S1: The following podcast contains explicit language.
S2: Hello I’m Josh Levine Slate’s national editor and the author of The Queen. This is Slate’s sports podcast Hang Up and Listen to the week of November 11 2013. On this week’s show banner society’s Spencer Hall will be here to discuss issues win over Alabama. Yes that was Josh wasn’t made to back away from the microphone that blow out your headphones. Slate’s Joel Anderson will also join us to chat about the NCAA enforcing its wondrous ideals of amateurism by going after Ohio State football star chase young and Memphis basketball phenom James Wiseman.
S3: Finally the New York Times is Lindsay Krauss will talk with us about Mary Kane the running prodigy who just went public with allegations of abuse by Nike and legendary running coach Alberto Salazar.
S4: Joining me in Slate’s Washington D.C. studio is Stefan Fatsis the author of the books Word Freak and A Few Seconds of Panic. Go Tigers. Stefan oh Hi Stefan. Say inside my own head.
S5: Big weekend for you. Yeah. And that and then MLS Cup on Sunday night.
S6: You must have been riding high all weekend had sort of blacked out for the rest of Saturday and Sunday. But I’ll take your word for it. Good game on the 11th. 9000 people in Seattle. Yeah. All right wonderful. We can talk about this more at our live show. We can continue this colloquy. It is on December 3rd. It’s a Tuesday in Washington D.C. at the Hamilton live. We are going to have some great guests. Good conversation. I had kind of a weird idea that Stefan endorsed that we’re going to try out at the live show Slate dot com slash live is where you get tickets and information again. That is summer third Hamilton life in Washington D.C. Slate dot com slash life on Saturday and Tuscaloosa Ala.
S3: She beat Alabama 46 to 41 and it really felt good to net a dead. It was the Tigers first win against the tide since 2011 LSU scored more points in the first half 33 than they’d scored in the full game. And I did this research on Wikipedia. Then they’d scored in the full game and eighty one of their eighty three previous all time meetings against Alabama. I was happy Louisiana was happy coach 0 was happy. Let’s hear it at around had to say in the locker room after the game.
S7: Yes sir. Yes sir. All right. Thank you.
S6: Joining us now is Spencer Hall editor at large for banner society and our senior at Cage and locker room expletives correspondent. Welcome Spencer. That wasn’t just the LSU team cheering That was America.
S1: Oh yeah. No the entire nation behind our beloved by your Bengals. Who should they maintain this level of dominance for three years will become the villain. That’s fine. That’s absolutely fine. I understand if you haven’t been to LSU for the full tailgating cultural experience that is game day there and that is the LSU cosmos you might think that eventually they will become the villain. I will never regard them as such. I don’t care. They can beat me by 40 and I’ll leave there with a smile on my face because they take great joy in everything that they do. Sometimes even losing and they took great joy in dismantling Alabama’s defense to an extent that no one else has done. I know we’ve seen them lose but we’ve never seen anybody any single player score four times on them which is what Clyde’s and ready layer managed to do against them three on the ground. I believe we caught one as well. No one’s done that. That’s never happened to a Nick Saban team at Alabama.
S4: Yeah. And the motivation here was just insane. It’s been since 2011 since they got humiliated in that national title game. They have scored mostly zero points and a lot of these matchups.
S8: But I thought that coach hours after the game we thought it was just coach Joe kind of the on field stuff that was really driving this. But he told Ross Dellinger of Sports Illustrated. Edit Granted I might get to go to a 7-Eleven and get me a monster a red ball without people saying gotta to beat those guys. Well I beat em. Coach Edwards Iran will now be able to go to a 7-Eleven while getting his red ball and not be harassed like that is a strong strong motivator. It’s
S1: practically a knighthood in Louisiana to go to a convenience store and leave on harassed and at peace.
S9: That seems to me to be the bare minimum of citizenship in the state of Louisiana and yet poor Ed owes more on paid billions of dollars to get harassed at the 7-Eleven. Which I would happily do. By the way right. If you’re going to pay me three million dollars and one of the job requirements is I have to have a thick skin when I encounter service people. That’s fine.
S10: On the other hand if you can get paid five or six million because you’ve done well and not get harassed at the 7-Eleven. Win win.
S1: The LSU job has unique benefits and unique drawbacks and one of the unique benefits is I think that beating Alabama is going to give him a little more peace and a longer term of that piece than it would for say the coach at Alabama or Auburn. I think you get a longer leash there particularly in a state where I mean do you think jump Payton’s ever gonna get fired from the Saints. No he leaves when he wants to. They can have like five or six losing seasons in a row and they might go. I don’t know man. Is kind of lost his edge a little bit. You know I think Ed is probably on a different scale but it’s gonna be like that for him. It’s a big deal. Like I know that people say oh you know like you know that’s that’s something. But how about the playoff. I don’t care about the playoff and frankly I don’t know how many other people do. Right. They want to the playoff is still largely a construction of TV that’s used as a bragging point right. It’s not what people really care about. You know in their heart and soul when they decide to roll up on Thursday and show up for an LSU tailgate and yeah they’re gonna show up on Thursday sometimes maybe sometimes Wednesday. I do know one person who showed up on a Wednesday. This is a massive deal. It is a massive deal for them an absolutely massive deal.
S4: Yeah know the level of postgame insincerity with the we’re taking it one day at a time we got to be at Ole Miss next week. That was it was epic levels of of insincerity there. People forget Stefan people forget LSU won nine of 12 games in this series between 2000 and 2011.
S8: Some of those while mixed him who’s coaching LSU some of them while Nick Saban was coaching Alabama. It encompassed both but last Miles was doing well against Alabama for a minute. And the difference in this series was that Nick Saban and Alabama realized that in order to win in college football in this century you need to have a good passing game and a spread offense less Miles was like still thought that he had Jacob you’re on the roster for at least 10 years after Jacob Hester graduated and Saban modernized first. Myles didn’t. LSU fell way behind. And you know what it took for them to catch up. Was for Edwards Ron who I think people caricatured as being from not this century a different different century. Recognize that we have all this talent we have all this skill all these skill position players. Let’s get a coach who knows about the forward pass. Let’s get a transfer. Who knows how to throw the forward pass and that seems like it’s all it took as LSU deciding that they wanted to be good on offense which makes the other losses kind of retroactively frustrating but I’m not mad.
S1: No not mad at all. It took him seven years. Well six or seven years to change what they do. There are a couple of lessons in here. One is that it is very rare for coaches to change what they do in four football programs to change what they do. It really is and one precedent for this comes from Pete Carroll at USC who has spoken pretty openly about changing everything that he did in the way that they did things going into that job. And it turned his entire career around and at overall when he was at Ole Miss in a wildly unsuccessful tenure at Ole Miss he’s not alone in that but it should be noted was a hard ass was a guy who was the disciplinarian was the guy who you know challenged everyone to fight him in the locker room shirtless. I’m not making that up. By the way don’t ever think that I’ve told a joke he really did that you know yelling Wild Boys and asking everyone else to take their shirts off and get stop it so he could get the program motivated hype that was that was his approach and it was miserable. So you went out to USC and suddenly became kind of a player’s coach. Right. You just say you guys you guys did well have Popeye’s waiting for you in the locker room right. You guys you guys had a good practice. Here’s some cookies a gentler kinder and gentler Ed Oh you’re on one of the funniest a kinder gentler emoji around now.
S8: Punches himself in the face repeatedly before games. But I feel like it’s all about context. This is kinder and gentler for him.
S10: Yeah he’s growing into his voice too. He’s terrifying. If you’ve never really listened to Edwards rant like if you were teleported to Tuscaloosa on Saturday and dropped into that locker room that’s a scary scene man.
S1: Imagine him whispering that is my challenge is what what does it sound like when Ed over on whispers. It probably sounds a lot like the rock monster and the never ending story. It’s got to be the weirdest most disconcerting sound because if he said you heard the clip the difference now is by the way he cusses in the other people’s direction not at his coaches or players. So not that much has changed. He’s just redirected that. He also if you want to know like the craziest fact about him that at his age I believe he’s 56 or in that neighborhood. He stills quotes 315 for sets and then goes for like a two or three mile jog after that. Yeah. He’s not human. We say that about people in sports all the time. You know at the managerial or playing level that they’re not human but that’s what Ed owes Iran does and he he doesn’t have to do that. All it’s not part of the job description.
S10: Can I ask a football question please please. One team scored forty six points one team scored 41 points. Those are a lot of points to give up for the other team or their defense is just not good enough. Or is it just that Joe Barro is a NFL quarterback right now and to a playing on a surgically repaired probably inadvisable API warrior Stefan let’s seem pretty dumb that he played but whatever still managed to throw for a lot of yards and a lot of touchdowns in this game are these just the two best teams in college football and defense be damned. Or does this sort of harbinger of some problems in the next five games to use Harbinger as a verb like I like it.
S4: I will say this this Alabama defense is not a traditional Alabama defense they’ve had a bunch of injuries Delon Moses who spurned LSU and a recruiting battle and it’s become one of Alabama’s best defenders he is out for the year they have it a bunch of other dudes out for the air they have a bunch of freshman starting usually you can like plug and play those guys and even if they’re like 18 they’re still making like 25 tackles a game but this Alabama even just isn’t super duper great and this LSU offense is amazing. Joe Barrow comes into the game like if if the season ended now he would have the NCAA record for highest completion percentage and a season and he bested that against Alabama. He’s basically a professional quarterback in that he transferred to Allen shows a grand transfer.
S8: He does not go to school essentially he takes like a couple online classes and so he’s just studying film all day long in addition to being awesome at playing quarterback. And so he’s going to pick these guys apart and then on the Alabama side. Yeah. They’ve got like the best set of receivers ever in human history and one of the best quarterbacks. So these defenses have no chance yeah.
S1: This is just one year I think where the sliders are all skewed towards offense I think because of the way that Alabama has had to recruit. You know they just ended up with this glut of insanely talented wideouts one of whom Davon Smith was matched up for much of the game on a freshman on LSU defense and we’re praising the management skills of the LSU staff. I don’t know man. You play a man press with a pretty slim lead late in the game against the most dangerous wide receivers in college football and a still deadly to a tug of Vilonia playing on one leg and you played man press with the freshmen go off Dave Aranda those are check is a check. I don’t know if it’s a heat check. Guess what you got burned. Those eighty five yards with like a minute left in the game because the vaunted Smith can run very very quickly and your guy is not quite as fast as as he is. Also I kind of think what they did was like a hilarious strategic thing that I hope somebody points out on TV which is they’re very deep. It went out and I think they just decided hey man someone’s gonna have a bad night. It’s you kid. This you like. That’s it. We’re gonna have somebody is gonna have a bad night so he’s gonna have a receiver who just embarrasses them all day. It’s gonna be you. But I think Alabama’s lost defensive linemen to the draft their next wave of monsters is still on the way. But this is a permanent shift because if LSU is putting their skilled players who have forever been lauded as all been running backs in disguise right. That’s the thing with LSU is that their skill players have always been ridiculous. They’ve been strong. They can break tackles. They know they are all outrageously athletic and they all end up in the NFL putting up numbers that they’ve never dreamed of putting up at LSU because of the way things have been run on offense there. That’s over. It’s not like you’re going to see LBJ come out the next LBJ come out of the draft and go well they have over they do it with him in college now man Jamal Chase gets all the chances he wants one on one and you pair that with Joe burro go look by the way it’s a jump in his numbers and what he has been asked to do is go look at the variation between what his completion percentage was last year and what he’s done this year and the fact that a lot of those completions they’re not the sort of like GP screens and like lateral stuff where you get high completion. You know what I will call the Tim Couch factor right where you go wow this guy is like completing 80 percent of his passes and you go Well most of them went about five yards like five yards that way not forward. No. Joe Barrow has just been it’s unreal. It’s statistically apparent what he’s managed to do. One thing that’s very weird with this Alabama team by the way is this they’re only hitting home runs. They’re not getting a whole lot of like pole to pole production in terms of moving the chains with the run game which I know has to drive.
S4: Nick Saban crazy Najee Harris is really really good and those receivers are really really good. They are incredibly hard to stop offensively. Like you have to cover maybe a first round NFL guy with your fifth corner.
S8: It’s it should be illegal but Alabama just did some dumb stuff in the first half of the game to drop the ball. Nobody hit him. The punter dropped the ball. Nobody hit him.
S4: And LSU made like one good defensive play where Patrick Queen dropped into coverage and intercepted two and they got an extra touchdown in the last 10 seconds of the half and that’s really what won the game. It just came down to which team made mistakes that were not really caused by the other team not the not that I particularly care that that was the case. But you know that was the deciding factor.
S11: There’s one cool thing to point out here too there’s a strategic thing that happens at the NFL as well at that level which is their leading receiver Ellis who’s leading receiver and the guy who touched the ball the most both in rushing and in terms of the passing game was Clyde Edward Taylor the running back. What Nick Saban has had to do defensively is play out of Nichols so putting five defensive backs on the field which is a lighter look. Okay cool. If you’re gonna go five or even six defensive backs as a common thing we see then I’m going to take a very stocky fast and mean guy with hands and I’m going to put him in the passing game as either my outlet or as a primary receiver on every single play. What does that mean. That means that somebody who is lighter than a linebacker who Alabama doesn’t have any way they’re a little thin at linebacker this year which is shocking for them. You’re going to have somebody who’s basically a nickel back going up against a guy who is two hundred and fifteen pounds of rock solid malice with the ball. And that’s not going to go well you saw. By the way Clyde Edwards earlier breaking tackles and throwing people off. That’s not because you know Clyde Edwards layer is all of a sudden bigger than he was. The guys he’s facing are like marginally smaller because they have to cover all of those wideouts you know by formations. So that’s just like one little chess piece that I thought was like really cool to watch the whole time that you know it goes across all football at this point.
S10: Congrats to everybody on LSU. When do we want to not see Alabama play LSU in the College Football Playoff and is there a genuine threat that Alabama won’t be in the top four assuming everybody wins because Alabama and plan in the ICC Championship game. In all likelihood is there a risk here and is that bad for college football. Or are you happy to take your win over Alabama and just leave it at that.
S6: I’ll let Spencer field this because any kind of flashbacks from 2011 would just cause me to start screaming which we don’t want on our air.
S1: The ratings would probably be really good for that so the committee would 100 percent be in favor of seeing an LSU Alabama rematch. However I don’t want to see it just from a personal bias. I don’t really care to watch that game again because I think the results will be pretty similar. I don’t think that Alabama can move their personnel into a position that’s going to yield results which are dramatically different. I also think that there are going to be a number of teams who are going to have a better claim on that than Alabama and I think there is like some fatigue because there’s enough of a data set there’s enough of a recent memory of Alabama making the title game despite not being a conference champion. We’re going to get a logjam most likely going to get a logjam this year of teams that’s really really good strong cases that are I think topped by a conference championship game conference championship games do not exist to decide one team’s position in the national hierarchy because there is no system of determining who gets into the top five or six slots in college football. There’s no organized way of doing it. We just kind of eyeball it at the end and come up with ever more elaborate solutions on how that eyeballing is done. I don’t think when push comes to shove that a conference champion is going to be denied especially if it happens to be the big ten champion or if it happens to be the AC DC champion. Clemson will likely go undefeated Ohio State will likely go undefeated. LSU will go undefeated. There is a good chance that you could get a strong one loss team there. Who is really really going to have like what what if Oklahoma is sitting there. Do you tell them no. Is that how it goes that you can let Alabama in. What if they’ve got the conference championship in hand. What if they’re still standing there with one loss. Would you tell a won loss because they lost a Kansas State. But do you tell them. No I don’t think you do. I think Oklahoma gets in over Alabama at this point.
S4: You could tell the exact same story and just say the only thing that needs to happen for Alabama to get in is for like Oklahoma to lose another time and then yeah they’re not going to get in over Big Ten champ or over Clemson but there’s another spot and I don’t know if Oregon who lost to Auburn is gonna get in over Alabama and or end Pac 12 champ might have two losses too. It’s just you know right on time.
S8: Gary Danielson as soon as LSU gets the clinching first down like the clock does even go down to zero and he’s already talking about how Alabama should get into the playoff. Talking about you talk about Alabama. Heather Denish the like ESPN college football prognosticator is saying she thinks Alabama’s done. Come on. Gabriel did. Like there is no universe in which Alabama is done. They’re going to be in that fourth slot they’re going to lock down that four slot.
S9: I’m telling you right now we’re all in the most dangerous position in SCC football strategy which is depending on Auburn. This is where everyone is at. If they say I really want some clarity in a playoff race I need there to be an actual obvious choice for the fourth slot and in order for that to happen I need Auburn to do something predictable.
S1: All right. I need them I need them to beat Alabama. Good luck. The entire history of Auburn is being either wildly underrated or overrated with no warning about which one they’re going to be.
S4: All right. One last thing spencer. Donald Trump trying to get his Knicks into Texas Arkansas in 1969 moment got a few students standing up with shirts that spelled impeach a lot more people who did the opposite of that.
S8: What do you think of Trump’s move to try to ride the wave of Southern Football.
S1: He showed up and they lost. That’s all anyone remember. That’s all anyone should remember about this whole thing. He inconvenienced everybody. Probably made Nick Saban infuriated at even a minor inconvenience of his schedule. And Alabama lost your 31 game home winning streak came to an end on the same day that Donald Trump showed up at your door. Just remember that. I don’t really I can’t tell you how to live your life. I can only point out correlations.
S4: Maybe a preview of 20 20 lost by five points on the scoreboard. Probably won the Electoral College. The Spencer Hall banner Society thank you for being here and reveling with us now.
S12: My pleasure.
S13: It is hard now to understand the point or purpose of the NCAA which operates less out of a devotion to the welfare of student athletes or even the generation of billions of dollars off of their literal sweat than it does the maintenance of a Rube Goldberg bureaucracy grounded in an 11 billion page book of picayune rules. If you search for 10 seconds you’ll find numerous examples just this last week of the college sports organizing body making seemingly random decisions about whether kids can or cannot play sports for the universities they attend. The attempts to sideline football player chase young of Ohio State and basketball player James Wiseman of Memphis. Among if not the most highly rated prospects in their respective sports for what appear to be banal financial transactions are just the most prominent illustrations of the NCAA is increasingly desperate. Oz like behavior as it defends itself against attacks on its very existence in courtrooms and state legislatures. Slate staff writer Joel Anderson is here.
S5: He is the host of Season 3 of Slate’s podcast series slow burn about the murders of Tupac Shakur and the notorious Baiji which is amazing. He also used to cover college sports for ESPN. It’s Joel. Hey it was some stuff. I’m good thanks for joining us and congrats on the podcast.
S14: Thank you very much. I know somebody that’s been assisting me much in the way that C.P. 3 Eustace Tyson Chandler on this it’s on this podcast but I’m not gonna say who it is but he’s been very helpful and I sort of go well they say that process.
S8: But I guess is great. I concur with my co-host.
S5: Yeah yeah do listen. All right so I did a pretty broad split network introduction there. But let’s focus on chase young and James Wiseman really simplified backgrounds young except that alone which he paid back from a family friend so that his family could attend last season’s Rose Bowl Wiseman’s mother accepted moving expenses from a high school assistant coach former NBA star Penny Hardaway who would later be hired as head coach at Memphis and recruit Weissmann to the school. Joel broadly what are the connections that you’re seeing in these two cases.
S14: Well I guess when I think about this like just stepping back from it all. What does any of this have to do with the academic experience. Like what does any of this have to do with college or college. You know I mean theoretically college sports are supposed to be a diversion on a college campus. It’s not supposed to be a separate entity it’s supposed to be integrated roughly into the college experience. And I’m just wondering what other student on campus couldn’t call in a favor to a family friend. Would other student on campus could not you know if they were in some sort of dire financial straits have their mom reach out and say hey look I need some moving expenses or I would like for my girlfriend to come visit me or hey I would like to wear a suit to a Heisman ceremony you know whatever like. I mean what does any of this have to do with college.
S15: And it’s just really unseemly that the idea that these financial transactions that are alleged to have happened between James Wiseman and chase young people who weren’t even under the auspices of the NCAA Blay they have to establish like all these different things they have to turn over their lives to show hey look I knew this person at this certain time this was what this money was for. This is the circumstances that I had to you know ask for the money. I mean it doesn’t make any sense to me and it just really it’s just really ugly and really nasty that people’s lives are being thrown open like this to determine eligibility because it doesn’t have anything to do with school.
S6: That’s kind of what I always come back to our colleague Ben Mathis Lilly when we were talking about this news. Joel. I think put it aptly when he said NCAA reaching out of the grave to be annoying. The thing that’s so funny to me is that the NCAA and its model are if not dead dying and rather than try to save itself by adapting to the growing consensus of everyone in the world that rule enforcement like this is backward and wrong. They just seem to be going along like business as usual doubling down even. Yeah and Wise Men and Young are two of the best prospects to potential number one player right in the NBA and NFL respectively possibly the best college basketball and college football prospects in the country.
S6: And so you would think that an organization that was focused on self-preservation would want to accommodate these talents and maybe look the other way or you know not even look the other way I say this is fine right.
S8: And yet the NCAA has done the exact opposite. And this seems like it only accelerate. To me the eventual destruction of the NCAA.
S5: That’s what’s so ironic about this is that the NCAA thinks that it’s doing right by its members by the universities by its rulebook when in fact all it’s doing is accelerating the antagonism that the general public and people who can maybe do something about this.
S13: State legislatures and the courts. As I said in the intro it’s increasingly antagonism that they are going to have toward the NCAA and the NCAA as always I think assume that the general public is behind it because oh we can’t have shady recruiting and oh we can’t have kids on the take we need to make sure that all of our rules are enforced and these rules are important to maintaining the integrity of the institution of amateurism and more and more people are recognizing that this is a farce.
S4: Well the chase young thing in particular Joel seems perfectly calibrated to demonstrate the moral bankruptcy of these NCAA rules because it’s not just the small dollar amount. It’s not just the fact that Chase young paid back the money for the ticket.
S3: It’s the fact that he did this so that his family could see him play a football game right. And he didn’t have the money to do that.
S6: And so what the NCAA wants us to believe in order for us to think that this is a fair and just decision is that players shouldn’t just have a right to have their families watch them play in a bowl game.
S8: That it’s wrong for them to want that if they can’t afford it. And so you know this feels like a classic example of winning the battle to lose the war. Except they’re not even gonna win the battle right.
S14: Right. Yeah. I mean under what circumstances could I guess I would like to know right. Because chase young happens to be good at football and because he happens to play for a high profile program but he still has a family. He still has obligations back home in Maryland. Like let’s just say that and if he needed money if somebody in his family needed money under what circumstances could they get money that would be OK with the NCAA bully and regulations. That’s really disgusting. You know I mean the fact that if she needed help with the light bill or she needed help you know her car broke down and she was in a place that doesn’t have public transit where could she get help. The CWA is saying anybody willing to step in and help you under these circumstances is suspect and that relationship is suspect. And it just doesn’t feel like the NCAA really should be able to have the right to tell people that no you know you can only stay broke. You could. Your option is that you can only stay broken the thing is is that they only do this with certain players from certain backgrounds if you come from an affluent background. If you already come from money then they’re not going to question you on that. You know they’ll just say OK what’s fine. Johnny Manziel shows up at a Mavericks game front row seat. That’s fine because he’s rich already.
S5: You know the narrow irony in the chase young story is that if Ohio State had been playing in the College Football Playoff and not in the Rose Bowl his parents expenses or his family’s expenses would have been covered to attend the game because there is a special fund in the college football playoffs. How generous. Yeah yeah. All right. So maybe it’s just not his state’s fault for not being raised here clearly.
S14: Right. Right. Yeah I mean they only lost one game last year too right. Was it the Purdue game. So I guess yes they lost one game. It is a result of all this this nonsense has happened. Yeah I mean I just think it’s why would the NCAA lay like in a time when you write public sentiment is changing. Why would you antagonize these people and why. Also we want to see these people played don’t they want chase young to play don’t they want James Wiseman to play. It just seems like this is antithetical to their own survival.
S4: And you know as Dan Wetzel pointed out in a column and Yahoo. Coaches can coach when they’re under investigation and players can’t play. And so what Memphis is doing if we want to transition of that story is you know considered to be openly antagonistic to the NCAA now which is that Wiseman played yeah.
S8: Wiseman played against a lawsuit been filed. They said you’re telling us that he’s not eligible. Well screw you we’re gonna play it anyway.
S6: We’re gonna get a temporary restraining order and you know we’ll sort this out later but we’re not going to presume he is guilty and have him set out and Memphis is risking its season its eligibility for it for the postseason. Penny Hardaway the coach you read a profile about him for ESPN. Joel he has assembled this unbelievable recruiting class better even than any of the classes that John Calipari put together when he was at Memphis and they seem to be you know going with that approach of direct confrontation and unwillingness to cede and you know what Weizman is accused of here and not even really what Wiseman is accused of it’s as his family got these moving expenses from Penny Hardaway Wiseman reportedly didn’t know it is like a lot shady here then what Chase Young did.
S3: I mean the coach of the team currently gave like five figure sum to the mother of the star player.
S6: Now there are all sorts of circumstances Hardaway wasn’t the coach back then. Wiseman was just a kid.
S13: I was the assistant coach for the high school and of course he was recruiting him to come play for his high school and maybe who knows maybe. And you would know this better than either of us would. Joel maybe Hardaway figured I’m gonna be the coach at Memphis in a year’s time but even if that were the case that’s about intent and supposition and that’s not what we’re talking about here and what they’re digging. Well my point is why. My point is who cares. My point is who cares to. And it’s like if you want to drill down into the absurdity of the NCAA as actions here it’s not just that his family got moving expenses is it’s that Penny Hardaway is considered a booster for the Memphis because eleven years ago he gave a million dollars to the university to Bill what was it a Hall of Fame or athletic center all right.
S14: Hall of Fame that’s basically a monument to his his career too by the way right.
S13: You know and as I’ve read it in some places it wasn’t a donation to the athletic department it was a donation to the university so if you want to start splitting hairs about these rules Hardaway might not have even broken any rules. He should not be considered a booster in perpetuity. That’s fucking ridiculous. Well
S15: I mean the thing is is that Penny was always going to challenge the current college coaching paradigm. Bryant that you know other hires in this vein Clyde Drexler Chris Mullin Patrick Ewing those are due to parachuted in from the NBA or you know they work their way up the bench until they got to the top seat. Right. But with Penny like this is very much a professional play like he’s hired NBA guys. The school president is like Hey I’m totally cool with him selling recruits on the idea that I can get you to the NBA. He was the first guy to get somebody to commit from Kentucky. So he is like a direct challenge to what the system has always been in terms of what coaches are allowed to do and who they’ve been. He’s a product of grassroots basketball culture which everybody is always suspicious about anyway. That’s where he got his footing in coaching and in the game right now. So it was inevitable that Penny was going to end up here one way or another even if it wasn’t James WISEMAN It was always going to be somebody else because people have always been whispering about this the whole way. And in fact I mean Tennessee Tennessee Tennessee’s you know high school sports governing association. I mean this was a battle they fought over James Wiseman’s ineligibility in high school. Right. So there’s nothing new here. The issue is like are they going to allow college coaching to be like this. Are they going to allow it to be such a naked play for professionalism. And I think that’s what the NCAA is like really scared of that if they don’t take on painting here if they don’t stand up here then basically I mean the farce is exposed.
S6: Yeah I think that that’s the difference between the wise men and the young things like the young case is just one that exposes these rules as being anti player and just like a way that people who even are kind of sticklers and believe in amateurism when I see that the NCAA goes too far. But Hardaway and Wiseman and Memphis I think people who are more traditionalists and fans of college sports will look at this and say look this is this is wrong. Like this is a guy who is giving money to a star recruit. He’s now coaching the player like as you said Joel. If you believe in that ideals of amateurism and that players shouldn’t be paid until there and then B.A. you’re going to say like what Memphis is doing is bad and the NCAA should stand up.
S5: Now I don’t think any of us agree with that but it just seems like a more clear cut case where like if the NCAA exists in its current form like they should be penalizing Memphis and James Wiseman I guess I think it’s the way the institutions are approaching this bears a little more conversation because what Ohio State is doing here is they’re basically capitulating to the NCAA and saying you know these rules are a nuisance but hey we understand that they exist.
S6: We’ll take the four game suspension for four games that’s going to be less than that and it’ll be Maryland and Rutgers so I have no chance of losing it doesn’t it.
S5: Well he played he didn’t. He didn’t play against Maryland. Right. Right. Saturday. Ireland. Yeah. Right so that’s Ohio State is saying this is the cost of doing business. Yeah. And we are business partners with the NCAA. Memphis is taking a much more John Calipari like approach here and saying fuck the system the system is wrong. Our goal here is to nurture the best basketball players and get them to the NBA giving the mother of a kid 10 grand or 11 grand so that they could move to my town because I want him to play for me in high school is not something that we think is considered problematic.
S6: Also their goal is to win lots of games and make money.
S15: Absolutely right. College football and college basketball are really different in that way too right. College football you’re much more inclined to play ball with the NCAA because it’s like well you know these these kids they’re further away from you know being able to officially cash in on their talent. College basketball is a way station man. And so like you have I think there has to be so much more wheeling and dealing to get these kids in and out of school and all the arrangements made between shoe companies so it’s different. I mean just think about it man. I mean Ellis you didn’t fire will wade last year. You don’t have been like Sean Miller his name came up multiple times in a federal investigation he did not lose his job but so did Bill Self. College basketball is just fundamentally different in this way and so it’s not. I mean Penny Penny does kind of represent a departure in terms of like the way that they’re defending him and challenging the NCAA. But college basketball programs have already sort of been you know veering off from that model that the NCAA wants you to believe exists.
S6: It’s always a good idea if there are major allegations to go on the offensive. I think Ohio State this is like kind of small bore stuff so they can just go along but like with North Carolina when they had their whole department set up of like fake classes the NCAA didn’t end up punishing them really at all because North Carolina was just so defiant and wouldn’t capitulated cooperate at all. And then with Missouri where there was just like you know that the allegations of academic impropriety were so much less than they were in North Carolina like Missouri soft reports they’re like oh we’re so sorry like where we’re going to show you how you know in control we are as an institution they get like scholarship reductions and a postseason ban and there is no incentive to go along. And especially Joel because of where public sentiment is. I think you’re not going to pay much of a penalty if you’re perceived as like going rogue and battling against the NCAA or to the extent that you do pay a penalty it’s gonna be less severe than like that acclimation you receive and aren’t on court success you’re going to have bottom line is to the NCAA needs Memphis they need North Carolina.
S15: They need those basketball programs to be good you know. And so in that way you can understand that those schools understand that hey look man if we’re down if you punish us if we take scholarships away from us and try to cripple our program you’re only hurting yourself.
S5: So why not fight and the potential outcome here is interesting.
S13: MARTIN Leonardo the columnist and for the Memphis Commercial Appeal he had a piece over the weekend that talks about the language that the lawyers for James Wiseman are using in their case the allegation that they’re making is that and I’ll just quote it. Defendant NCAA acted intentionally and with malice in this regard meaning that they said that James Wiseman was eligible when he was recruited and signed to play at Memphis. Now they’re saying he’s ineligible. On what grounds. There’s no new information here.
S6: Well because he could have done that like Darius Paisley like get an internship at New Balance approach and that way he got a shoe deal. He could have done the LA Melo ball RJ hit Upton go to art go to Australia approach. He could have gone straight to the G League. So there are NCAA dead interfere with Wiseman’s ability to make money because if they had ruled him ineligible he just wouldn’t have gone to school.
S8: The NCAA should be so grateful that James Weissmann is good going to college. Oh God. Yeah just like you were saying I was interested in watching college basketball this year because of him and now you’re less interested right.
S15: First of all cause basketball kind of snuck up on us. How’s it going. Well it’s already Season 0. James wasn’t playing that’s great because New York we’re kind of coming off that Zion high. And so like who is going to replace Zion Williamson and make college basketball interesting. Now you have James Wiseman in there trying to take him away. I mean it doesn’t make a lot of sense. They should be like you said they should be extremely grateful that he decided to spend a semester in college. You know I mean because I mean there’s plenty of other options. Nothing he could really do would affect his draft status. I mean you think about there was a guy who’s a guy that went to West who was supposed to go to Western Kentucky and ended up with the Knicks he didn’t play his Mitchell Robinson Mitchell Robinson miserable didn’t even play in college he didn’t play basketball for a year and still got drafted in the first round and like that’s what the NCAA should be worried about that guys are just gonna realize what the hell am I even bothering with this. Like I could just take all the money I need until it’s time to go to college.
S16: You know I’ll just tell you this I haven’t asked him if we’ll give you twenty thousand dollars year right. Yeah.
S10: We help you move Joel Anderson as the host of Season 3 of Slate’s series slow burn. It’s about the murders of Tupac Shakur and the notorious P.I. J. Joel thanks a lot for coming on the show.
S12: Always fun. Thanks for having me.
S17: All right I wanted to let you know that in our bonus segment for Slate Plus members we’ll be talking to Lindsay Krauss of the New York Times. We’re about to do a segment with Lindsay Krauss about Mary Kane and her allegations against Nike Oregon Project and Salazar in the bonus segment. We’re going to talk about an earlier series that Lindsay did for The New York Times about maternity pregnancy. And again Nike that series of great had dramatic effects and excited to talk to Lindsay about that.
S5: If you want to hear it you’re not a member you can sign up for Slate Plus it’s just thirty five dollars for the first year you can sign up at Slate dot com slash hangout plus in 2014 after finishing high school middle distance running prodigy Mary can move to Oregon to join Nike’s exclusive training program headed by Alberto Salazar. Ten months later she abandoned the Nike Oregon Project and returned home. By 2016 she had severed ties with Salazar and stopped competing entirely. Last week in an extraordinary video published by The New York Times Cain described her time with Salazar and Nike as an elite athlete. Hell she said she was forced by an all male coaching staff to lose weight publicly shamed for not losing enough weight. She stopped menstruating and as a result of low estrogen levels broke five Bones. Let’s listen to a clip. I felt so scared I felt so alone and I felt so trapped and.
S18: I started to have suicidal thoughts. I start to cut myself. Some people saw me cutting myself and. Nobody really did anything or said anything.
S5: Lindsey Crouse is a senior editor and producer in the opinions department of the New York Times. She produced the video about Mary Kane. Thank you for joining us. Lindsay thanks so much for having me. Art for those who aren’t familiar with American story why don’t we start with how good she was and how she wound up moving to Portland as a teenager to train with Alberto Salazar.
S19: So Mary was absolutely the best distance runner in the country at the time. She’s part of a movement of high school girls that are getting better and faster than ever. But she was by far the standout end for that got a lot of attention at the time. People are really really excited about her ascent. She was racing against professionals at an incredibly young age as a teenager and because of that because of the halo on her caught the attention of the greatest coach in the world at the greatest company in the world for track. Alberto Salazar at Nike and so she got an offer to actually skip the NCAA ballet and turn pro. as a teenager which is I’m not sure that was unprecedented at the time but extremely unusual. She was first coached by him remotely and then moved out there and it was supposed to be the opportunity of a lifetime for a teenager like that.
S4: One of the things that really stood out was this absolute fixation on her weight. You know I was familiar with her story from when she was a prodigy and then look in the video. This is an incredibly thin young woman. And to hear her talk about how she was constantly told that she was overweight or shocking.
S19: I mean there are details that didn’t make it into the piece. This is a girl who at age 17 was I mean I don’t I don’t know her height off the top of my head five foot seven. That’s what I was going to guess. She said that her weight was vacillating between one hundred and eighteen pounds and one hundred and twenty one pounds and I mean it’s sad to hear a young woman have to kind of recite her weight that you know that easily and that publicly anyway we didn’t wind up putting it in the piece but he was fixated on it being one hundred and fourteen pounds and I think that’s part of what really struck me is those numbers are so arbitrary. You know I hope hopefully a lot of people don’t actually weigh themselves every day. But if you do you know that that number can change and so the idea that for her it was just supposed to constantly be at one hundred and fourteen which is just so close to one hundred and eighteen pounds. To me that really got my attention and seemed very striking at the same time I think it’s really important to focus on the idea that so many women and so many athletes female and male athletes go through this all the time that it’s incredibly normal. What what was wrenching to me about it was that oftentimes it’s sort of in the athletes that the athlete is more in control of how far they want to take their relationship with these numbers. And in this case this is a young girl having this actually imposed upon her and in ruining her health and her actual performance at the same time.
S5: Yeah I think that’s an important thing for all of us to remember is that this isn’t just you don’t have to be training with you know a legend in the sport to feel these kinds of pressures these happen at the high school level where girls particularly feel the strain of expectation and this belief that in order to run faster I need to weigh less.
S20: Yeah I mean I had that happen to me and so I think in that way I really connected with Mary’s story.
S19: This is happening to girls everywhere and it’s sort of this unspoken message that you know as you’re getting as you’re growing up and you know you’re going through puberty your body is changing like boys for boys they’re bathing in testosterone that’s in a performance enhancer for girls they are growing estrogen that makes you gain fat. It’s going to take a few years for your body to adjust to this but there is this tendency for so many girls especially girls in sports and they’re often encouraged to do this but to try to fight those changes.
S4: I mean a lot of stories of abuse that we hear I mean I naturally think about gymnastics sports there’s kind of a range and sometimes the abuse goes along with girls and women who are extremely successful while the abuse is going on sometimes that as you said ruins their ability to perform as well as having physical and mental health consequences. And again like another thing that’s so disturbing about this is that the physical consequences and the lack of results on the track everything seems to be pointing in the same direction. Lindsay like everything is going wrong and going bad and rather than Nike and the coach is actually saying like OK let’s put a pause on this and figure out how we can turn things around.
S5: They just seem to blame the athlete for doing actually what she was told to do right the things that we’re making Mary can have worse times on the track were the things that Nike was imposing on her. And Nike rather than addressing it know by stepping away from those training methods doubled down and blamed that for her weakening performances.
S19: I think you’re raising two really really important points. One is about who these girls are and how they got there in the first place. And it’s important to remember that these are good girls. These are America’s best girls. They are super high achievers. They’re the ones that are getting to the spotlight in the first place in order to be kind of seized up by these coaches that therefore are going to perhaps exploit in some cases their obedient natures and you know their willingness to do whatever it takes to be the best. And these are girls that won’t necessarily say no. At the same time I think in Mary’s case it was actually a blessing for her that she was so young because certain things you know she maybe hadn’t been beaten down by certain systems yet or you know accepted certain things that other people might take to be realities and I think she was able to ultimately say no and get out of there. But it’s important to remember that these girls are really good and they’re willing to follow directions and they’re willing to do whatever it takes to be excellent to be perfect. And that’s why we need systems out there to protect them. This is not just a Nike thing. This is happening all around the country especially in girls sports and that’s why we need to fix them. The other important thing that I think you just raised is that so often and this definitely happened to marry these girls then fade from the scene when it fails them and fails to help them develop their athletic potential and they’re discarded. And that’s definitely what happened to her. She returned home to Bronxville she went to college at Fordham and she’s coaching at Mile High run club. This is a girl who who’s only 23. She still has the potential to make the Olympics but she has in many ways been discarded. She’s UNsponsored right now. Typically we don’t hear from girls like this afterwards. And I think that’s what’s really important about the reaction to her story is that we are hearing what happened to her and hopefully that will help break the cycle.
S4: Yeah that’s a great point is that when you’re in an Olympic sport generally the only time the other platform is around the Olympics and if you succeed in the Olympics and when that you know is denied you you’re basically silenced and ignored. So that’s great that you were able to highlight her story. And one of the things that’s been really interesting to hear in the aftermath of this video being released is some athletes you know Carrie Gautier Amy Yoder Begley is saying that similar things happen to them when they were working with Nike’s Oregon Project Charlene Flanagan who won the New York City Marathon a couple of years ago said she actually didn’t know that it was this bad and apologized to Mary can Lindsay tell us just kind of characterize the responses that you’ve been hearing and that Mary has been hearing.
S19: Sure. Well I think we’ve just really heard a lot of support for Mary’s story. You know people that maybe wouldn’t have necessarily wanted to talk about it to begin with feel more comfortable now. I mean I think we certainly saw that with the maternity reporting that that we did that kind of goes along with the series and equal play. It’s like once one person speaks up women. And again this is not just a Nike thing. This is professional runners this is CWA runners this is high school runners and this is regular runners like me talking about well hopefully you get over this a little bit by the time you’re older but it’s like this is women in particular talking about this all over the country. But in terms of Nike yet everyone that has spoken up has reinforced her story and I think it’s also important to note that she had a lot of trouble actually talking about this. They’re reporting structures. There was no H.R. for her to go to was really as far as she’s concerned no one for her to go to the sports psychologist. Sounds like he was reporting everything back to her coaches and it was potentially risking her career if she talked deeply about the challenges that she was facing and I think that’s important to note again not just from from a ethics perspective or a morality perspective but also because this is bad for her career it’s counterproductive. We need more systems in place to kind of proactively help these girls because I think you know she’ll implanting and it’s created a terrific culture from what it sounds like at Nike where it you know at the Baumann team which is different than Nike Oregon Project which was sponsored by Salazar and she’s really trying to stop this kind of culture but I don’t think she knew.
S5: We should point out that Nike disbanded the Nike Oregon Project in October that had nothing to do with these these allegations by Mary Kay and it was because Salazar was found by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency to it to have violated anti-doping rules and was given a four year suspension Salazar has responded to the video Wednesday by saying basically that we did nothing wrong. He kind of threw things back on Mary Mary. Tom struggled to find and maintain her ideal performance in Training weight. He said that he consulted with Mary’s parents. No one raised any issues that she now suggests occurred while I was coaching her. And Nike also in its statement in which it said that it was going to investigate what was happening with the Oregon Project. It also pointed out that quote Mary was seeking to rejoin the Oregon Project and Alberto’s team as recently as April sort of victim shaming and not acknowledging that Mary Kane’s Pam Jenn grappled with until Salazar was exposed and punished by the anti-doping agency.
S21: Yeah I mean I think all of that makes a lot of sense to me. I did not receive comment from Nike before this piece came out. They declined to comment but I did receive feedback from Salazar and he told me that anytime she was weighed in public it was to prevent dehydration. You know she says that she was doing workouts at a mile. There was no dehydration because you know you can lose weight in and in training. So basically it was sort of like a he had reasons why everything could have unfolded.
S19: He he said he didn’t know that she was cutting herself. She explained in detail the night which she denies and which I have other sources backing up the night that she told him she’d been running at a track at an accidental meet in 2015 due a bad raise he yelled at her afterwards for gaining weight. After that they made her do another workout because she was too slow. She said she tried to purge and then she went up to his room with the sports psychologist and just really told them and told them that she was really worried about herself and she was already starting to get so you know her her preening performances were already starting to struggle so much that she could tell they just didn’t have the patience for her anymore and that they dismissed her. So all of that makes a lot of sense to me. I also think that Nike saying that she hadn’t really raised the allegations publicly to them or to them before I have gone through what the chain of reporting would have been for her in terms of that and I too don’t know who she should have told or at what point. I think the person that she could have told John Capriati is the head of sports marketing am best friends with Salazar it sounds like so and he’s potentially undertaking this investigation. So I think there’s a lot of questions that continue to exist. I think a lot of them lie with Nike answering them.
S17: I’m looking forward to some of those answers if we’re thinking about solutions for this going forward like thinking about the NBA and how players there are getting better access to mental health treatment getting better access to the State of the art in terms of training and medical care. And that’s because they’re independently wealthy and famous and they can you know they have a platform of their own. And so you’re describing a situation where Mary Kane was famous for a high school runner which is like orders of magnitude less famous than Zion Williamson. Yeah we’re talking about reforming a sport and a structure where athletes are not going to be protected. They’re not going to be financially independent and they’re not going to have the stature necessarily to come out and go after a Nike. So given all of that what do you think the steps are to try to ensure that this doesn’t happen.
S21: Frankly some of the reporting that we’ve done around maternity and now kind of the risks to sort of I guess like extreme training tactics like weight loss that we’ve done an opinion video at this point the reaction that we’ve gotten to them is so powerful that I think it’s reassuring to athletes that they do have a place now to speak up for themselves. I think the first step is kind of a lot of these athletes that do make it to these levels accept everything that is in you know that’s kind of laid out for them as has gotten lots to clear because they’re good at putting up with things they’re good at enduring they’re good at pain and they’re able to stifle it. And I think you stifle it instead of questioning it. You’ve got to assume that that’s what Mary was doing that she was on her path to trying to become an Olympian. So the first step is kind of stepping back just as the athletes that went through pregnancy even though they came back really quick and were champions again it’s it’s kind of recognizing that this may be legal. This may be part of the rules but it’s wrong. The rules weren’t written for you. Maybe it’s time to rewrite the rules and that’s what we’re trying to at least give them the opportunity to do here at opinion is like people may ignore your feelings about all this but they can’t deny your facts. And so we’re just trying to help them get the facts out there leave it to the court of public opinion. And that seems to be going really well from there. I think it’s just kind of showing that this is not acceptable anymore. These kind of legal accepted even normal things and talking about how to change them in the video.
S5: Mary Kane says I got caught in a system designed by and for men which destroys the bodies of young girls rather than force young girls to fend for themselves. We need to defend them at its very root. What we’re talking about here is an extreme power imbalance. You raise the NBA analogy Josh and you said that they have stature and money and it’s more than that their grown ass men and these are teenage girls and I think you keep using the word girls Wednesday and that’s appropriate because these are children. Mary Kane was a child when she was handed over to Alberto Salazar. Her parents trusted that he would train her in an ethically and medically and morally safe way. I think in the video Mary says we need more women coaching. And that’s a start for sure. But inside these multibillion dollar institutions like Nike there has to be some reform and I don’t know whether that comes through prosecution or through firing or through management and executive changes or just comes through a recognition that we are doing this wrong to these elite athletes.
S22: Yeah I mean I think you raise again two really really interesting points. One is that I think he thought he was doing the right thing. I think he thought that he knew best for her.
S23: And as soon as he started to be kind of proven wrong that maybe these race weights that he’d come up with weren’t the right targets that they were actually inhibiting his performance. I think the real problem here is that instead of changing and maybe doing something a little differently he just kind of moved on from her. And I think that actually happens a lot like we just blame the athlete for these things instead of blaming some of the approaches that they’re being exposed to. And I think that’s that’s probably one thing that needs to change.
S24: The other thing that really comes to mind is Nike really puts itself up and this is why I pay a lot of attention to Nike as a promoter of women as a promoter of female potential and talent in the athletic arena which is something that our country really our country and our world really needs and they do really stand for that. When I was interviewing Allison Felix for the piece that we did about her struggles with the company around maternity she said a big part of why she joined that company was because of their campaign called The Girl Effect where they were really advocating for girls and about how investing in girls improves the world lifts all of us up.
S23: And that was maybe like a decade ago maybe a decade and a half ago. But I was also just out of college and watching those ads too and I really cared about it. And I wonder if the next step could be you know instead of launching an investigation and you know firing people which maybe that needs to happen too but actually just like starting some real research around there isn’t a lot of research around women’s athletic performance specifically a lot of this research is done on men and I think what’s missing here.
S24: And maybe Nike as a multi-billion dollar company wants to really take a leadership role in that. I think that would be really powerful and a Great Correction to some of these stories that are coming out. I think it’s important again to remember that this is not just a Nike problem this is not just an Alberto Salazar problem.
S21: This is something that unfolds all around the country at all different levels of sport when it comes to girls and women.
S5: Lindsay Crouse is a senior editor and producer in the opinions department of the New York Times. She produced the video of Mary Kane which you should go watch. Lindsay thanks so much for coming on the show.
S4: Thanks for having me. And Lindsay we’re going to talk to you in our Slate Plus bonus segment about the series on maternity that you reference so looking forward to that conversation now it is time for after balls.
S25: Many segments ago we were talking about LSU and Alabama. I said that the 33 points that she scored in the first half against Bama on Saturday were more than they had scored in the whole game and 81 of the previous 83 games in the series. One of the games where they scored more than 33 was in 2007 when LSU won the national title 41 to 34. Matt Flynn 2001 was the other one else she beat Alabama 35 21 and the quarterback in that game was Rohan Davey and this was the greatest passing performance ever and an LSU game. Stefan he literally five hundred and twenty eight yards passing literally and there is a receiver in that game Josh Reed who went on to be a first round NFL PAC who had two hundred and ninety three receiving yards ran Davey was such a fun player to watch. Did he have a bad career. He was drafted by the Patriots. He did not have much of a professional career if any but he was fun in college and that’s OK. Ron Davey we celebrate here on this joyous day.
S10: Stefan was your run on Davey Jason like on four of Yahoo reported over the weekend that Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is interested in buying an NFL team and the NFL is interested in having him buy one. The billionaire has apparently been getting palsy with various NFL owners and with Commissioner Roger Goodell. No teams appear to be for sale right now but the Seahawks and the Broncos could be on the market after the deaths of their longtime owners Paul Allen and Pat Bowlen the frozen of excitement here. Isn’t that America’s number one oligarch is looking to join America’s number one oligarchical sports league. After all NFL teams are so expensive at this point that there are a few potential buyers know the frozen is that Amazon is opening a second headquarters outside of D.C. and Bezos is moving into a mansion on air street for which he bought and is renovating for a total of at least 35 million dollars. Now let me pause here Josh to say that these spruced up place is to have according to the Washingtonian magazine twenty five bathrooms five lounges two elevators and a sizable ballroom plus one thousand six light fixtures six dishwashers and 48 smoke detectors and four gas fireplaces five bathtubs five refrigerators 31 bathroom basins twelve kitchen sinks 10 showers and two urinals also two elevators former textile museum museum represent baby.
S26: So it follows that the NFL team that Beltway Bezos should own is the one with Washington and its name a Bezos ownership would solve one problem getting rid of the worst owner in professional sports. Dan Snyder and it could solve another Bezos owns the Washington Post which under his ownership has editorialized that the football team’s name is quote hurtful offensive degrading and a racial slur and quote and should be changed. But one of the NFL owners Bezos has befriended apparently is Dan Snyder Jason Locke come for a story says that Amazon’s new office hub could help Snyder get a new stadium built inside the city because Amazon might be willing to sponsor it. That would really suck. So I’m going to invent a tastier scenario that Bezos is buttering up Goodell and Snyder to get intel so that he can pivot and make an offer that Goodell would force Snyder to not refuse. And Goodell should undertake this plan not just to finally get the incompetent Snyder and his racist team name out of the league. He should do it for a third reason to fuck with Donald Trump. First Trump hates Bezos and the fake news lobbyist Amazon Washington Post. He’s threatened empty lead to charge Amazon more in taxes. And he whines about the post every time it reports facts about him and his 10 tabular corruptions. Second Trump hates the NFL. Those tiresome ramblings about Cap renege and unpatriotic kneeling so BS and lies about ratings declines were rooted in one thing his failed attempts to own an NFL team. Trump first tried in 1981 fronting a group that included former Washington head coach George Allen that offered 50 million dollars for the Baltimore Colts. Colts owner Jim Irsay told him to pound sand in 1983 Trump agreed to buy USFL team but told NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle that he really wanted an NFL team. Roselle reportedly responded as long as I or my heirs are involved in the NFL. You will never be a franchise owner in this league. End quote. Trump dragged the USFL into an antitrust lawsuit that ruined the league in 2014. Finally he fell on his face trying to buy the Buffalo Bills. I looked up Trump’s original NFL for a Colts owner Jim RSA confirmed the offer to a quarter for the Baltimore Evening Sun. Trump denied making the bid exactly what Trump does when he doesn’t get his way. I have not given any offers for the team. Neither was a part of a group that did he said. I’m sure that little lie endeared Trump to Roselle right away as no doubt did other details in the story that definitely were not fed to the reporter by Trump himself. Like some Fortune magazine bullshit numbers that said the Trump Organization was worth more than a billion dollars and the next paragraph in the story where Trump flexed his nascent tabloid ego urges Trump the evening sun wrote will be one of six persons interviewed by columnist Rona Barrett on July 24 television program titled The super rich the NFL was never falling for any of Trump’s bullshit and it should drive the stake into his proverbial football heart. One more time Jeff Bezos should offer Dan Snyder five billion dollars for his shitty football team and he should do it right now.
S3: Josh what’s your Rohan Davey on Monday afternoon the Canadian television network Sportsnet fired Don Cherry for what it described as divisive remarks that do not represent our values or what we stand for those divisive remarks were broadcast during the 85 year old Cherry’s coaches corner segment on Saturday which runs on the show Hockey Night in Canada. In that segment he talked about how shameful it is that people don’t wear poppies on Remembrance Day to commemorate the sacrifices of Canadian veterans. Actually it’s not that people don’t wear poppies it’s that you people don’t wear poppies specifically the new people of Toronto with its large population of immigrants.
S27: Let’s listen to Cherry the rant know I was talking to a veteran. I said I’m not going to run the poppy thing anymore because what’s the sense I live in Mississauga nobody wears. Very few people wear a poppy don’t tell try to forget it. Downtown Toronto nobody wears a poppy and I’m not going away. It says wait a minute hobo runner in it for the people that buy them. Now you go to the small cities and you know you know those the rules on roads you people love you. You come here whatever it is you’ll love our way of life you’ll love our milk and honey at least you could pay a couple of bucks for poppies or something like that. These guys pay for your way of life that you enjoy in Canada. These
S28: guys paid the biggest price.
S3: The day after those comments aired the stars Bruce Arthur wrote a piece headlined it really should be game over for Don Cherry. This time after toxic you people rant I’ll confess that when I saw that headline I assume that nothing was going to happen to Don Cherry. That’s pretty clearly what Don Cherry assumed to in the video version of Cherry’s rant. You can see hockey night in Canada. Host Ron McLean who like Cherry is wearing a poppy on his lapel he’s good. SCOTT The Poppy McClain is just standing there mutely and nodding along. It was McLean ultimately who apologized saying Don made comments that were hurtful and prejudiced and I wish I had handled myself differently. Cherry for his part told the Toronto Sun that he would not apologize and that he’d had his say. This has always been the pattern with Cherry the one time NHL coach of the year slash Canadian National Treasure slash Canadian national embarrassment. He says something dumb or gross or offensive and other people do the apologizing. The first reference to people usually cite about cherry saying something controversial in the long lists of cherry saying things that are controversial offensive. Probably better where the controversial anyway he mocked a Finnish coach for the Winnipeg Jets. The coach’s name was Alpo soon in by saying Alpo. Isn’t that a dog food. According to a 1990 article in the Montreal Gazette this happened in 1889 Ron McClain who was as now then the host of IKEA in Canada turned to cherry on Coach’s Corner gave Terry a chance to apologize. I said no cherry said proudly recounting the event although it’s hard to summarize everything he said and done his long tenure on the telly. Bruce Arthur’s summary of Cherry is as good as any. Arthur writes that in 2007 Ron McClain said Indigenous people felt they were not treated equally in Canada. Cherry said fair shake. Why do you go out and get your own fair shake in life and work for it. Don’t give me that stuff in 2013 and Cherry said female journalists don’t belong in the locker rooms and for over a decade Arthur writes. Cherry has complained that climate change is a scam because of winter still happens. Last month Jo Packer wrote a piece for bass headlined Don Cherry’s dangerous legacy. In that piece pack asked a couple of rhetorical questions why. Despite his many expressions of sexism homophobia and xenophobia is he still tolerated. Why haven’t major sponsors of Coach’s Corner pulled their advertisements on why this is outdated behavior continue to provoke mostly shoulder shrugs from some fans media and academics. Before Monday I would have answered those questions by saying that Canadian broadcasting authorities have been afraid to call Don Cherry out because he’s seen as speaking for the good white people of rural Canada. Maybe they thought he was just an old guy who represents old timey values. He loves fighting and hockey for instance. We’ve gotta respect our elders even if they’re idiots. But now after a decade upon decade of similar behavior the institution of Don Cherry is no more. And I’m extremely surprised. I must say this is a really huge thing and a sign that if you’re a raging asshole for a very long time maybe eventually at some point your bosses will figure out that you’re not actually a load bearing structure that you’re just an angry guy that doesn’t need to be angry on TV every week until the sun burns out.
S2: So farewell Don Cherry. Female journalists they belong in hockey. You doubt that is our show for today our producer is most Caplin wasn’t a passion and subscribe or just reach out to Slate dot com flesh hang up and you can e-mail us and hang up at Slate dot com. If you’re still here you perhaps would like even more hang up and listen and our bonus segment this week Lizzie cross the New York Times. We talked about in one of our segments this week. We’ll be back we’ll chat with her about maternity policies Nike and what needs to change.
S29: You’re not supposed to have a baby and be a competitive athlete in these situations it’s still kind of deeply discouraged and contracts reflect that. I mean obviously it’s really really hard to do and a company like Nike but really anyone kind of wants to protect their bottom line.
S30: Here that conversation joined Slate Plus for just 35 days for the first year in sign up at Slate dot com flesh hanging up plus for Stefan Fatsis and Josh Levine remembers Obeidi.
S4: And thanks for listening now it is time for our bonus segment for Slate Plus members Lindsay Krauss of the New York Times is back with us Hey Lindsay. So as part of our conversation about Mary Kane and your latest video that you did for the times we talked kind of glancing lay about a series that you had done earlier about maternity and women athletes and so we wanted to get into that in a little bit more detail now. Can you just tell us about what the genesis was of that project and sort of how you kicked it off.
S21: Yeah absolutely. I mean I think the dream maternity project is actually another question of telling stories just like Mary Kane story telling stories about things that are perfectly legal that are perfectly normal in many cases to the point of it to me and a lot of other women feeling unremarkable.
S31: I had done a story back in 2014 for the sports department just as a freelancer where you know I’m not I’m a competitive athlete myself and I’d noticed a lot of my friends were fairly competitive runners having babies and then coming back in many cases trying to come back faster and be just the same kind of competitive female athlete that she was before. Again if not even better and I was really amazed by that. So I decided to write an article where it was right before the New York City Marathon and this was happening at the highest levels of elite female athleticism at this point so Carrie Gautier was running the New York City marathon with a baby and she’d already won but she’d already raced the Boston Marathon and done I think run a PR. So yeah running run her best time.
S23: So it just kind of looking at that and it was really a positive story. It was very like look at how amazing these women are. But in the background you know there was a lot of muttering from them where it was like and you know what. Like you should hear the performance penalties that we that we face as we come back like are we face drastic paycheck reductions until we get back to form until we start winning medals again. And if you’re a woman that really struck me because it’s like your body is your economic resource here. It’s not like being someone who makes their money by sitting at a desk. And so I included a line about that in the article and it really went unnoticed even though I think it was the first time that it had actually been formally reported. And so I didn’t think it was a very big deal. But I work in the opinion section here and I was terrific boss Adam Ilic who asked me this year to kind of do something that was really going to move the needle on women’s sports because he knows that’s a passion of mine. And so I stayed in touch with a number of those athletes and it had been years.
S21: But I reached out to Alicia Montano and I was like why don’t we do something about this. Is this something that you would want to get behind. And you know she was like Sure. And that was great. But the challenge was that I had to do a lot of these contracts and all these rules are protected by powerful NDA is Nike in particular as a highly litigious company and so I had to kind of call up a lot of people who I could trust to try to get them to confirm that this was the case without risking their own careers it was really really kind of a connect the dots situation. Ultimately Allyson Felix had a baby during this time and I you know I reached out to her brother who is her agent just because I was like OK well Alison is going to kill the story because she is the most decorated female athlete of all time in track and field so I’m sure she’s getting some protection and was actually really sad because it turned out that she was being she was just as vulnerable as anyone else she couldn’t get maternity benefits written into her contract either and was just extremely scared about it. And so that actually led me to feel even more strongly that we had to really make this an issue because and try to make it as big a deal as possible because if these women can’t get it if these Olympians can’t get protection while we’re publicly cheering them on and they’re privately suffering I really wanted to kind of expose that and see if we could start a conversation about if we’re not giving this to Olympians who are we giving this to the one of the pieces that you did.
S5: Karen Gautier who we mentioned earlier was an Olympic runner. She made more than a dozen marketing appearances for Nike while she was pregnant and then was told oh you can’t get paid for them because you’re not competing at the time. This seems so willful. I mean why would Nike which is as we’ve also discussed in the business of not just supporting a lead track and field athletes but but creating them turning them into sort of public icons people we should respect them and they run campaigns about empowering women athletes. How did this even come to be why was Nike so adamant about not providing better maternity benefits.
S22: Yeah I mean I think it’s just an issue of kind of marketing versus reality. And I think that it’s a great story to want women to do this.
S31: But again it’s it’s I think what Alesia said in her video and obviously care backs this up it’s that you’re not supposed to have a baby and be a competitive athlete in these situations it’s still kind of deeply discouraged and contracts reflect that. I mean obviously it’s really really hard to do and a company like Nike but really anyone kind of wants to protect their bottom line. And so I think they still look at athletes as you know you’re all you’re worth is in your medals not in other things. And I think it’s it’s interesting that their marketing company didn’t see the value but that wasn’t what was written into the contract and I’ve seen so many e-mails from you know Kara to Alberto Salazar and Karen to Mark Parker where she’s really making a compelling case for how she was contributing during this time.
S25: You know through those media appearances through all these things that she didn’t want to do because she had a high risk pregnancy and they were just like yeah I can’t wait to see you back on the racecourse whether it’s Serena Williams or now Alex Morgan or lithium Antonio who was just hugely celebrated and marketed for the fact that she ran while was at eight months pregnant Lindsay you yeah this was an enormous story for somebody who prior to that the general public to know about and she became known through her pregnancy. The point I’m trying to make here is that women athletes who are pregnant have babies and come back to compete are marketing gold to everyone loves them and rightly so. And that’s the part of this that I think maybe you you’re getting at Stefan. It just seems so stupid. It’s a rounding error term for Nike to keep them on the payroll and give them maternity benefits for all of that even if we’re thinking in purely cynical terms for all of the like marketing bonanza that they get for supporting these these women it’s just seems ridiculous especially when you consider that these contracts that that track athletes signed with Nike they’re not getting like it’s not like a shoe deal for Michael Jordan.
S32: I mean in a lot of cases particularly for the sub elite level of of of of endorser it love that much money Yeah I think that’s that was sort of a poignant part to me too and it’s like a whole other conversation about which sports we value and who and why we value them like I.
S33: This is a whole other hypothesis of mine but I think that if we wanted to look at track in a way where women weren’t derivative of the men but women were actually the ones that we were watching and track we’d probably find it a lot more popular.
S21: But instead I think we’re watching the men first and right now the stories that women are telling.
S20: I just find obviously I’m a woman myself and kind of echoing some of their stories and my own athletic life. But I find the stories the women are telling right now in the sport to be the kind that are really breaking through.
S19: And again that’s been another great privilege of working of my job right now is trying to really get those stories to break through and not only inspire people but also start hard conversations about these issues that women are facing. But it’s I I really don’t see why they can’t be making more.
S17: Yeah. I think in these Olympic sports that we’re not paying attention to as a mass audience regularly. It is these human stories and narratives that do drive attention to individual athletes and to the sport like that and we want to be watching. Allyson Felix try to make it to Tokyo and 2020 because of the fact that yes she has all these medals but also that she has a kid now and the same SOCOM Antonio we are gonna want to see Alex Morgan you know Olympics next summer if I come back though and the Olympics. Exactly.
S19: Yeah. I mean when Mary Kane is trying out for the Olympics this year it’s gonna be fascinating especially if she’s UNsponsored for sure.
S17: And so yeah similarly to what we asked you know about the consequences of American story. What were the effects of your reporting on this. Like what’s changed since the film Antonio video came out.
S33: Yeah I mean that was an astonishing reaction to that story. I think what was particularly interesting about it was that it sparked a lot of political debate because obviously maternity benefits are something that we’re talking about a lot in the political discourse also kind of benefits in general and protection in general and who gets them.
S21: I think it really that kind of contract between we love Olympians and people don’t deserve anything that was really the especially mothers like mothers are whiny your mothers are great.
S33: Like it was a really really interesting discussion about American values I think and it hit it like Ivanka Trump tweeted in support of Alesia and just how she admired what Alesia did at the time and how she is so sad to hear about her private struggle. And you know obviously a million liberal female and male politicians also reached out about it or promoted spoke out in support of Alesia and Cara and Allison’s story and I thought that was really powerful to kind of show how you can get above some of the more fractious elements of American society right now and really get at the core of again our values and what we care about.
S34: We had congressmen reach out to Mark Parker the CEO of Nike to do an inquiry because as they said this These revelations did not seem in line with Nike’s values which I thought was ridiculous because actually it’s not paying someone well they’re not working is entirely in line with a for profit multibillion dollar company whose values it’s actually our federal laws that probably need to change to prevent these things from happening.
S20: Ultimately the uproar continued and continued.
S34: Allyson Felix qualified for an unheard of amount of an additional World Championships at the national championships and track and field this summer where she wound up meddling at the World Championships and she got a new sponsor and was just it was pretty exciting. And then finally in August John Fletcher the executive vice president of marketing there announced he sent a memo to all sponsored athletes at Nike saying that no matter what now you are going to get 18 months of of effectively maternity leave.
S33: And I thought that was really powerful because it it just suggested that if women do speak up even though they’re risking their careers and even though they’re breaking nondisclosure agreements can actually change a company that clearly doesn’t want to.
S25: Once you cross the New York Times thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us today. Thanks for having me. And Slate Plus members thank you for your membership. We’re back with more next week.