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Urban Meyer Report in The Athletic Prompts Reaction All Over Sports Radio

“How do you not know who Aaron Donald is? That’s the wild part.”

Jordan Bondurant

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A lengthy article published Monday in The Athletic, which detailed the dysfunction and turmoil inside the Jacksonville Jaguars complex during Urban Meyer’s brief tenure as head coach, took sports media by storm.

The piece written by Jayson Jenks and Mike Sando quoted sources and anonymous players and team staffers who said the former Florida and Ohio State coach was unhinged.

Instances of Meyer belittling players, coaches and staff members, threatening people’s jobs, and even going as far as to say if a player got cut they couldn’t get a job paying more than $15 an hour made the rounds on sports radio.

“This thing is not great for the Urban Meyer era,” Pat McAfee told co-host A.J. Hawk on The Pat McAfee Show.

McAfee referred to the Jaguars as “Clahn Tahn” after Jacksonville beat the Indianapolis Colts in Week 18 to eliminate Indy from playoff contention. It was in reference to Jags fans who showed up to the game wearing clown noses and make-up as a call to make wholesale changes within the organization. He said it was clear there were problems but in terms of how bad it really was based on the reporting.

“We could never tell from the outside that was the case,” said McAfee.

One of the items in the story that sent a lot of hosts’ heads spinning was Meyer apparently being unfamiliar with some of the top players in the league, including Los Angeles Rams defensive star Aaron Donald.

“How do you not know who Aaron Donald is?” Shan Shariff said on 105.3 The Fan’s Shan & RJ in Dallas. “That’s the wild part.”

Over on The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz, the whole gang couldn’t help but laugh as they tried to wrap their heads around it.

“This is after he said he did a six-month deep dive into the NFL,” Stugotz said. “I mean, Jesus Christ.”

“This cannot be true,” Le Batard added.

Filling in for Greeny on ESPN Radio, Courtney Cronin said the article should be damning enough that it will ensure Meyer doesn’t coach again at the highest levels of football.

“I don’t know if Urban Meyer is ever going to have another job ever again when stuff like this continues to come out,” she said. “He most certainly will never see the NFL level again. Which college program is going to hire him as a coach knowing that he has to groom young people to be upstanding members of society and teach them how to do things the right way when he can’t do anything the right way?”

Meyer has yet to make any public statements to corroborate or refute claims in the article, and there’s no telling he ever will. He has, in the last week or so, taken a new job on the board of a foundation aimed at paying Ohio State football and basketball players for doing charity work.

McAfee figured when you factor in Meyer’s side of the story, the truth isn’t at the end of either extreme.

“Truth probably lies somewhere in the middle,” he said. “But that was a failure. An absolutely abysmal failure.”

Sports Radio News

Jonathan Zaslow No Longer With WQAM

An attempt to reach out to Zaslow for comment went unanswered.

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WQAM midday host Jonathan Zaslow is no longer with WQAM in Miami.

The radio station has removed his show from the website and references to him and his normal 10a-2p ET midday timeslot program have been scrubbed from the station website.

Zaslow tweeted at 5:19p ET confirming the news.

Whether or not this has any effect on his involvement with the Miami Heat broadcasts is unknown as of now.

Zaslow had been with 790 the Ticket since 2004. He was transitioned from Audacy-owned 790 to sister station AM 560 Sports WQAM last October. During his tenure he has worked with a number of established local voices including Joy Taylor, Amber Wilson, Brett Romberg, and Brendan Tobin amongst others.

WQAM has gone thru a number of changes, including a rebranding effort to call the station “560 The Joe”. That ended last year with the station returning to the AM 560 Sports WQAM brand listeners were more familiar with. What they have planned next in Zaslow’s timeslot is unclear but local listeners will likely get some answers next week.

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Sports Radio News

Vanessa Richardson Named Houston Rockets Sideline Reporter, Paul Gallant to Host Solo on ESPN 97.5

Vanessa Richardson will be on the sidelines for the Houston Rockets and Paul Gallant will host solo show on ESPN 97.5.

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Vanessa and Gallant

Changes are taking place in Houston sports media. First, the Houston Rockets will have a new television sideline reporter this season, and she’s a familiar name to Houston sports fans.

Vanessa Richardson, the now former co-host of ESPN 97.5’s Vanessa and Gallant, revealed that she will be on the sidelines for the NBA franchise covering the team for AT&T SportsNet Southwest.

She tweeted the news saying, “Elated to be the new Houston Rockets sideline reporter! I can’t wait to travel the country & share the stories of this dynamic team during 80+ games on AT&T SportsNet Southwest. I’ll continue to fill-in as a host/reporter for Astros broadcasts as well.”

Richardson’s co-host, Paul Gallant, tweeted that with Richardson leaving the show for the Rockets sideline gig, Vanessa and Gallant will become the Paul Gallant Show. The solo show led by Gallant begins Monday September 26th.

“We’re excited to have Paul host his own show”, said Todd Farquharson, General Manager of ESPN 97.5 & 92.5.  “He’s super creative, energetic, and likeable.  He’ll get the audience involved and have fun.”

Paul commented, “You know what I’ve always loved about sports talk radio?  That it’s interactive.  Whether through a phone call, text message, tweet or on Twitch, it’s the best place for sports fans to come together and celebrate…or vent.  And that’s what The Paul Gallant Show is going to be…Houston’s platform to talk about its teams. THE most interactive sports talk show in Houston.”

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Sports Radio News

Ken Carman: Al Michaels ‘Feels Untethered’ On Amazon Prime Video

“The thing that stuck out was Kirk Herbstreit ripping the elf,” said Carman. “Don’t be ripping Brownie the Elf, man.”

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The Cleveland Browns defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers during Thursday Night Football on Amazon Prime Video. 92.3 The Fan morning host Ken Carman applauded Al Michaels for his performance during the presentation.

“Al Michaels feels untethered for the first time. He’s not network television anymore and he can say whatever he wants. We interviewed him on the pregame show and I was nervous,” Carman said.

“He’s a legend,” co-host Anthony Lima added.

During the final play of the game, the Steelers fumbled a lateral into the endzone which the Browns recovered to make the final score 29-17. Michaels said “that may be meaningful to some of you. And you know who I mean”, alluding to people who had placed wagers on the game.

Carman, who hosts two-hours of pre-game coverage on the Browns Radio Network, continued to discuss how nervous he was interviewing Michaels. He also discussed how impressive Amazon’s behind-the-scenes production was, pointing out the only football broadcast with more cameras is the Super Bowl. More than 400 people work behind the scenes for Amazon Prime Video.

“The thing that stuck out was Kirk Herbstreit ripping the elf,” said Carman. “Don’t be ripping Brownie the Elf, man.”

Carman later said people angry that Michaels misspoke by saying the Pro Football Hall of Fame is “down I-71” instead of I-77 were unreasonable, and joked “Al Michaels hasn’t been on a highway in 20 years”.

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