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Charles Barkley: ‘Armageddon’ Coming For College Sports

The Turner analyst discussed the topic on “The Steam Room” podcast.

Russ Heltman

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Turner basketball analyst Charles Barkley has serious concerns over where college athletics are heading. Barkley and Ernie Johnson had Duke head basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski on The Steam Room podcast and discussed what the future of college sports looks like.

The Supreme Court struck down the NCAA’s use of amateurism as a means of limiting educational benefits last month and with it rung in the name, image, likeness era of college athletics.

“Between this name, image, and likeness, this thing that just came down from the Supreme Court, I think we’re getting ready for Armageddon,” Barkley said on the podcast.

“You said it earlier, we’re in trouble right now,” Barkley continued. “Cause I have no idea what’s gonna happen in the next few years of college sports. How many programs are gonna be disbanded, how many sports are gonna be canceled?”

Barkley suited up for the Auburn men’s basketball team from 1981-1984, averaging 14.1 points and 9.6 rebounds before starting his NBA career with the Philadelphia 76ers.

“It’s clearly gonna become an arms race,” Charles Barkley said. “If I’m a kid, and I got to decide where to go to college…you’re gonna say to yourself ‘where can I sell the most jerseys? Where can I get a car deal? I’m going to a big school.’ I’m really concerned of where college athletics are going.”

The legendary Duke coach didn’t have much pushback to Barkley’s issues. “You guys have a right to be concerned,” Krzyzewski said. “And I think universities will start making decisions as to just what they wanna do if they’re in collegiate sports programs…we’re part of the university, we’re not THE university.”

Charles Barkley noted his concern for athletes receiving an education under the new system. “All these Black kids, I’m not worried about their playing time,” Barkley said. “I’m worried about them getting their education more than anything in the world.”

Like it or not, the NIL era is here to stay. Now it’s up to the schools and administrators to figure the new climate.

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Ryen Russillo: ‘Why Would You Talk About Politics On Your Sports Show?’

“Why would you talk about politics on your sports show? Now people could say ‘Hey this is more important. This is more important than sports’.”

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Ryen Russillo joined Barstool’s Pardon My Take podcast in studio, and shared an interesting story about a sign at ESPN Radio that shaped what he talked about during his time with the network.

“When I was first at ESPN, so ’06, there was a sign up in the radio department that said ‘If what you’re talking about is not interesting to an 18-45 year old male, stop talking about it’,” Russillo revealed. “For the old rules, why would you talk about religion on your sports talk show? Why would you talk about politics on your sports show? Now people could say ‘Hey this is more important. This is more important than sports’.

“Well, no shit this stuff is more important than sports. But you know what? They don’t talk about sex trafficking on (CNBC). Because that show’s about money. Those shows are about finances and all this other stuff. Is it as important as all these other horrible things that happened? Of course it isn’t. But that’s not what the job is. So that’s where I think again — this is expanding into a much bigger deal — I’d love to talk about some of this stuff, but I know I can’t win no matter what I do.”

Later in the episode, Russillo discussed how proud he was of his Brandon Marshall interview. Russillo had confirmed former Pro Bowl wide receiver and I Am Athlete co-host Brandon Marshall to appear on his podcast. When the interview time rolled around, Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall appeared on the screen. The former ESPN Radio host asked the linebacker a few questions before ending the interview. The podcast aired both interviews with both Brandon Marshall’s.

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Penn National To Acquire Barstool Sports In Full

“Bloomberg reports that the two step process will be completed by February.”

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Penn National Gaming made its initial investment in Barstool Sports in 2020, paying $161.2 million for a 36% stake in the content factory. Just a few years later, the casino company will acquire the remaining shares.

The relationship with Barstool has had ups and downs for Penn National.

A Business Insider report dropped in December accusing Barstool founder Dave Portnoy of sexual misconduct with multiple women caused serious headaches for Penn National. Portnoy denied any wrongdoing, saying all of the incidents detailed in the piece were consensual. He has also filed a defamation suit against the publisher.

Jay Snowden, the company’s CEO, encouraged investors to be patient. That didn’t stop the reaction though. Penn National lost over $2.5 billion in value and drew the attention of regulatory boards in Nevada and Indiana.

Still, the relationship with Barstool is one the casino company wants to keep. The company has found value in using the brand’s name to attract a younger audience to its sportsbooks. The Barstool name has been used on other venues and products inside of Penn National’s casinos as well.

Barstool podcasts and videos give Penn National a valuable, proprietary means of advertising. Plus, the Barstool Sports Arizona Bowl and the Barstool Classic in Philadelphia, put Penn National in the live sports business.

Penn National has an option to acquire the rest of Barstool for another $387 million. Bloomberg reports that the two step process will be completed by February.

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Dana White Calls ESPN Writer a “F—ing Scumbag”

“It wasn’t a serious interview,” White said. “It was a fun, f—ing edited piece…”

Jordan Bondurant

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Dana White
Amy Kaplan/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

UFC president Dana White did not hold back when talking about a recent piece by ESPN, which claimed in the story headline that White said fighters would not be getting pay raises.

White did an interview with GQ last week and answered a Twitter question about UFC fighter pay. He said fighters “get paid what they’re supposed to get paid. They eat what they kill. They get a percentage of the pay-per-view buys and money is spread out amongst all the fighters.”

White prefaced those words by saying boxing is not what it used to be on account of money and other issues. “It’s never gonna happen while I’m here,” he said, which was meant to be interpreted that he would never allow pay to force the UFC to become like boxing.

“Do you think I’m going to sit here and say, ‘Fighter pay will never go up while I’m here.’ That’s the dumbest f—ing thing I’ve ever heard,” White told Yahoo Sports. “And do you know how stupid you have to be to think that’s what I said in that interview when I was talking about boxing?”

White was fired up mainly because ESPN took words he said in what was supposed to be a fun and light interview with GQ and, in his opinion, changed the context to create a more salacious story.

“It wasn’t a serious interview,” White said. “It was a fun, f—ing edited piece, and ESPN, the leader in sports, is going to write a story on fighter pay based off that f—ing video? Give me a f—ing break.”

Marc Raimondi, who covers MMA for ESPN, wrote the article in question. White didn’t know that, but he made it clear he was pissed off about the piece.

“I didn’t see the story,” White said. “I don’t even know who wrote it, but you’re not a journalist. You’re a f—ing scumbag.”

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