Enterprise Journalism Weekly Features Across ESPN Platforms
Thursday December 10, 2009
Seminole Scandal: Florida State and Academics
Outside the Lines (Sunday, 9 a.m., ESPN)
Once among the most dominant college football teams in the 1990’s, Florida State’s last decade has been marred by mediocre play on the field, and scandal off it. Most recently, an academic fraud scandal where 61 Florida State athletes, including football players, were allegedly supplied answers to tests, and had papers edited and typed by tutors. The NCAA ruled Florida State guilty of major violations, announcing it would reduce scholarships in football and other sports, and force Bobby Bowden’s team to vacate up to 14 victories from 2006 and 2007, the years of the transgressions. Outside the Lines’ Tom Farrey reports on the learning specialist and athletes at the center of the Florida State academic scandal, and reveals details about how these athletes, some of whom allegedly had second-grade reading levels, functioned at FSU.
“If you are reading at a second grade, third grade, fourth-grade level, you are not going to be able to read and comprehend your college textbooks.” Brenda Monk, former Florida State learning specialist who worked with football players
“I taught a Sports Law course and I had a football player in my class. ….I quickly realized that he could not spell and he couldn’t write a coherent sentence.” Kadence Otto, a former FSU instructor who is now a professor at Western Carolina University.
“If you’re a head coach, you’re worried about winning, winning, winning. And that’s by any means necessary. Education is not the main focus at Florida State.” — Fred Rouse, a former Florida State receiver who now plays at Concordia College in Alabama.
SportsCenter(Sunday, 10 a.m., ESPN)
Ever since he burst onto the national scene as a teenager 15 years ago, Tiger Woods has been among the most respected and admired athletes of his time. But over the last two weeks, revelations about his personal life have changed his image forever. Sunday on Sportscenter, T.J. Quinn of Outside the Lines examines what we thought we knew about Woods and what we’ve learned since.
“I told her this is the guy that I think is everything you want. He’s true. He’s honest. He has great values. He has everything you would want in a guy. And uhh, I was wrong.” – Jesper Parnevik, PGA Tour Pro.
Sunday NFL Countdown (Sunday, 11 a.m., ESPN)
The Colts contemplate resting their players down the stretch. The Saints say they are going to do whatever it takes. Both teams, at 12-0, are poised for perfection, but is it attainable? The only perfect NFL team on record is Don Shula’s Miami Dolphins, who went 17-0 in 1972. ESPN.com’s Greg Garber speaks with Shula and other players and coaches about the challenge of aiming for perfection.
Heisman Trophy Presentation (Saturday, 8 p.m., ESPN)
Prior to Saturday night’s Heisman trophy presentation, the two returning Heisman candidates – Florida’s Tim Tebow and Texas’s Colt McCoy – catch up over sandwiches at New York’s famed Carnegie Deli.
ESPN Deportes SportsCenter Special Report: Alex Garcia-Mendoza
ESPN Deportes SportsCenter (Sunday, 11 p.m.)
This is the first season in the NCAA for UALR Trojans guard Alex Garcia-Mendoza. He joins the team after playing two seasons at Northeastern Junior College, where as a sophomore he averaged 14 points, seven rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.2 steals per game to help the Plainsmen to a 22-11 record and a spot in the Region IX Tournament semifinals. But the road for this 6’3” Mexican-born started in El Fuerte, Mexico, and took him as far south as Argentina and Brazil.