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Dan Le Batard Webstream Leads To Fine For Pat Riley

Riley made the comments with the “Dan Le Batard Show” crew during their “FREEDUMB” livestream.

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Courtesy: JASEN VINLOVE / USA TODAY SPORTS

Pat Riley did not have the “FREEDUMB” to talk openly about Lebron James last week, and he paid a price for it.

The Miami Heat President appeared on the 24-hour “FREEDUMB” live stream event put together by the Dan Le Batard Show and was fined $25,000 by the NBA because of his comments surrounding Lebron James.

Riley was asked who was ultimately responsible for Lebron James and Chris Bosh teaming up with Dwayne Wade on the Miami Heat. The question then turned towards “leaving a key under the mat” for Wade. A reference to a 2016 newspaper tribute to Wade when he left Miami for Chicago. It read, “We’ll leave a key under the mat for you. Thank you for 13 unforgettable years. Best of luck in Chicago.”

Pat Riley seemed to think the question was about whether he’d welcome James (not Wade) back to South Beach.

“I would leave the key under the doormat if he would call me and let me know that he’s coming,” Riley responded. “I would do that. But I doubt very much that key’s …that key is rusted now… I wish him nothing but the best, and if he ever wanted to come back, I’ll put a new shiny key under that mat.”

James played on the Heat from 2010-14, capturing titles in 2012 and 13′ before leaving for his home state of Ohio. The relationship between James and Riley soured at the end of the four-time MVPs run in Florida. Riley was critical of the way the team disbanded after the Spurs blew through them in the 2014 NBA Finals. Riley hoped for a Finals triumph last year when his Heat faced off against James, but they fell to Los Angeles in six games.

Neither Riley nor James will taste another title in 2021 as only two former championship franchises remain among the eight NBA teams still fighting for the trophy.

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JOX Roundtable Exits JOX 94.5 in Birmingham

On Friday afternoon, Dunaway and Brown broke the news on Twitter noting that it is “an amicable parting.”

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One of the biggest names in Southern sports talk radio is looking for a new morning show. Lance Taylor, Jim Dunaway and Ryan Brown, known professionally as The JOX Roundtable, have left JOX 94.5.

The show had been off the air most of the week. On Friday afternoon, Dunaway and Brown broke the news on Twitter noting that it is “an amicable parting.” Sean “Rockstar” Heniger, the show’s producer, is also leaving the station.

The trio have been together for 12 years on JOX 94.5. They started in the mid day. In 2017, the show was moved to morning drive.

Program Director Ryan Haney took to Twitter to wish his friends and now former employees well.

The JOX Roundtable always enjoyed tremendous success in the ratings as well as in the BSM Top 20. This year saw the trio hit #2 on the list of Top 20 Mid Market Morning Shows.

Brown recently told AL.com that the show will launch its own digital platform. He said the plan ws born out of a desire to own their own content and set the course of their future for themselves.

He says that JOX 94.5 offered the opportunity for a series of “farewell” shows. That is not something he, Dunaway and Taylor wanted to do.

“They were very generous in offering that. It was much appreciated. Frankly, I just don’t know if that is good radio. Nobody tunes in to hear sappy calls or people complaining or celebrating or whatever. It isn’t the nature of what we do on a daily basis. I just don’t think it was overly appealing to us to do a good-bye show.”

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Learfield IMG College Raises $242 Million

Learfield now has access to $425 million in capital as they forge ahead to a more normal college sports climate this fall.

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Courtesy: Learfield IMG College

Learfield IMG College just got a new influx of cash from their existing investors. According to Sportico, The dominant college sports broadcasting platform received $242 million in new investments from Endeavor, Silver Lake, and Atairos.

All three of those firms have been staunch supporters of the broadcast group. The move also helped Learfield extend the maturity date of $183 million in existing loans scheduled to be paid off this year to 2023.

“While the college sports community has navigated dynamic challenges, we have continued to lean in to unlock new value for our university partners and brand partners alike,” Learfield IMG College CEO Cole Gahagan said in a statement. “We now have the deepest and broadest platform that includes digital sponsorships, contactless mobile ticketing, governance for NIL, esports, content, and industry collaborations, with the necessary fan data and analytics to help school partners grow their entire athletics departments.”

This was perfect timing for Learfield after the pandemic threw their business model in flux, with games canceled left and right across college sports. Learfield now has access to $425 million in capital as they forge ahead to a more normal college sports climate this fall.

About a month ago, Sportico uncovered the net profit Learfield brings in from Georgia, Nebraska, Michigan, Kansas, Houston, Georgia Tech, Marshall, and UCLA.

Georgia was far and away the most profitable partner for Learfield in the pandemic year of 2019-20. The Bulldogs produced $7.4 million in profit for the network. The low positive number came from Marshall, who produced $492,000 in profit.

The only school on the list that didn’t make Learfield money was UCLA. The Bruins lost Learfield $933,000 in 2018-19 and $1.7 million in 2019-20. Conferences around the country expect to allow more fans into sporting events this year as Learfield prepares to bring all the action to those not lucky enough to be there in person.

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Chris Simms Defends His QB Rankings To Dan Patrick

Chris Simms joined The Dan Patrick Show to discuss his annual quarterback rankings, and defend some of his positions.

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NBC Sports/Peacock

When one has a successful parent, it can be heard to emerge from their shadow, particularly within the same field. Chris Simms has followed his father Phil into both the NFL and the broadcasting world. The younger Simms has found a distinctive niche in infuriating NFL fanbases in mass with his annual quarterback rankings.

Simms went on The Dan Patrick Show on Thursday to discuss the rankings, which are unveiled sequentially over a period of time, and defend some of his positions. There is never a shortage of polarizing picks on the list, and the 2021 rankings were no exception. Reigning Super Bowl champion and widely accepted greatest QB ever Tom Brady came in at No. 10 on the list, behind newly-acquired Los Angeles Rams QB Matthew Stafford. When asked about it, Simms chastised the Detroit Lions for their lack of help for the quarterback in 2020, and mentioned Brady benefitting from the talent around him.

“I can look at Tampa Bay and they lost five (games) in the regular season, you can legitimately look at all five and say the main culprit in all five losses was Tom Brady.”

McLovin asked him to defend his pick of Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray at No. 7 while asking why the Cardinals are picked by many to finish last in their division. Simms said he is intrigued by some of the offseason additions by the birds out in the desert, but did not appear to be impressed by head coach Kliff Kingsbury’s offense.

“He (Murray) makes them considerably better in my opinion,” Simms said. “They’re out of that spread, four wide. It’s a little predictable, and he’s the reason it goes.”

Anyone that has perused NFL Twitter in the last calendar year has seen a spirited discussion and a slew of blocked accounts stemming from the debate over Miami Dolphins second-year quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. Simms has Tagovailoa outside of the top 32 quarterbacks in his rankings, and Patrick asked if Simms believes the Alabama product should be starting in the NFL.

“There’s question marks, certainly,” he said. “They had to micromanage him and whenever they had to let it loose, they had to put Ryan Fitzpatrick in. People think I hate Tua. I root for him, I like the guy, he’s charismatic as hell, no doubt about it, (but) there’s nothing to write home about from last year.”

The order of the top four quarterbacks on the list will be revealed on Monday with Simms refusing to give Patrick any insight ahead of time. That did not stop Simms from summing up the predestined outcome of the rankings.

“I’m just setting myself up to get crapped on, and I deal with it every year.”

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