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In this week’s episode of Slate’s sports podcast Hang Up and Listen, Stefan Fatsis, Josh Levin, and Mike Pesca debate the selections for the College Football Playoff and discuss the most intellectually honest, logical, and satisfying way to end the college football season. They also examine the motivation for the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s decision to drop its football program and whether other schools should follow suit. Finally, they talk with legendary journalist Robert Lipsyte about what he learned during his time as ESPN’s ombudsman.
Here are links to some of the articles and other items mentioned on the show:
- The College Football Playoff selection committee left both TCU and Baylor out of its final four.
- Baylor hired a PR firm to tout its qualifications for the playoffs.
- Baylor coach Art Briles was frustrated with the decision and said the committee needed more varied regional representation.
- Committee head and Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long suggested that the lack of a Big 12 conference championship game hurt TCU and Baylor.
- The Popeye’s Bahamas Bowl is a real thing, but bowl-eligible UAB isn’t going bowling.
- UAB announced that it would drop its football, rifle, and bowling programs as of next year due to “fiscal realities.”
- UAB football player Tristan Henderson confronted university president Ray Watts.
- The University of the Pacific, once coached by Amos Alonzo Stagg, dropped its football team after the 1995 season.
- The University of Alabama system board, which makes funding decisions for all public universities in Alabama, is dominated by alumni of the main campus in Tuscaloosa.
- Some UAB boosters think the board—including the son of legendary Alabama football coach Bear Bryant—have it out for UAB because of comments made by former UAB athletic director Gene Bartow.
- In 2011, the board torpedoed a plan to build an on-campus football stadium at UAB.
- On Vice, Andy Schwarz criticized the financial report that UAB relied on to justify cutting the football program.
- Hofstra dropped its football program in 2009.
- Here are all of the Division I college football programs that have been cut.
- Robert Lipsyte reflected on his term as ESPN’s ombudsman.
- In his 1975 book Sportsworld, Lipsyte was one of the first sports writers to criticize the culture of lionizing athletes.
- Lipsyte discussed his recent memoir, An Accidental Sportswriter, on Hang Up and Listen.
- Plenty of people had terrible things to say about ESPN airing a kiss between NFL draft pick Michael Sam and his boyfriend, but Lipsyte praised ESPN’s coverage.
- On the ombudsman’s blog, Lipsyte wrote about ESPN’s decision to back away from a Frontline documentary about concussions in the NFL.
- ESPN suspended writer Keith Law after he confronted Curt Schilling’s views on evolution.
- Lipsyte defended ESPN’s handling of Bill Simmons’ most recent suspension.
Hang Up and Listen’s weekly European dragons:
Mike’s European dragon: Looking forward to getting wider than Mettenberger vs. Roethlisberger.
Josh’s European dragon: Letting you know that cowboy monkeys are actually a thing—and also probably mistreated.
On this week’s Slate Plus bonus segment, Stefan Fatsis, Josh Levin, and Mike Pesca talk to Loch Phillipps about Grantland’s latest Finish Line series, which chronicles the close of Landon Donovan’s career. Slate Plus members get an ad free version of this podcast with bonus segments. Visit slate.com/hangupplus and try it free for two weeks.
Podcast production and edit by Mike Vuolo. Links compiled by Chris Laskowski.
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