On Easter Sunday our man Marvin Austin (0-3 against NC State) was featured during the first 15 minutes of ESPN’s magazine program hosted by Bob Ley. I watched it at 10:00 a.m. but it is also scheduled for 9:00 p.m. tonight. You can also watch it online here, although Ley’s discussion with Shefter is not included.
I found it quite entertaining. Here is a brief summary in “bytes” format. My comments are in bold.
* Bob Ley’s first line: “At the time, Marvin Austin was only part of the carnage in Chapel Hill.” In the introduction Ley also mentions that 13 UNC-CH players were held out of the opening game and the ongoing, season-long suspension problems connected to the scandals. UNC-CH fans must be thrilled with this great national publicity.
* From there the piece explained how Marvin was trying to rehabilitate his image in preparation for the NFL draft. It shows him sweating in yoga class, lifting wieghts, and working out on a football field outside of Tampa as part of a program (explained to have been paid for by an agent) to get him ready for the draft and UNC-CH’s “Pro Day.” Isn’t a UNC-CH football ”Pro Day” a ridiculous redundancy? Isn’t every day there a “Pro Day.”
* Marvin explains that yoga helps him “exscape [sic] some of the things that were very tough for me to deal with.”
* Next we see footage of Marvin’s televised ”hat out of the bag” move on signing day, putting on the UNC-CH hat, and saying “Tar Heels baby.” Too funny.
* Marvin’s Twitter problems are detailed. I am very annoyed that SFN didn’t get even a passing mention. Although my favorite picture of all time made the broadcast. I wonder if they got it from here:
* Regarding that picture (and Austin’s tweeting in general), ESPN’s Kelly Naqi narrates: “the NCAA took notice, and by July there was an investigation into whether Austin was receiving illegal benefits.”
* Naqi then documents Austin’s various trips paid for “by people outside his family, including a friend he declined to identify and agent Gary Wichard.”
* During an interview with Naqi Marvin explains that the improper benefits were like “being caught shooting firecrackers on the 4th of July” – that you aren’t supposed to but that ”everybody does it.” Marvin then asserted that other schools that recruited him offered extra benefits, but that UNC-CH offered no illegal benefits. Everyone who believes this, please contact SFN, as we know of an African prince who is requesting bank information by email so he can get a quick loan.
* Naqi explains that the NCAA has yet to rule on the UNC-CH case “which expanded to include allegations of benefits and academic fraud involving as many as 16 football players.” More great publicity for UNC-CH!
* Marvin’s mom was interviewed and started crying, at which point Marvin and his mom embraced and Marvin sobbed openly at length. Oh give me a break with this “Marvin as victim” crap.
* Butch explains that Marvin, “with the exception of this one particular incident, has been a terrific football player and a good kid in our program.” I want to know which “one particular incident” Butch is talking about. There are several to choose from.
* The rest of the piece is an interview with ESPN ”NFL Insider” Adam Shefter, who explains that Austin has probably gotten himself into the bottom of the first round. Shefter goes so far as to say that this “is a testament to the young man and how well he has done in handling some of the adversity that has come his way.” “Adversity”? Hilarious! Good to know that Butch’s talking points have been widely disseminated. Look back at the Twitter picture and decide how much “adversity” Austin and Little were suffering at the Aquagirl festival in Miami. I would like some of that adversity.
I wonder how this will play among the adults in Chapel Hill, assuming there are any. If Thorp was acting like a Chancellor rather than a nerdy Butch cheerleader/ football booster he might actually show some leadership.