Documentary Certainly to "School" the NCAA and its Member Teams
By TERRY LYONS, Special to DigitalSportsDesk
NEW YORK, October 7, 2013 -- The news broke with the impact of a two-by-four to the back of the head of the powers that be at NCAA headquarters and it followed on the heels of a scathing exposes by Sports Illustrated (on Oklahoma State) and Yahoo Sports (on various SEC football programs), Houston Texans running back Arian Foster was interviewed for a new documentary to air on the digital platform EPIX on October 16th at 8pm edt. The film will have a special media screening in New York on Tuesday, October 8th which will surely create additional news and buzz throughout the sports media world.
“Schooled: The Price of College Sports” is a new and original documentary that examines the provocative issues surrounding the business of college sports and the treatment of collegiate athletes by the NCAA. Pulitzer Prize winning civil rights scholar, Taylor Branch, bases the exposé on a controversial 2011 article that ran in The Atlantic “The Shame of College Sports”. Narrated by actor Sam Rockwell, “Schooled” weaves first-person interviews, archival and behind-the-scenes footage to tell the story of how college sports has become a billion dollar industry built on athletes who are side-stepped in terms of monetary privileges.
To delve into the issue, the documentary producers interviewed former college and NFL player and president of the NFL Players Association Domonique Foxworth who is now attending Harvard Business School, along with former UCLA star and NBA player Ed O’Bannon, former University of Tennessee All-American and All-Pro running back for the Houston Texans Arian Foster. Also featured are, UCLA standout, now Green Bay Packers running back, Johnathan Franklin, former UCLA punter now member of the Minnesota Vikings Jeff Locke and former University of North Carolina fullback Devon Ramsay, whose eligibility case was one of the most controversial in recent NCAA history.
In an interview for a documentary called "Schooled: The Price of College Sports," Foster said he received extra payments so he could afford rent and food while playing at Tennessee.
"I don't know if this will throw us into an NCAA investigation -- my senior year (2008), I was getting money on the side," Foster said in the film. "I really didn't have any money. I had to either pay the rent or buy some food. I remember the feeling of like, 'Man, be careful.' But there's nothing wrong with it. And you're not going to convince me that there is something wrong with it.
"Either you give us some food or I'm gonna go do something stupid," Foster said at the time.
The coach in question bought Foster and three other players some 50 tacos, Foster said in the documentary while chuckling at the thought that that the action constituted an NCAA violation.
Foster starred at Tennessee from 2005-2008 under coach Phillip Fulmer.
When asked about the latest report, much of it stemming from Sports Illustrated, Foster claimed he never took money from coaches, but did note there were always people around the program willing to help him financially. Andrew Muscato, a documentary producer, says Foster didn't say how much he received.
What was the official response from Tennessee?
"We can't speak to something that allegedly happened a long time ago," Dave Hart, Tennessee vice chancellor and athletic director, said in a statement that was widely reported. "What we can say is that the values and priorities of our athletics department and football program are aligned, and the constant education of our student-athletes regarding the rules and the consequences of their choices is of the highest priority."
On that media side, the documentary producers did their homework and interviewed Emmy Award winning sportscaster Bob Costas, college basketball analyst Jay Bilas of ESPN, The New York Times reporter Joe Nocera and Dave Zirin of The Nation. Sports Illustrated reporters Frank Deford, George Dohrmann, BJ Schecter and Michael Rosenberg lent their opinions and longtime college sports marketing innovator Sonny Vaccaro is featured in the documentary film.
When first published Branch’s article set off a firestorm of controversy. At the time, Sports Illustrated’s Frank Deford said the story “may well be the most important article ever written about college sports.” Branch, who also appears in the documentary, argues that decades of greed and self-interest have finally caught up with the NCAA and that the organization is poised to collapse under the weight of its own hypocrisy.
Mark Greenberg, EPIX President and CEO said, “The treatment of college athletes is an increasingly disturbing issue in the sports world. Schooled: The Price of College Sports does an excellent and responsible job of addressing a controversial issue and creating a springboard for discussion.”
Editor’s Note: EPIX® is a premium entertainment network delivering the latest movie releases, classic library titles, original films, comedy, music and sports events on TV, on demand, online and via devices. Launched in October 2009 as the first multiplatform premium network with online accessibility for subscribers through EpixHD.com, EPIX pioneered the development and proliferation of TV Everywhere for American consumers. EPIX was the first premium network to launch on Xbox 360 consoles, first on Android tablets and phones, and is available via subscription on many other devices, such as iPhones and iPads. Tune in and check your online listings for the film scheduled to run October 16th.
AND1 Signs Two Rising NBA Prospects
Houston Rockets' Isaiah Canaan and Memphis Grizzlies' Jamaal Franklin Ink Shoe Deals
NEW YORK, NY - October 2, 2013 -- The AND1 Basketball and apparel brand today announced the signing of Isaiah Canaan and Jamaal Franklin, two up and coming NBA prospects to join the growing list of professional basketball players to endorse AND1. Canaan, a 6-0, 188-pound point guard from Murray State, was selected by the Houston Rockets of the NBA in the second round of the 2013 NBA Draft, the 34th overall selection. Franklin, a 6-5, 191-pound forward from San Diego State was a second round pick by the Memphis Grizzlies, the 41st overall section in the recent NBA Draft.
Canaan and Franklin join AND1 Basketball ambassador Lance Stephenson of the Indiana Pacers who re-upped with the popular basketball shoe and apparel company in June, 2013 after a break-out season with the Pacers where he helped lead the team to the 2013 Central Division title and a 49-32 regular season record to advance to the NBA’s Eastern Conference Finals.
“Isaiah Canaan embodies the AND1 brand because he honors the game with his hard work, energy, dedication and great attitude,” said Maurice Levy, director of marketing for AND1. “He doesn’t take anything for granted and that’s one of the things we liked most about him."
Canaan, currently projected as a back-up to Houston’s Jeremy Lin at point guard, was the Ohio Valley conference Player of the Year in 2013 as he finished his collegiate career as part of the winningest class in Murray State history (106 victories). He averaged 21.8 points, 3.5 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game while playing 36.5 minutes and shooting 37-percent from the three-point line and over 82-percent from the free throw line.
Franklin joins AND1 as one of the top prospects for the Memphis Grizzlies after leading the San Diego State Aztecs to the NCAAs for the third consecutive season. The small forward averaged 17 points, 9.5 rebounds and 3.3 assists and 1.6 steals per game while playing 33 minutes. He was the only player in NCAA Div. 1 to lead his team in scoring, rebounding, assists and steals. Franklin earned All-Mountain West conference honors for both 2012 and ‘13.
“Jamaal Franklin fits the AND1 mold because he knows he has to earn his way to the NBA through hard work,” said Levy. “He has a lot of potential and is determined to make an impact for Memphis. Plus, he competes every night, is an excellent rebounder and passes the ball and he can jump through the roof.
“We’re very proud to have both Isaiah Canaan and Jamaal Franklin wearing the entire line of AND1 basketball shoes and our apparel this season,” added Levy. “We can’t wait to get the basketball season started up again.”
The AND1 basketball apparel and sneaker brand, launched in Philadelphia in 1993, is currently owned and operated by Galaxy Brands of New York who acquired the business and orchestrated its revival. The mission for AND1 remains the same as it’s always been – ‘To focus on those who are passionate about basketball and use the game as a metaphor success in everything they set out to do in life.’ The celebration of hard work, freedom of expression and dedication to excellence is reflected in the unique and iconic product that the brand has and will continue to create for both the dedicated player and the casual competitor.
McCarthy to Create New Legacy
(Official News release and Staff reporting)
NEW YORK -- The Legacy Agency today named Mike McCarthy, one of the most respected and innovative executives in the entertainment business, as the head of their newly-created Media Consulting Division. McCarthy brings a wealth of business management and broadcast production experience to TLA, including highly successful stints as Chief Executive Officer of the St. Louis Blues of the National Hockey League and a trailblazing and award-winning time leading Madison Square Garden Networks. He will begin his new role immediately. McCarthy will help oversee two new areas of business for TLA, including media consulting, production and content creation. He will also utilize his strong industry contacts and relationships with respect to the acquisition of new broadcast talent. His expertise will not only help create new opportunities and revenue streams for TLA clients, who include former and current athletes and broadcasters but will also enable TLA to provide a greater depth of services to teams, leagues, schools, conferences and other properties in their media, broadcast and network dealings. As the Head of Media Consulting, Mike will work closely with TLA’s existing Broadcasting and Coaching Divisions as well as projects with teams, leagues and media properties.
“It is our pleasure to bring Mike McCarthy, one of the most forward-thinking and innovative minds in broadcast production, media management and business development, to spearhead this new business unit for us,” said TLA CEO Mike Principe. “His vast rolodex and track record of success in the broadcast and entertainment leadership spaces will be invaluable to us as we identify and execute new and creative ways to work with our current roster of talent, as well as a host of other new business opportunities we have on the horizon. In light of the rapidly growing market for media rights, and the greater need for expert counsel and representation as teams, schools and properties navigate these waters, I am particularly excited about the new areas of expertise and opportunities Mike brings to TLA.”
“The world of sports and entertainment today is defined by how effectively you can access talent, create compelling content around that talent and drive awareness and business opportunities through that content,” McCarthy said. “There are few, if any, agencies that have the combination of both breadth and depth of talent that TLA boasts, and I am looking forward to helping The Legacy Agency maximize the assets it currently has, and identify new opportunities as well. It will be an exciting challenge to work with Mike and his team, and I am looking forward to it.”
The move to TLA was championed by some of the biggest names in the industry, including McCarthy's former boss at The Garden and in St. Louis, Dave Checketts. "Mike is one of the most diverse, knowledgeable and respected executives in the industry ," said Checketts, longtime colleague and current Chairman and CEO of Legends. "He brings an unparalleled background with deep, personal relationships with key power brokers. Those differentiators, combined with his consensus building acumen and ability to deftly navigate the landscape, will prove to be an asset in this new endeavor."
Chris Bevilacqua, a co-founder of BHV (Bevilacqua Helfant Ventures) and another longtime business partner of McCarthy said, “To use a baseball analogy Mike is a five tool player – he has run an RSN, been the CEO of a major professional sports franchise and its venues, he's been involved on both sides of transactions of major assets, and he has demonstrated creativity having earned 75 Emmy Awards, etc, and the list of successful broadcaster’s careers he has helped launch is quite remarkable. I look forward to seeing the success he’ll no doubt bring to the Legacy Agency.
A Connecticut resident, McCarthy most recently served as the CEO and Alternate Governor of the St. Louis Blues, where he oversaw day-to-day operations for the NHL franchise, guiding the team to its first Central Division title in over 10 years, and driving revenue growth to unprecedented heights for the club. He was also directly responsible for operating the Scottrade Center, the 7th most active arena in the United States, and the re-opened and renovated Peabody Opera House. As a founding partner of SCP Worldwide, he was chairman of the highly acclaimed sports, entertainment and media production company, Tupelo Honey Productions, driving significant revenue growth and client base for the firm.
Prior to joining SCP Worldwide, McCarthy served as President of Madison Square Garden Networks Group, a position he rose to during his 23-year career with the organization. During his tenure, he oversaw production, programming, ad sales, marketing, new media, technical operations and affiliate sales efforts that led to an extraordinary 50 Emmy Awards and 250 Emmy Award Nominations as well as a host of other accolades that included the national Cable ACE Award, an International Festival Award, two Pro Max Marketing Awards, a Bandies Award and The Mark Award.
As the leader of Madison Square Garden Networks Group, Mr. McCarthy had the responsibility of overseeing the entire operation of MSG Network, Fox Sports Net New York, MSG Radio, MSG ITV and MSGNetwork.com. He managed budgets of almost $400 million in revenue and over $200 million in expenses, while overseeing over 200 staff and another 300 freelance employees. In addition to his new role at TLA, McCarthy will maintain a position with Manhattan Place Entertainment, one of the country’s leading video production firms, where he was named co-Chair this past January. . The retention of his co-Chair position is expected to provide for additional business opportunities for TLA.
Founded in December, 2011 through the merger of Legacy Sports Group and The Agency Sports Management, TLA Worldwide plc (TLA:LN) and its subsidiary, The Legacy Agency, Inc., is a leading athlete representation and sports marketing business with a full service offering to its clients in baseball, broadcasting, coaching, endorsement and golf talent, as well as corporate consulting. The company’s success and growth potential is founded on three key pillars: the competency of the underlying businesses, their complementary practices and the strength and experience of the management team. TLA has an exceptional roster of clients including baseball All-Stars C.C. Sabathia, Carl Crawford, Adam Dunn, Jose Reyes, Ricky Romero, Johan Santana, Rickie Weeks and Vernon Wells, broadcasters Troy Aikman, Dan Hicks, Darryl Johnston, Chris Myers and Mitch Williams, college coaches Mick Cronin, Steve Lavin, Randy Edsall, Fred Hoiberg and Mark Gottfried, PGA Tour professionals, Jim Furyk, Matt Every, Robert Garrigus, John Huh, Spencer Levin, Jeff Overton, John Senden and Kyle Reifers, and talent marketing clients such as Reggie Bush, Lolo Jones, Kerri Waslsh Jennings, Ndamukong Suh and Ryan Tannehill. TLA operates out of offices in New York, Newport Beach, Houston, San Francisco, Charleston, SC, London, UK and Maracay, VZ. For more information, visit www.legacy-agency.com.