What the Deuce: The Sky Is Falling

Saturday, March 25, 2006

The Sky Is Falling

The last few days, between the MZone - Colin Cowherd fued and Michigan's victory in the NIT have been very interesting to me. I know I'm a little late commenting on both, but give me a break, I'm in law school and I work. Without further excuses:


I'm excited Michigan is going to the NIT Final Four. I don't want to say its deserved, but its nice to see the seniors with an opportunity to finish their careers at Michigan on a high note. I'll admit that my interest level has slowly gone up as the team advanced through the post season. I was ticked that the game was on the U and had to keep track of the score via ESPN News. Withou a doubt, I'll be watching them next week, hopefully twice.

With that being said, I don't see Michigan winning this tournament if they get to the finals against Louisville. Rick Pitino is a much better coach than Tommy Amaker, like comparing Sam Adams to Natty Light. What's even better about this match up is that it will get Michigan fans to see what life may have been like with a talented coach (not talking about getting to the NIT but they way he coaches). The most interesting thing about this potential matchup is that Michigan could have had Pitino five years ago and from what I've been told, he was pretty close to taking the Michigan job until one Bo Schembechler said, to the effect, that Michigan is a football school and that basketball would be a second class citizen. If this is true, not only is Bo's philosophy killing us in football but basketball too. Mind you, what I have commented on is purely hearsay, so take it with a grain of salt.

Going back to the Miami game, the win kind of worried me too, in a Chicken Little "the sky is falling" kind of way. Why you ask? Attendence at the game was above 8,000 - not a sellout, but solid support. Why is this bad? Because the point of college athletics is to make money and I'm concerned with the backing the team received, the powers in charge will think "Hey, people still support us when we go to a secondary tournament, why change anything?" My concern is the support gives the AD a false sense of success and gives them no incentive to make changes that will further the basketball program. I think a M stands for mediocrity mentality has already taken a hold in the Athletic Department and could be perpetuated by fans supporting results that can be easily classified as underachievements.

MZone v. Colin Cowherd

Read about the fued here. I'm going to keep my comments short. Without a doubt, I support the gentlemen at the MZone. In my opinion, the issue isn't so much the MZone getting credit for their work, but rather a multimillion dollar news corporation following the basic rules of journalistic integrity. Furthermore, Cowherd didn't help his cause by firing off less than professional emails in response to the "hate mail" he received. No matter what people write to Cowherd, he as a professional, should know he is in the public eye, and that any emails from him, containing personal shots at people, would quickly surface on the Internet.

I'm in law school and am interested in Copyright law. Unfortunately, the Internet, in the words of Bill Simmons, is currently the Wild West in terms of journalism because the law in this area is still developing. I'll give Cowhed the benefit of the doubt when he says he received the Wunderlic from someone (although the audio clip reveals otherwise) but when he received an email from the MZone, he could have simply said "I'm sorry, I'll correct my mistake."

What gets me upset in this situation is this: As an attorney, doctor, lawyer, engineeer, garbageman, we all have professional responsibilities in what we do. Cowhed didn't follow those for journalists and that's disappointing. In law school, a student can be expelled for plagarism and possibly put his bar application in jeopardy. A doctor who leaves a sponge in a person can get sued for malpractice. A banker can lose his career for cheating his clients. Simply, I'm saying, we all have rules to follow and it would be nice to see someone working as a journalist would do the same. Personally, I wouldn't have been upset if the MZone would not have been given credit (hey, its a nice plug and admittedly these guys aren't in it for the money). I'm upset because the man claimed the work as his own, a no-no in his profession.

Its Saturday morning, and MZone is saying that Cowherd will give them credit on Monday's show, but I think its in ESPN's best interest to discipline him and/or his staff. It happened at The Free Press with Mitch Albom. And if ESPN can suspend Michael Irvin for his non-ESPN troubles, they should reprimand Cowherd in this case.

Okay, my comments on this may have gone longer than intended but I think it was worth it. To the guys at MZone, keep up the good work.


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