Kemp’s Tabloid Hookup Unearths Alleged Skeleton

Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp recently hooked up with Tabloid magnet Rihanna and now he’s paying the price.

Matt Kemp and Rihanna at hotel pool

(And then there’s this)

Soon after the rendezvous and not coincidentally, the LONDON DAILY MIRROR tabloid (of all outlets!) found a former girlfriend of Kemp’s, Felisha Terrell, who said she took a restraining order out against the Dodger in 2008 because of a “violent and abusive” behavior that led to Kemp to getting “kicked out of a club for fighting with a woman.

The urban gossip blogs have since gone wild with the story, killing Kemp’s reputation to millions of internet users. Meanwhile though, the Brit tabloid has completely wiped the story from its site. But what Mirror editors couldn’t erase is the Yahoo News aggregator that has since picked up the story.

Read more…

Joe Schad: LeGarrette Blount Reinstated By Ducks

Joe Schad of ESPN Tweeted today that Oregon’s LeGarrette Blount has been reinstated to the Ducks’ active roster.

LeGarrette Blount Reinstated Reported By Joe Schad

Blount was eligible to come back last Saturday at Stanford, but as we told you last Friday, Ducks Coach Chip Kelly preferred to bring Blount back at the friendly confines of Autzen Stadium in Eugene, not on the road. Read more…

Guy Blows Out 8 Staples Suites For $1M Nightclub

J.A. Adande has a piece today at ESPN.com on one of L.A.’s newest must-see nightspots. (At least for 48 minutes, three times per week.)

Hyde Lounge At Staples Center Sam Nazarian

You won’t find this club in a reconditioned room hidden in some grimy Hollywood back alley. The space resides in Staples Center, where nightclub mogul Sam Nazarian bought out eight upper level suites for $1M to create the venue. A little background from SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL:

In its first year the lounge will be open to courtside seat holders and suite owners. As part of the deal, AEG sold a block of tickets for Lakers, Clippers and Kings games and other events to SBE to distribute to its best customers to hang out at the new club, said Lee Zeidman, the arena’s executive vice president and general manager.

So did Adande give the club the usual ‘this is cool!‘ review? To his credit, no. Some of that probably had to do with club management not giving him an automatic pass. But I’m guessing that’s just the kind of exclusivity mystique Nazarian wants fostered to lure more a-listed high rollers. Read more…

Report: Blount Not On Road Game Travel List

Tweet this afternoon from PORTLAND OREGONIAN columnist and sports radio host John Canzano:

LeGarrette Blount Tweet Not On Travel List To Stanford

Blount is eligible to return Saturday as the Ducks play at Stanford, but it doesn’t appear, at least from Canzano’s Tweet, that he’ll make the trip. Read more…

J.B. Gerald Wanted $500,000 In UNM Hush Money?

Martin Salazar of the ALBUQUERQUE JOURNAL has an update on the increasingly outrageous details of the Mike Locksley assault aftermath at the University of New Mexico:

J.B. Gerald New Mexico Lobos wide receivers coach resigns

University of New Mexico officials alleged Wednesday that assistant coach J.B. Gerald demanded $500,000 from the university in exchange for remaining silent about the Mike Locksley altercation. Evidence in the case was destroyed, UNM officials told the Journal.

Gerald is the New Mexico assistant football coach who alleged he was choked and punched by Lobos head coach Locksley in a coaches meeting on Sept. 20. More:

A timeline distributed by the university states that on Oct. 1, “university receives letter from J.B. Gerald’s attorney offering continued media silence in exchange for a $500,000 settlement figure.”

That sounds like extortion to me. But there’s no way of knowing, because the school’s athletic dept. “destroyed” all the evidence of the investigation!  (So did HR “shred” the documents or … ?) Read more…

ARod Comes From Behind, Yankees Still Defeated

Angels beat the Yankees 5-4 in 11 innings today in Game 3 of the ALCS.

ARod plays grabass with Derek Jeter

(Source)

Yankees still lead the series 2-1, so ARod needn’t help Jeter keep his pants on.

Herbstreit’s View Inside College GameDay Truck

For those of you who wonder how the ESPN College Gameday crew tracks all those games on the road, here’s a shot inside the ESPN College GameDay truck today.

View Inside ESPN College Gameday Truck

(After the jump, pic of Trojans walk-thru at South Bend hotel this morning)

Gameday observations today: Corso looks good, hanging in there. He’s doing a lot better than I think people give him credit for. Not quite as razor sharp, but I don’t think there’s much of a dropoff. I wonder though if ESPN will ease him out after this season. Read more…

Stephen A. To Spill Beans On Next Gig “In Days”

Stephen A. Smith is filling in middays this week on ESPN Radio’s affiliate in Philadelpha, as he noted on Twitter today.

Stephen A. Smith

(Can Stephen A. Draw An Audience Without ESPN Distribution?)

He also pointed out that he’ll have news on his full-time career plans “in days.”

Can Stephen A. Draw a National Audience Without ESPN?

View Results

Career crossroads time for Smith, who wasn’t able to establish an audience despite the second-to-none vehicle that is ESPN-TV and ESPN Radio.  If he’s going to remain a nationally-known personality, the success of this next gig, which I’m assuming is national in scope, will be critical to the future of his career.

If this next venture fails, I’m guessing he’ll be a local Philly on-air personality for the balance of his media career. Not there’s anything wrong with that.

So Exactly How Much Has Dungy Helped Blount?

Got to thinking today about the Univ. of Oregon playing the Tony Dungy card in its case for the reinstatement of LeGarrette Blount’s playing career. (Along with the other prominent figures cited by UO Coach Chip Kelly as party to Blount’s image overhaul: Dr. Harry Edwards, Kermit Washington and Jon Gruden.)

LeGarrette Blount Tony Dungy

Considering that virtually every media account of Blount’s future reinstatement included a mention of Dungy visiting with the player, I set out today to find out just how much time Dungy has spent with Blount.

After an extensive online search resulted in virtually no details, I contacted prominent OREGONIAN columnist John Canzano and Univ. of Oregon Executive Assistant Athletic Director of Media Services (SID) David Williford to find out what they knew.

Williford emailed this response about the Dungy-Blount exchange: “I don’t have info regarding Blount’s contact with Coach Dungy, other than I know it was by phone. I don’t know how many times or how long.

Canzano’s responds after the jump. Read more…

UFL Commish Proves League All About Credibility

Forget about the Dodgers and Angels in the playoffs last night in HD here in SoCal. I much preferred watching the United Football League on Versus on my reconditioned netbook. I can relate a little to the UFL, since part of my 16-year career in main sports media was spent in mid-size markets. So really I understand just how tough credibility can be to come by for a start-up league.

Michael Huyghue UFL Commissioner

But thankfully, the UFL is under the discriminating stewardship of the former agent of Pacman Jones, league commissioner Michael Huyghue. Huyghue clearly understands that in order to draw fans in a hotly-competitive, over-saturated, mid-week professional football market like Las Vegas, you have to give the fans what they want. As I’ve already found out personally, one of the league’s first priorities was to drill-down on online ticket sales. Then there’s the all-important …

Cool, Tracy Morgan Tweet-inspired logos!

California Redwoods Logo Michael Huyghue

(Alternative pronunciation: “Michael EUGGGGE”)

Minty fresh uniform colors:

United Football League Minty Fresh Uniforms Overseen By Michael Huyghue

(I’d brushed, flossed 26 times by the two-minute warning)

Room number-approved sideline reporters:

UFL Anita Marks sideline reporter photo video under close inspection by Michael Huyghue

(Anita Marks actually a doll. Hello ACC football opp?!)

Referees keeping close watch over touchdown celebrations while outfitted in the finest officially-licensed racquetball apparel money can buy:

UFL Football Photos Officials wearing finest racquetball apparel money can buy

But as you know, if a new league is really to succeed, the commissioner has to be able to generate credibility from the outset. Read more…