Outside the Lines (Sunday, 9 a.m. ET, ESPN2)
This spring, the SEC conference adopted a new rule that prohibits any player from transferring to an SEC school if they have been officially disciplined by another school for serious misconduct – particularly for sexual assault or domestic violence. While most agree getting tougher on athletes who are involved in these types of crimes is a good thing, players can now be banned from an entire conference based on an accusation before the legal process plays out. Reporter Tom Farrey examines this issue and considers the case of Johnathan Taylor, a former Georgia and Alabama defensive lineman whose criminal cases helped inspire the new rule.
“I’m proud the Big 12 joined because I think college athletics can make a huge statement. Maybe the other sports and other leagues and professional leagues can follow. So this may be one area where college sports can take the lead in a very serious issue.” – Greg McGarity, athletic director, University of Georgia.
“Any guy that is accused of anything, as soon as it’s put in the paper, he is suspended from his team, kicked out of school, and whether he had due process, or whether he was ever convicted or not, really doesn’t matter.” – Nick Saban, head football coach, University of Alabama.
“If a person commits domestic violence, if a person commits sexual misconduct, certainly they don’t need to be playing at any SEC school or any other school for that matter, they need to be punished in the courts and if appropriate, incarcerated, but there needs to be due process, there needs to be fundamental fairness.” – Kim Stephens, attorney for Jonathan Taylor.
Inside the Rise and Fall of Urban Meyer’s Florida Gators
“Inside the rise and fall of Urban Meyer’s Florida Gators,” an inside look at the 2008-2010 Florida Gators by ESPN Senior NFL writer Jeremy Fowler, was published Thursday. Fowler covered college football prior to coming to ESPN in September, 2014. For this piece and the accompanying story, “Cam Newton left Florida Gators wondering what could have been,” Fowler interviewed more than 30 players and coaches for the long-form article.
Sincerely, Lawrence Phillips
College GameDay (ESPN, Saturday, 11 a.m.)
Throughout his career, former NFL running back and two time national champion at Nebraska, Lawrence Phillips, showed as much promise on the field as the struggles he faced off it. Now serving a 31-year sentence in a California prison for charges including felony assault, Phillips is facing a new charge, first-degree murder, in the death of his cellmate. Tom Rinaldi reports on the troubled life of the once Heisman hopeful, through letters Phillips penned inside his cell to two of his former high school coaches.
“He had great opportunities. He had great ability. And I think everyone that knows him is very sad, because we realize the possibilities and that things could’ve ended up much differently.” – Tom Osborne, former University of Nebraska football coach
Jen Welter on Coaching – and Living – Under the Microscope
What the NFL’s first female coaching intern learned on the job, and why she accepted Floyd Mayweather’s invitation to sit ringside at his fight. Kate Fagan reports.
At 57, Julio Franco can’t quit playing baseball
ESPN the Magazine (Transactions issue)
Former MLB All-Star Julio Franco is writing his third act as a manager—and player!—in Japan. And he says he’s just getting warmed up for a return to the big leagues. Michael J. Mooney writes.
The Sports Reporters
Sunday, 9:30 a.m., ESPN2; 10:30 a.m. ESPNEWS
This week’s Panel*
John Saunders (host)
(subject to change)
As Seen on ESPN Front Row:
Rinaldi captures emotions of Vinci’s victory in post-match interview: