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Draft Academy Moves To ESPN+

“The first seven episodes will be available each Thursday and will highlight the lead-up to the NFL Draft on April 25, while the final episode will drop May 2 to recap the draft weekend experiences.”

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ESPN’s Draft Academy moves to ESPN+ this year to give an in depth look at six prospects in the 2019 NFL Draft Class.

Draft Academy will be an eight-episode series detailing the path of potential first round picks Ohio State DE Joey Bosa, Missouri QB Drew Lock, Alabama RB Josh Jacobs and Oklahoma WR Marquise Brown as well as Auburn QB Jarrett Stidham and Buffalo QB Tyree Jackson.

The first seven episodes will be available each Thursday and will highlight the lead-up to the NFL Draft on April 25, while the final episode will drop May 2 to recap the draft weekend experiences. Episode one debuted Thursday.

Draft Academy has proven to be about so much more than physical preparation, it’s about overcoming obstacles, fighting to beat the odds and family bonds,” said Libby Geist, Vice President & Executive Producer, ESPN Films and Original Content. “I never imagined how loudly I’d be rooting for Shaquem Griffin before last year’s Draft Academy, and this season is sure to bring that same passion and emotion.” 

The 2018 edition of Draft Academy was the inaugural season of the series, which aired on linear ESPN networks. USC QB Sam Darnold, Wyoming QB Josh Allen, Alabama DB Minkah Fitzpatrick, Central Florida LB Shaquem Griffin, Notre Dame WR Equanimeous St. Brown and Houston QB Kyle Allen were featured. The entire series is available on ESPN+

While Shaquem Griffin’s story is unrivaled, the 2019 prospects have interesting stories of their own to detail.

Joey Bosa is a lock to be taken at the top of the 2019 Draft despite a groin injury early in the 2018 season that resulted in him leaving the Buckeyes program early to focus on the NFL. Bosa is also fighting the shadow of his brother Nick who has quickly become one of the most feared pass rushers in the NFL for the Los Angeles Chargers.

Josh Jacobs was a relative unknown heading into the 2018 season for the Crimson Tide. Despite largely unrecruited and finding himself homeless, Jacobs landed at Alabama. Jacobs outshined Damien and Najee Harris in the 2018 Bama backfield to solidify himself as the top running back in the 2019 class.

Marquise Brown is the cousin of now Oakland Raider WR Antonio Brown and goes by the nickname “Hollywood” Brown. His flashy style is hard to miss, and he shows glimpses of his All Pro cousin in his game.

SEC alums Lock and Stidham both began the 2018 season as the top QB prospects, but have since been overlooked by Kyler Murray and Dwayne Haskins. Both are looking to prove they are worth a Day 1 selection.
Buffalo QB Tyree Jackson is the late round focus in this year’s series. Standing 6’7” and sporting a canon right arm, Jackson is fighting to hear his name called on Day 2 of the Draft.

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The Athletic Dropped From Trevor Bauer Lawsuit

“We welcome the court’s dismissal of claims against The Athletic. We continue to believe that Knight’s tweets were non actionable.”

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The Athletic has been dropped as a defendant in a lawsuit filed by MLB pitcher Trevor Bauer after reporter Molly Knight tweeted incorrect statements in regards to Bauer’s legal troubles after being accused of violent sexual encounters with a California woman.

In 2021, Knight tweeted that it was “not possible to consent to a fractured skull” after reports surfaced of what Bauer had done to his alleged victim during a sexual episode. The accuser did not suffer a fractured skull, court documents show.

U.S. District Court Judge Michael Fitzgerald dismissed The Athletic as a defendant in the case, but did say Bauer can amend his lawsuit to continue to include Knight. The judge claimed Knight’s tweets “favors that a reasonable reader could conclude that the tweets implied an asserted fact.”

In a statement, The New York Times — which now owns the online publication after purchasing it in January of this year — said they agreed with the decision.

“We welcome the court’s dismissal of claims against The Athletic,” The Times told Front Office Sports. “We continue to believe that Knight’s tweets were non actionable.”

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Bomani Jones: I’m Better At Talking About Political, Social Issues Than Most In Sports Media

“I personally am better at talking about those things than most people who work in this industry. Like I feel like I can say that fairly and then it not really be an arrogant thing.”

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Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James found himself in a few headlines last week when he questioned reporters for not asking him about the recent Washington Post story and photo surrounding Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, and ESPN commentator Bomani Jones took the opportunity to discuss the revelation.

Jones was pictured as a 14 year old among a crowd during an early stage of integration of public schools in Arkansas during the civil rights movement.

LeBron pointed out that he would field questions when there’s a controversy surrounding a Black person and spoke about the situation with former Cavaliers teammate Kyrie Irving, but he found it curious that no one had asked his opinion on the Jerry Jones story. LeBron had long considered himself a Cowboys fan, but in recent years he’s stopped supporting the team over Jones’ mandate that Dallas players stand for the National Anthem.

On his ESPN podcast The Right Time, host Bomani Jones talked about LeBron and circled it around to how he and other ESPN personalities caught a ton of flack for speaking about political or societal issues that often don’t fall within the confines of sports.

Jones said that being able to talk about political and societal issues comes easier to him than it does to most members of the sports media.

“I personally am better at talking about those things than most people who work in this industry,” Jones said. “Like I feel like I can say that fairly and then it not really be an arrogant thing.”

Jones said it comes down to the fact that there’s a bias at play. Are people going to take offense to what you’re saying because they disagree, or are they going to like what you’re going to say because they agree?

“They’re reinforcing the fact that you’re reinforcing what it is that you want to hear,” Jones said. “But the truth is that most people are not qualified to talk about these things before the world, because talking about these things before the world is very, very difficult.”

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John Jastremski Fires Back After Craig Carton Criticism

“I’m not listening to a crook. So you know what? Go take a f—ing hike. How about that.”

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Earlier this week, WFAN afternoon host Craig Carton said John Jastremski — a former WFAN host now hosting a podcast for The Ringer — “shunned” his radio career advice.

During his New York New York podcast Thursday, Jastremski strongly condemned Carton’s remarks.

“I don’t like going here with this stuff, ’cause I know this plays right into what this guy likes to do,” Jastremski said. “This is his M.O. This is what he’s done his entire career. It’s what he’s done for his entire career and he’s had success doing it. He lives for this stuff. But it really set me off. It set me off because I gotta see it on Barrett Sports Media while I’m on vacation. Like I wanna be bothered with this shit, number one. Number two, it’s just tone-deaf, insulting, and flat-out rude every which way.

“Number one: going after people who work at McDonald’s? Who the hell are you to do that? Number two: You’re insulting a multi-billion dollar company where I work. I have a great job, a great platform, a great producer. I have two great jobs, I might add. And you’re insulting both of them. By the way, you’re on that network. Five days a week. And you’re insulting that network. How stupid are you? Taking shots at people of the network you’re on, I’m on. And I could tell you, it pays well. I do ok.

“As for career advice? Guess what? I listen to legends. Bill Simmons, you ever hear of him? Worth a lot more than you. Mike Francesa? My boy Adam Schein? I listen to those guys. I’m not listening to a crook. So you know what? Go take a f—ing hike. How about that.”

Calling Carton a crook harkens back to the WFAN afternoon host’s stint in federal prison for participating in a ponzi scheme that scammed investors out of $5.6 million that he in turn used to pay off gambling debts. Carton was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison before serving just over a year in prison before being released in 2020.

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