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Brandon Kravitz: Barstool Made It Possible For Deion Sanders to Land Top Recruit

“He’s using the portal of Barstool to create an opportunity for the guy that he just recruited.”

Jordan Bondurant

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The early national signing window opened with a bang in college football on Wednesday, as the nation’s top college recruit announced he would be committing to play under the leadership of Deion Sanders at Jackson State University.

Travis Hunter had offers on the table from Georgia, Auburn and Florida State, where Sanders made himself a household name. But instead he chose to play at an HBCU at the FCS level.

Brandon Kravitz, host of “In the Zone” on 96.9 The Game in Orlando, alongside co-host Stefan Gilliam, said relaxed Name Image Likeness (NIL) rules, coupled with Sanders having a platform on Barstool, ultimately led to Hunter’s commitment.

“I did not realize that Deion Sanders was in the pockets of Barstool Sports,” Kravitz said. “He’s got a podcast (21st and Prime) on their site, he’s got his own webpage on barstoolsports.com, there’s a video feature to (the podcast) as well, and then he gets this recruit.”

Kravitz added that there’s likely a lot of NIL money on the table for Hunter by going to Jackson State, and they played a clip of a recent appearance by Sanders on a podcast with Barstool president Dave Portnoy and Dan “Big Cat” Katz where Sanders eluded to a big-time signing. Katz said Sanders basically pioneered NIL and the transfer portal in college football.

“He’s using the portal of Barstool to create an opportunity for the guy that he just recruited,” Kravitz said.

Barstool has also been on a warpath signing student-athletes at all levels and sports to NIL deals. Gilliam said the popularity of Barstool with college-aged kids and the platform presented not just to hall of famers like Sanders but to student-athletes with their NIL program is changing the landscape of recruiting.

“It shows you the leverage that’s now available to schools everywhere in order to be able to bring recruits and kids in the portal to their university,” he said. “Because in a true competitive marketplace, you’ve opened the doors where a five-star recruit can go to an FCS school and not only get paid, but he’s still a kid that loves to play football. So you know he believes that he’s going to do well.”

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Mason & Ireland Ink Contract Extensions with ESPN Los Angeles

The pair signed a multi-year contract and that will ensure they continue to be the longest-running duo in L.A.

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Mason and Ireland

The long-running West Coast sounds of Mason & Ireland will continue. The pair signed a multi-year contract and that will ensure they continue to be the longest-running duo for ESPN Los Angeles.

Steve Mason and John Ireland have been on-and-off partners in radio since 1992.

Mason said of the extension, “I love L.A. sports and I can’t imagine working anywhere else. I really appreciate ESPN and our new owner Good Karm Brands. We’ve got a really good team on Mason & Ireland with producer Greg Bergman and associate producer Jorge Briones. And I especially love doing the show every day with John Ireland, my friend of 30 years.”

Ireland also has a statement that read, “It’s both an honor and a privilege to continue this ride with ESPN. During the course of our last deal, the Lakers, Rams and Dodgers all won titles. Obviously, we were able to mistakenly convince our bosses that we had something to do with that, so they’re letting us continue. Please, nobody tell them.”

Mason & Ireland airs weekdays from 1-4p PT on 710 ESPN in Los Angeles.

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Mike Francesa and Phil Mushnick Lock Horns Over Golf Bets

That led to a Mushnick article lambasting the “soothsayer of colossal doom”. Mushnick continued to attack Francesa and claiming his legacy was as a “self-deluded, boastful blowhard”.

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Phil Mushnick of The New York Post, is no fan of Mike Francesa. The latest bout between the two was triggered by a series of erroneous golf bets that Francesa has given out in each of the last three majors.

Francesa, on his podcast with BetRivers Network, told folks that the best bet to win the Masters was Brooks Koepka. The best bet to win the PGA Championship was Scottie Scheffler. He also said the best bet to win The U.S. Open was Cameron Smith. Neither won. Neither even made the cut.

That led to a Mushnick article lambasting the “soothsayer of colossal doom”. Mushnick continued to attack Francesa and claimed his legacy was as a “self-deluded, boastful blowhard”. 

Francesa heard about, or read, the piece and responded on Twitter, calling Mushnick “sad, pathetic” and said that Mushnick’s writings make him look “like the jealous old man that he is”.

Moments later, Francesa tweeted again, “Ask him to add up how much the horses I own have won the past two years. What a complete, obsessed fool.”

As AMNY points out, these two have rammed horns before.

Mushnick once said he had alleged tapes of Francesa and Chris “Mad Dog” Russo demanding loyalty oaths from Jews after 9/11.

The writer would also accuse Francesa of fighting with his then-boss Mark Chernoff, after losing to ESPN New York’s Michael Kay in ratings, an accusation Francesa denies.

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Luke Kuechly Joins the Carolina Panthers Radio Broadcast 

“I just love the Panthers; I love being around it,” Kuechly told Panthers.com. “I love the people. I think I want to be attached to the team, and the game, and the organization somehow.”

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Listen to Luke

The Carolina Panthers radio booth just added another piece to their crew for the 2022 season. Luke Kuechly, the retired linebacker who spent his entire eight-year career with the Panthers, will be an analyst this season.

“I just love the Panthers; I love being around it,” Kuechly told Panthers.com. “I love the people. I think I want to be attached to the team, and the game, and the organization somehow. I think it could be a lot of fun. I think that’s the biggest reason, to do something around the game on game day that’s fun. You still get the atmosphere, and all the good memories I have here in Carolina.”

Kuechly will join the three-man Panthers radio broadcast with play-by-play announcer Anish Shroff and two other former Panthers who call some but not all of their games, Jordan Gross and Jake Delhomme. Kuechly will be a part of the broadcast team for seven of the team’s games. Jim Szoke is the third man in the booth for the games Kuechly doesn’t call.

The Panthers have already announced which games Kuechly will broadcast. He will call Week 1 at home vs. Cleveland, Week 4 vs. Arizona, Week 5 vs. San Francisco, Week 7 vs. Tampa Bay, Week 9 on the road at Cincinnati, Week 12 vs. Denver and Week 15 vs. Pittsburgh.

The Panthers have made several broadcast changes this offseason. It includes a new flagship television partner and a new flagship radio partner as well.

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