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Miles Heading To Bristol As LSU/ESPN Spar

Two days ago, ESPN’s “Outside The Lines” program reported that a review of 32 DVDs purchased by LSU from Willie Lyles turned up outdated, poor quality, bootlegged video.  In other words, it’s unlikely a major college football program could have had much use for that type of video of prospects.

Twitter lit up:


“So now ESPN.com is evaluating the quality of the videos purchased by LSU.  Wow.  They need to report the news, not make the news.”


A fan letting off steam, right?  Wrong.  That was the from the Twitter feed of Herb Vincent, LSU’s associate vice chancellor for university relations and senior associate athletics director.

And we thought players should have their Twitter privileges stricken.  This is the second time in a couple of weeks that an SEC athletics official has used to Twitter to whine about media coverage.

In the old days, athletic departments would put out a well-worded statement free of emotion to refute news reports they believed to be phony.  Now emotional associate ADs and PR men can let loose immediately.

There are two problems with Vincent’s tweet:


1.  While ESPN did look at the quality of the video, it also discovered that some players on the tape were already playing college ball when LSU received the DVDs.  That makes them more than a little useless.  Vincent — not surprisingly — didn’t comment on that fact.

2.  The idea that ESPN should “report the news, not make the news” is the oldest line in the book from people under investigation.  I wonder if Vincent — or the many LSU fans who’ve praised his comments on messageboards — would offer the same defense for Auburn if ESPN dug up some dirt on Cam Newton?  Come to think of it, TigerDroppings.com has had a few million links to SportsByBrooks.com’s investigations into Newton. 


Investigative reporting is fine and dandy as long as it’s someone else who is being investigated.  When you’re the guy under the microscope, then reporters just need to sit back and write whatever school officials and coaches tell them to write.

Amid all of this furor between LSU and ESPN, Les Miles is scheduled to travel to Bristol next Tuesday to go through the network’s “car wash” and appear on many of its radio and television programs.

Question is, with ESPN a partner of the SEC — and I don’t hear Vincent or LSU complaining about the millions they receive from ESPN each year — will the network try to pin Miles to the wall with questions about Lyles?

It’s hard to imagine they’d push too hard.  It’s also likely that Miles would simply point out that LSU is cooperating with the NCAA and that he can’t say anymore.

For that reason, we expect the issue to come up once per show, but we don’t think Miles will be grilled on the topic or over his answers.

Still, it will make for an interesting day on Tuesday for LSU’s coach.  Wonder if Vincent will be sitting next to his keyboard ready to tweet at the first sign of trouble.

 


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