Weird Time To Be College Football Fan; Great Time To Be EnchantmentSports Fan

By Greg Archuleta
Enchantment Sports
Assistant Editor

As the leaves start to turn brown, it’s that wonderful time of the year again to be a
college football fan.

It’s also about as weird a time to be a college football fan as there ever was.

As the website Deadspin noted, ESPN paid a former employee to post the biggest college
football story of the year on Facebook — rather than the “Worldwide Leader in Sports.”

Brett McMurphy, whom ESPN laid off months ago, broke the story about Ohio State
coach Urban Meyer allegedly misremembering a 2015 domestic violence against former
assistant coach Zach Smith — he told reporters at Big Ten Media Day in July that he had
heard about the incident just the night before addressing reporters, and Smith’s ex-wife
countered that she told Meyer’s wife about that 2015 incident with proof to back her
claims.

Meyer fired Smith just before the Media Day event, in light of allegations of another
incident against Smith in 2009 becoming public.

Ohio State placed Meyer on administrative leave in light of Meyer’s inaccurate
statement to the Big Ten media.

Meanwhile, ESPN has been paying McMurphy a severance package since laying him off.
If he were to write for a competing media entity, ESPN no longer would have to pay him.
So McMurphy broke the story on Facebook.

In an odd way, that’s the purpose of EnchantmentSports.com. We want to offer another
means for New Mexico sports fans to get their news.

Most of those who still read the Albuquerque Journal will note how much smaller in
content the Journal offers on a daily basis because of the financial hardship on the
newspaper industry across the country.

The Journal just doesn’t have the manpower to get all the news or all the scoops as it
once did. The local television media is facing its own issues, financial and otherwise —
especially in this age of heightening distrust of all media, trying to bring the news to their viewers.

A disclaimer now: EnchantmentSports.com does not strive to provide “fake news” (I hate
that term!). We are human and we, like other media entities, may make a mistake from
time to time. We will own up to that if we do and make the proper correction.

Our readers may not agree with our opinions, but we will strive to make sure our
readers can distinguish our opinion pieces from our news stories. And if our readers do disagree with our opinions, please remember that those differences don’t label our
opinions as “fake news.”

The correct term is “difference of opinion” — which we value because it creates the
opportunity for discussion. And dialogue — not finger-pointing, not blaming, not
shaming, not name-calling, not trying to win (regardless of whether our stance is right or
wrong), not dismissing the other side without even listening — is the key to tapping into
and informing our readership.

So we hope to be the Brett McMurphys of the world, trying to get a scoop every so often
that the larger media doesn’t get — while understanding that the more established
media will still be the source of many other stories — As ESPN has been with Jordan
McNair, the Maryland football player who died of heat stroke during an offseason team
workout.

That’s what I mean when I say what a weird time it is in college football. Even locally, the
upcoming football season, in the eyes of some, has taken a back seat to the offseason drama unfolding at the University of New Mexico.

Budget deficits, sports being cut, football coach Bob Davie’s suspension — all those
stories have become as significant as the games themselves.

Remember when former coach Rocky Long lamented that the “damn (Lobo) fans” need
to get more involved? And that was 10 years ago when UNM was averaging nearly
30,000 football fans per game.

A simpler time. If only we could just let the games begin now.

By the way, I don’t believe Meyer should be fired for making a misstatement to the
media. However, I do believe his cover-up shows he clearly understood the gravity of the
situation surrounding his former assistant. And if the university felt it necessary to fire
Smith this summer after the allegations surfaced, why didn’t it come to that conclusion
in 2015?

That represents a culture issue of which Meyer is a huge part. And in tying culture with
the death of McNair, it was ESPN’s Mike Greenberg, who asked the Maryland administration, “Why did someone have to die for you to be worried about the culture
of the football program? Why do we live in a world where that culture seems normal to
some people?”

So in that vein — when we’re talking about a young man’s life, when we’re talking about
continuing to employ a coach with multiple domestic violence accusations over a six-
year span being associated with him — I believe Meyer has a responsibility to answer
the latter question about why Smith was still on his staff, three years after a second allegation of domestic abuse. I understand trying to protect an employee’s privacy, but
that takes a back seat under certain circumstances, doesn’t it?

Based on Meyer’s answer, I would then give my opinion about whether he should have a
future at Ohio State.

If Meyer does not answer, I, personally, would not have a problem with him being fired.
But at the same time, I’m not going to boycott Ohio State for not firing him because I
don’t have all the facts. We’re innocent until proven guilty, right?

And yet, I wouldn’t be human if part of me didn’t have questions about Meyer after this
episode.

Rather “enchanting” of me, don’t you think?


Greg Archuleta is the assistant editor at Enchantment Sports. You can reach him at greg.enchantmentsportsNM@gmail.com. 

Related Post

Leave a Reply