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Esteemed tennis writer admits to plagiarism


Neil Harman of The London Times apparently took writing copy to its most literal extreme. 

According to a report from The Changeover, Harman admitted to plagiarism in a letter submitted to the International Tennis Writers Association. He has also decided to resign from his standing within the organization.

In the letter, Harman reportedly writes:

I am writing to you as co-President to inform you that I have decided to resign from ITWA and do so with a heavy heart but it is clear that I have no alternative.

It has been brought to my attention that I have severely compromised my position as a member, having used unattributed material to form part of my writing of the Wimbledon Yearbook. There can be no excuse for such shoddy work, which I deeply regret…

A Deadspin source claims that Harman’s work in the annual Wimbledon Yearbook lifted words directly from publications such as The Guardian, Sports Illustrated, and the New York Times, but those claims remain unconfirmed.

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Sports documentary landscape shifting, expanding

ESPN 30 for 30

For a long time, the best sports documentaries on television belonged to HBO. This wasn’t opinion; it was undisputed fact. 

But as John Ourand explores in a new report from Sports Business Daily, the perception has changed. HBO stopped investing, ESPN invested, and the Worldwide Leader in Sports became television’s leader of the sports doc scene. 

“The effort was so successful that a series that originally was supposed to produce 30 documentaries now has more than 60 in its library,” Ourand writes. “… ’30 for 30′ proved to be so popular that it’s become ESPN’s documentary brand, and it is a commercial, critical and ratings success…

“The market for documentaries is stronger than ever. CBS Sports Network, Fox Sports 1 and NBC Sports Network are each looking to sports documentaries to support their live rights deals. The reasons are simple: documentaries keep viewers engaged once live events end.”

Competing networks continue to invest in the genre. And though HBO has shifted from in-house to outsourced projects, they remain in the game. For what was once a reputation builder has become a sound investment. 

People are watching.

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Fox Sports unveils college football broadcasting team


In a culmination of new hires, sideline reporter demotions, promotions and rumored booth duos reported throughout the summer, Fox Sports made their college football broadcast squad official in an announcement on Tuesday. 

Here are some highlights:

  • The pregame show leading into Fox’s biggest Saturday slate will be hosted by Rob Stone after the departure of Erin Andrews to pro-game specific duties. He’ll be joined by analysts Joel Klatt and newcomer Dave Wannstedt (a former coach at the college and NFL level). 
  • Contributing to the studio coverage will be insiders Bruce Feldman (formerly of CBS Sports), Stewart Mandel (formerly of Sports Illustrated), and the always controversial Clay Travis. 
  • The lead booth tandem (Gus Johnson and Charles Davis) remains the same, but a new team will take on other assignments –a team that consists of Joey Harrington and Joe Davis in the booth, with Kris Budden on the sideline. 
  • Tim Brando will call Thursday night games on Fox Sports 1 alongside Klatt.

Fox’s college football coverage begins on August 28 with Rutgers traveling to Seattle to face Washington State.


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Coming to Theaters: Premier League Soccer


It remains debatable to some as to whether soccer in America, enjoying the honeymoon of World Cup coverage, has made the big time in a country still dominated by that other football. But now, it can’t be denied that the sport has made the big screen. 

NBC Sports has announced that Barclay’s Premier League games are coming to a theater near you. 

From the press release:

Fathom Events and NBC Sports Group team up to present “Barclays Premier League LIVE,” beginning Saturday, Aug. 16. Americans will have the opportunity to see England’s best – league champions Manchester City, FA Cup-holders Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United, Everton, Tottenham Hotspur, along with the rest of England’s top-flight – in state-of-the-art projection and sound at select venues across the country on Saturdays throughout the Premier League season.

The featured game, in an attempt to highlight the week’s best action, will be decided the Tuesday prior to the matinee of mayhem that is Saturday morning soccer.


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SBJ explores the cost of a NASCAR weekend for race teams

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series

 Recently it was announced that a majority of the racing teams in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series were joining together to form the Race Team Alliance, part of an effort to control the rising costs for the series. 

Sports Business Journal has an extensive feature profiling a race weekend in the life of Stewart-Haas Racing, and detailing how much money the team must spend in four days for one race in a 38-week schedule.

Examples of the costs include:

  • Eighty percent of traffic at Concord Regional Airport in North Carolina is NASCAR related.
  • Each team gets 15 set of tires for a race weekend. At $480 per tire, the $129,000 total is a team’s second largest weekly expense.
  • It costs $400,000 a year to maintain a team’s private jet for travel.
  • $5,991 for rental car service.

Writes the SBJ:

 “NASCAR adopted a new, elimination-style qualifying format this year. All the teams qualify simultaneously and the field is cut from 40-plus cars to 24 cars to 12 cars before setting the starting order for the race. The change has meant teams are buying more bags of ice each race weekend than they bought last year because they need to use it to cool down car engines between qualifying runs. SHR will spend $225 for each team on ice alone — or nearly $1,000 total for the race weekend.”

The Sprint Cup teams will go through this for 17 straight weeks to the season’s end starting this weekend in the Brickyard 400, which airs Sunday on ESPN at 1 p.m EST.

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Verducci profiles Roger Angell


Saturday at Cooperstown, the pastime’s gathered masses will celebrate more than wielders of bats and balls. For wordsmiths, too, bring baseball to life.

Robert Angell, 93-years-old and spry, will be awarded the prestigious J.G. Taylor Spink Award at the Baseball Hall of Fame ceremonies. This despite the New Yorker writer never having been a member of the BBWAA. 

Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci wrote a profile on the storied storyteller.

“Over the last half-century nobody has written baseball better than Roger Angell of The New Yorker,” Verducci writes. “What he does with words, even today at 93, is what Mays did in centerfield and what Koufax did on the mound. His superior elegance and skill are obvious even to the untrained eye…

“Angell’s greatest contribution to the game is that in his writing he has preserved the great people and moments with such grace and care. He is the curator of our baseball souls.”

Angell continues to write prose and read fiction submissions for The New Yorker –still the literary mind that once decided he could paint, with words, the perfect pictures of a pastime.

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Can he play? Distractions won’t be deciding issue for Michael Sam

Excuse me, but will everyone just let Michael Sam play football for the St. Louis Rams?

The hoopla continues to be way too high for a seventh-round pick. This week, it was fueled by Tony Dungy.

The former coach made comments to the Tampa Tribune saying he would not have wanted Sam, who is gay, on his team.

“Not because I don’t believe Michael Sam should have a chance to play, but I wouldn’t want to deal with all of it,” Dungy said. “It’s not going to be totally smooth … things will happen.’’

After being roasted by many outlets, Dungy issued a clarification Tuesday. While stressing that his comments weren’t about Sam’s sexuality, he said:

“What I was asked about was my philosophy of drafting, a philosophy that was developed over the years, which was to minimize distractions for my teams.

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The Buzz

Jul 23, 2014Rice retires from NFL

The Seattle Seahawks’ Sidney Rice has decided to retire from football after a concussion-riddled career [Pro Football Talk].

Jul 23, 2014Denver Broncos owner steps down

Facing the onslaught of Alzheimer’s Disease, Pat Bowlen has decided to resign from his controlling role of the Broncos. [Denver Post]

Jul 22, 2014Tony Dungy clarifies Michael Sam statement

In a widespread press release, Dungy provides context for his remarks regarding St. Louis Ram Michael Sam. [ESPN]

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