance for me. This is a beginning, certainly not an end.”
Ryan also continued to express confidence in his team.
“We are going to be a dangerous football team,” he said. “I can promise you that. I’m going to tell you: You’re not going to want to play the Jets.” Added Ryan: “We’re not going to be bullied. We might not win every game, and no team does. But you’ve got to stand for something. We’re going to be the team you don’t want to play.”
♦ Raiders linebacker Rolando McClain was arrested in his hometown of Decatur, Ala., after he allegedly lied about his identity following a traffic stop for tinted windows. McClain, who was sentenced to 180 days in jail for firing a gun next to a man’s head in 2011 (the case eventually was dismissed after the victim decided to drop the charges), insisted police are out to get him.
“I’m falsely accused of everything,” he told the Decatur Daily. “It’s corrupt. It’s terrible.”
McClain, 23, the eighth overall pick in the 2010 draft, was suspended by the Raiders two games late this season after arguing with coach Dennis Allen. He played in 11 games (starting nine), recording 60 tackles, one sack and a forced fumble. He has two years and more than $9 million remaining on his rookie contract.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Jan. 9, 1993, who resigned after two seasons as Patriots chief executive officer, clearing the way for the new staff led by coach Bill Parcells?
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I’ll adapt. I’ll learn the game. But I’m an emotional player in that aspect. I think at that time I had a triple-double, we were up 10. I wasn’t angry. I didn’t go over and yell at Rodney. I think he even said that in his statement. But the league put the hammer down and made a decision.” – Celtics guard Rajon Rondo, after serving a one-game suspension for bumping referee Rodney Mott during Saturday’s game in Atlanta
STAT OF THE DAY: 1 – Players missing from Patriots practice Tuesday afternoon, as only rookie defensive lineman Justin Francis was absent as the team prepared for Sunday’s playoff game against the Texans
‘NET RESULTS: During the Suns’ loss to the Jazz on Tuesday night, Suns center Jermaine O’Neal (yes, he’s still playing) puts up a shot that comes to rest on the back iron, resulting in a jump ball.
Clippers guard Chris Paul shows off some magic to Magic Johnson (and Steve Nash) in a commercial for the NBA.
From the Elite Ice Hockey League in Great Britain, Kelsey Wilson of the Nottingham Panthers throws down a vicious slash on an unsuspecting Simon Ferguson of the Sheffield Steelers. Wilson was suspended three games.
TRIVIA ANSWER: Sam Jankovich
SOOTHING SOUNDS: Scott Walker of The Walker Brothers was born on this day in 1943.
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