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Murder at Savannah State
Why did ESPN try to ‘catch a Tiger by the toe’
A few days ago, an e-mail was sent to certain staff members at BASN:
———– Forwarded message ———-
Date: Mon, May 17, 2010 at 12:43 AM
Subject: ESPN Video Send-A-Friend Email
To: firstname.lastname@example.org ; email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
As you see this was sent to myself, Mr. L.A. Batchelor and our Editor-in-Chief, Mr. Tony McClean at our BASN addresses…along with a video clip:
The following day, the clip, “A Question of Race” ran on The Mouse’s “Outside the Lines” program – a show which is supposed to reflect the organization’s journalistic chops.
The reporter on this piece, Jemele Hill, was nothing more than a stain on a blue dress when it came to credibility as Robby Wells, former head coach at Savannah State University, alleged he was discriminated against by the historically Black university as he went 7-17 in his two seasons as the head football coach.
According to the clip, the bone of contention in the piece was a he said/she said as to whether things were done within the proper levels of compliance; as well as his relationship with his fiancé, who was Black.
A television show produced by Wells without the blessing of SSU administration – where Wells’ fiancé was the host – further exacerbated unfavorable response between Wells and the school.
Now given the tension that goes with Black/White anything in this country, I won’t rule out that aspect. We have seen this happen with coaches like Charles Strong and Turner Gill; Black men with white wives who were passed over for head coach spots because of their partners being (in some minds) the wrong color.
Strong and Gill have moved on (to Louisville and Kansas, respectively) but both coaches had been winners (Gill a conference winning head coach, Strong an assistant on a national champion) while Wells’ resume was being augmented with a 2-10 second season as head coach of the Tigers.
For whatever reason you wish to throw into the mix, pro or con, going 2-10 in a results-driven business like college football – on any level – would not guarantee job security for anyone possessing a scintilla of common sense.
But the most alarming revelation had to do with recruiting of players for the Tigers. Coach Wells accused the school of not holding up to their commitment to five players he recruited prior to his resigning his head coach job in January of this year.
All five of the recruits were white; and this is where Wells and Hill show their true colors. As Wells continued to rail about how SSU officials said disparaging things about him, Hill, in speaking to some of those recruits and SSU AD Marilynn Stacey-Suggs, fails to ask the most important questions regarding the paper trail which would verify the recruits or school having a binding agreement to come in as a student-athlete via scholarship.
Hill’s negligence and failure to do her due diligence in this regard led to a purposeful muddying of the waters in the piece, which led to ESPN’s slamming of Savannah State in their prime time programming.
When you consider this was on the heels of Savannah State’s recent inclusion to the Mid Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC), the intent to skewer an HBCU like SSU seemed clear.
Up to this point in ESPN’s history, HBCU’s never got the time of day, aside from the 15 seconds during Black History Month; or to belittle the athletic talent coming from those schools as shills like Mel Hyper and Todd McNugget pimp ignorant Black men out of indentured pigskin servitude.
Horace Broadnax was a member of Georgetown University’s NCAA champion basketball team in the 1980s and the current Men’s basketball coach at SSU. “It’s a shame ESPN would spend more time to attempt to put our program in a bad light than do the work necessary to present an objective piece.”
Broadnax, who was a guest on the BASN/BlogTalkRadio.com show The Batchelor Pad, took issue with the recruiting style of former coach Wells. When asked about his approach to recruiting, Broadnax brought a couple of significant points to light. “If I or any of my co-coaches are bird-dogging kids, we’re going to be in constant communication with each other.
“Then when we are all together, we sit down and weigh the merits and liabilities of every prospective student-athlete; while determining whether he will be a good investment for the program.”
The path of any paper trail with Wells’ would be solved if Hill had merely asked the kids Wells spoke to show their copies of any letter of intent or anything indicating the school had entered into a kind of binding agreement with them.
While SSU says they have no paperwork, Hill made little or no effort to redress the imbalance of the report; and the Tigers’ interim football coach acknowledged Wells did not communicate any information regarding any of the kids cited in the piece.
So who do we believe? From the piece, it is quite garbled. While some may believe in an administrator like Ms. Suggs, who appeared to want to be above the fray, her responses to Hill’s questions did not provide a clear cut indication of validation; but more because she didn’t provide any information which could slam dunk any spurious allegations of so-called “reverse racism.”
Meanwhile, you have a man in Wells who didn’t see fit to work within the framework of the organization that hired him crying about how unfairly he was treated; in spite of the fact he could not produce when called upon. I get the distinct feeling that if I were to shake hands with this person, I would be counting my fingers afterward.
But Hill’s performance was the worst component of all. This insipid invertebrate of a woman allowed her bosses to prepare a slime piece without any effort to offer balance; designed no doubt by the same scumbags who sit in the production meetings with malevolent intent as they continued to gore SSU in prime time.
This from the same news organization that tried to bury Ben Roethlisberger’s indiscretions - for three full days.
Interestingly enough, more of a case for redress was made when the former baseball coach, a white man who was an alumnus, was presented. The coach, who had a winning record and left the school as SSU’s all-time leader in games won, received a settlement from the school in an agreed litigation.
The Real Deal
After all, what’s the goal in doing a slam piece on alleged “reverse racism” if not to defame and show the school in a negative light?
The desired effect says, “Don’t go to one of those Nigger schools; they can’t get anything right. And, of course, you know they hate those white folks; they’re just looking to get back at whitey for what they had done to them years ago. Why can’t they just get over it????”
My colleague Mr. Batchelor, after seeing the piece, sent the following message to myself and Mr. McClean:
“I watched the video of this story and I think it’s cowardly that “MEMBER SERVICES” would send the video to us with no name and the fact they used that Aunt Thomasina Jemele Hill as the reporter. I put a call in to the Savannah State AD to see if we can get her on to give their side of the story (which eventually led to Coach Broadnax coming on the show).
And why did ESPN see fit to send that to the three of us?
Because their punk butts believe in their arrogance, that we are a bunch of “igg’nant” Niggers who would jump stank on the mere contention of “reverse racism.”
That and it seems some of their worker bees spend quality time in The Batchelor Pad’s chat rooms under guest I.D.’s while the show is airing…
Now pick up on this: here we have a school like Savannah State, which for a while was ridin’ dirty with some sports programs. You get punished, and as you gradually clean up your act, you can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Having struggled for years as an independent, now the invitation comes to SSU from the MEAC; come out of the wilderness; and welcome to the club.
So your very ambitious football coach after a 2-10 season figures if he can hang on another season, he goes into the MEAC; which facilitates recruiting, funding and opens up future job possibilities for a slick item like himself.
But the front office beats you to the punch, and says they can’t handle the disrespect and free-lancing; and with a 7-17 record to use as an argument, the noise can’t resonate but so loudly (especially after a 2-10 season!)
So, whether due to sour grapes or best laid plans gone awry, Wells cries reverse racism; while Jemele Hill stares at the camera like someone took a crap in her craw. If Hill was such a hotshot, why didn’t you dispatch her to Notre Dame when Ty Willingham got dumped?
Similar faces in similar places mean only familiar traces of f’ed-up spaces.
The Worldwide Leader in Bullshat – strikes again.
By Michael-Louis Ingram, BlackAthlete Sports Network
UNFORTUNATELY EDITED BY CSN LOG FOR PROFANITY AND ADULT SITUATIONS FOR PUBLICATION HERE (read the full article at the link).