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Jim Nantz Has Not Given A Player His Tie In 5 Years

“Nantz previously explained the reasoning behind giving his tie away, originally meant to be a private gesture and a way to honor a player he thought was inspiring throughout March Madness.”

Brandon Contes

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Jim Nantz

The Baylor Bears are the 2021 NCAA Men’s Basketball National Champions. And with just three seniors on their roster, CBS announcer Jim Nantz was limited with who he could give his tie to. 

Following the uninspiring title game, Twitter wanted to know who Nantz selected for the honor, but the CBS announcer kept his tie. Not because there wasn’t a worthy recipient, and not because of COVID-19 protocols, but because he hasn’t given his tie to a championship player since 2016! As reported by Kyle Koster of The Big Lead, Nantz recently joined Robbie Hummel and Jeff Goodman on The Field of 68 podcast, where he told the hosts he ended the gesture five years ago. 

“It became like, who would want Jim’s sweaty tie? Well, first off, I don’t sweat when I’m calling games,” Nantz said. “I don’t sweat through a tie. It was meant to be a quiet gesture that no one would know about. But once it got hijacked, I thought, you know what? I’m not going to put that burden on anyone where a media guy’s going to come up and make fun of it and belittle the kid and take that moment away from him. So I opted not to do it anymore.”

Nantz previously explained the reasoning behind giving his tie away, originally meant to be a private gesture and a way to honor a player he thought was inspiring throughout March Madness. 

Nantz blaming critics as the reason why he no longer gives a college athlete his tie was an odd play. Naturally, when the gesture was no longer private, it was made fun of. Despite coming from a genuine place, a 60-year-old announcer assuming a college athlete wants his used tie will always be viewed as egotistical. 

By ending the tradition in 2016, it means Villanova’s Ryan Arcidiacono was the last player to receive a tie from Nantz as he stopped the gesture almost immediately after it became public knowledge. But if he was doing it for a decade without anyone knowing, it’s certainly possible that Nantz has since selected another keepsake to give an inspiring player after the championship game, it just might be a while before we find out about it. 

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After Losing Out On Big Ten Rights, ESPN Turns Focus to NCAA Championships

According to Front Office Sports, ESPN’s contract for 29 NCAA Championships ends in 2024.

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After reportedly losing out on the Big Ten’s television rights, ESPN is reportedly turning to securing the NCAA Championship rights from hitting the open market.

According to Front Office Sports, ESPN’s contract for 29 NCAA Championships ends in 2024. Those 29 championships include everything from Women’s basketball to ice hockey, wrestling, softball, and baseball. The network pays a reported $34 million for the rights to broadcast those championship events.

However, according to a study commissioned by the NCAA reveals that the women’s basketball tournament could be worth anywhere from $81 million to $112 million per year by its lonesome. The NCAA is reportedly considering selling the women’s basketball tournament rights as a standalone product in the next negotiation.

Sources told Front Office Sports ESPN remains interested in striking deals with the Pac-12 and Big 12 media rights, as well as renewing a deal for the College Football Playoff.

The news comes after Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand reported ESPN declined a final offer from the Big Ten for a portion of the conference’s media rights. The reported deal was seven years and $380 million per year.

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ESPN Announces The Return of Stephen A. Smith to First Take

ESPN announced Smith will be returning to First Take on Monday, August 15th.

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Stephen A. Smith

First Take has been without it’s anchor since the day after the NBA Draft in June. That’s when the ESPN personality took some time off to undergo shoulder surgery and to rehabilitate. However, it appears the wait for his return is almost over.

ESPN announced with a tweet that Smith will be returning to First Take on Monday, August 15th. They also teased a guest appearance from Michael Irvin.

This comes a day after Smith tweeted that the countdown was on for his return and we are one week away from the event.

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Field Yates Re-Ups With ESPN

After the departure of Matthew Berry to NBC, ESPN has locked down fantasy expert Field Yates with a new contract to remain in Bristol.

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Field Yates

After the departure of Matthew Berry to NBC, ESPN has locked down fantasy expert Field Yates with a new contract to remain in Bristol.

Yates, 35, would have been a valuable target for FanDuel or DraftKings, surmises Andrew Marchand of The New York Post — who first reported the news — due to his large following on Twitter.

Yates, who also works as a host of Fantasy Football Now and NFL Insider for the network, across multiple platforms including ESPN Radio, will continue in those roles in addition to an assumed expansion of fantasy football duties after Berry’s exit.

He has worked for ESPN since 2012.

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