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Booger McFarland Says College Football Debate Has Become ‘Selfish’

“How can it be safe for me to send my 17-20 year old son on the field, but you can’t have fans in the stands? How can it be safe for me to send my 17-20 year old kid to college, but you can’t have kids that to class and sit in those seats?”

Ricky Keeler

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As the days go by, it becomes clearer and clearer that college football is in trouble for this fall. In a story first reported by Pat Forde and Ross Dellenger from Sports Illustrated on Sunday, Power 5 conferences would be meeting with their boards in the next couple of days and this telling quote was put in the article: 

“I think by the end of the week the fall sports will be postponed in all conferences.”

As of right now, one power conference has reportedly decided to cancel the season this fall. According to the Detroit Free Press, the Big Ten has made the decision to cancel the upcoming season due to concerns from COVID-19, but no official announcement has been made. Dan Patrick revealed on his show that the vote was 12-2 in favor of canceling: 

All morning long on Monday, there was debate around the issue. One of the topics talked about was if you had a son, would you let him play college football during these unprecedented times. Former LSU defensive tackle and Super Bowl champion Booger McFarland answered that question on ESPN’s Get Up and mentioned the selfishness he sees in college sports.

“I have a son. If he was old enough to play college football and he was on a team, I would not let him play…How can it be safe for me to send my 17-20 year old son on the field, but you can’t have fans in the stands? How can it be safe for me to send my 17-20 year old kid to college, but you can’t have kids that to class and sit in those seats? See, at some point, this has become selfish for everyone else and we want to make decisions when we are the ones not taking the risk.” 

On Sunday night, many high profile players, such as Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence and Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields, tweeted using the #WeWantToPlay hashtag. Lawrence articulated his thoughts on social media.

“Unfortunately, for the NCAA, we still call these kids amateur athletics and we have hid behind that for years,” McFarland said on ESPN this morning. “I understand what Trevor Lawrence and all of these players around the country are doing, but guess what! It’s not up to you because you are an amateur. That means someone has to make the decision for you. I understand the hashtag, but it does not really mean anything.” 

Later in the show, McFarland used Tennessee guard Trey Smith, one of the best offensive linemen in the country, as an example of the reason liability will play a larger role in any conference’s decision than what players want. Smith had blood clots in his lungs back in 2018 and had a special practice plan last season.

“I understand he can say ‘we want to play,’ but at some point, when everything hits the fan, the University of Tennessee will be liable. Just like what happened in the NFL with the concussion lawsuit, when liability is put on one side, there are billions of dollars that had to change hands and these college institutions, they are afraid.”

Sports TV News

3.72 Million Tune In To See LeBron James Break Scoring Record

Jordan Bondurant

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Lakers star LeBron James surpassed the NBA’s all-time scoring record on Tuesday night, and TNT benefitted from the milestone ratings wise.

According to Sports Media Watch, Tuesday night’s game averaged 2.98 million viewers. That figure made it TNT’s biggest regular season audience in over two years.

The broadcast peaked at 3.72 million around 11:45 p.m. when James passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the record.

Reporting also indicated that the game was the number one single-network program on TV in key demographics.

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Sports TV News

Disney Makes ESPN Independent Division In Corporate Restructuring

Jordan Bondurant

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ESPN

Disney is in the process of reorganizing and restructuring the company, and details have emerged about the company’s plans for ESPN.

Deadline reported on Wednesday that ESPN will be one of three standalone segments comprising Disney. Entertainment and Parks, Experiences & Products are the other two segments.

The reorganization comes amid the exit of former CEO Bob Chapek and the re-entry of CEO Bob Iger. As one of Iger’s first moves back running Disney, he announced a restructuring of Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution.

It was also reported that Jimmy Pitaro will continue as the president of ESPN.

In total, more than 7,000 jobs will be eliminated after the restructuring.

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Sports TV News

Roger Goodell: ‘Wouldn’t Surprise Me’ To See Thursday Night Football Move to Flex Scheduling

“Not today, but it’ll certainly be something that’s on our horizon.”

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Thursday Night Football

In 2023, Monday Night Football will join Sunday Night Football in having the ability to flex NFL games into its window. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Thursday Night Football could someday join that elite club.

During his “State of the League” speech Wednesday, Goodell said Thursday Night Football having the ability to flex matchups “wouldn’t at all surprise me”.

“Not today, but it’ll certainly be something that’s on our horizon,” the NFL Commissioner said.

ESPN bargained for the ability to move higher profile games into Monday Night Football during its negotiations with the league for the next television contract that begins this upcoming season.

NBC has long held the ability to shift a select number of games from earlier windows into the Sunday Night Football primetime slot.

Amazon Prime Video just completed the first of an 11-year contract that sees the streaming platform spend nearly $1 billion per year on the Thursday Night Football package.

One of the largest storylines of Amazon’s debut season with the NFL was the near-constant ridicule from play-by-play announcer Al Michaels over the lackluster TNF schedule. Michaels made headlines over several weeks for his candor on the lack of interesting matchups, going as far as to joke that if the schedule didn’t improve he would retire.

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