For a radio guy, one of the joys of driving long distances is the opportunity to listen to a plethora of games and interviews and even music on satellite radio.
I am, after all, an information guy and I’ve found that the monotone banter of books on tape has a tendency to put me to sleep on long journeys home. So I’m a channel surfer looking for different viewpoints, styles and even outrageous opinions on that dashboard receiver that has been my road companion most of my adult years.
Don’t get me wrong. I love local radio as well. But while latenight AM radio is still enjoyable to switch through, on satellite the signal remains mostly strong wherever you are driving.
Listening to Bob Miller call the Los Angeles Kings; Vin Scully take you through myriad stories without losing the prime elements of a Dodger game; and Chick Hearn in his day bringing the Lakers to life probably was ultimately responsible for me getting into the radio business after listening to him so many years ago.
But I digress. You see, there is simply nothing like the unpredictability of live radio and that is what prompts me to write about the debacle of the NCAA suspending Ohio State University football players for the first five games next year for indiscretions, yet allowing them to play for the Buckeyes in the Sugar Bowl.
Head Coach Jim Tressel – yes, the same guy who was at the helm of Youngstown State when the Penguins ended the Grizzly hopes of heading into the national championship game – boldly announced before the contest that quarterback Terrelle Pryor and the four other players pledged they would return and serve their suspension next year as a condition of playing in the bowl game.
It is, of course, not a binding agreement, yet the players sounded sincere about their commitment and Tressel was lauded for forcing the players’ hands.
While it is yet to be seen – and won’t be until the NFL draft – whether the aforementioned group honors its pledge, after the game I heard on the radio the last question asked of Pryor about his commitment to Ohio State University. It went unanswered.
When the studio host asked if Pryor had heard the question or whether he was in the process of walking away from post-game interview, the interviewer repeated that the microphone was at Pryor’s lips after the question was asked and emphasized that he didn’t answer.
While the morning after the game, the rest of the media were reporting that Pryor and others had renewed their commitment to return, the radio journalism, in being the first to ask the question, may have received the first truthful non-response.
I’ll give Pryor the benefit of the doubt and believe that he didn’t hear the question in the hubbub that is post-game interviews rather than ignored it altogether.
I guess time will tell. But for my dollar, if any of the offending players have the opportunity, they will say goodbye to Buckeye nation and join the play-for-pay ranks.
And you heard it first – or in this case didn’t hear it first – on live radio.
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