ESPN’s challenge to Scout and Rivals

ESPN the Worldwide Leader in Suck has launched its competitor to Scout and Rivals. Sites around the country like wearesc.com, and insidetheU.com are now joined by Auburnundercover.com. The sites provide objective analysis and a healthy dose of unbiased recruiting information.

This conglomerate hired the right man when it tapped Phillip Marshall to lead its Auburn affiliate website. Marshall has spent the last decade sucking up to Tommy Tuberville in print.

Damn.

If being a shill (or cheap whore) is all it takes to get a good paying job, sign me up. I want to be the next beat writer for Auburn. I’ll make Tuberville’s Leni Riefenstahl (Marshall) look like a hack.

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No recruiting disaster would be too big, nor off-the-field turmoil too major for me to spin to Tuberville’s advantage.

Want to duck hunt? I’ll distract the masses with lies about how the new long snapper, or how some unheard of private school player is the greatest thing since Bo Jackson.

Marshall will take those skills along with his other talents to the ESPN-affiliated site. Marshall announced on his blog that he’ll write about recruiting at auburnundercover.com.

Uhhh.

This is the moron who didn’t see the obvious statistical relationship between five-star players and success in the NFL draft. This is the moron who believes anything Tuberville and the Auburn staff tell him.

I’m told access to the coach is the main requirement for the new fan sites. Bluntly, one source told me the coaches get to shape the story coming out of these fan sites.

“If you couldn’t get (the coach), you couldn’t write about it.,” I was told.

So much for real media standards of objectivity.

The site pay is good for a media job. It pays a base salary and about five-percent of subscriptions to the site. ESPN has shopped the same type of job around the Alabama beat, but so far has not announced a hire.

I’ve always respected Rivals and Scout, but taken their information with a grain of salt.

I’ll be needing a salt shaker, or maybe a pound or two when I read the recruiting nonsense coming from Marshall and ESPN.

Of course, it isn’t a real ESPN job either. I’m told ESPN is only lending its name to the sites in a money grab. It isn’t like the Worldwide Leader is doing this to further its journalistic integrity. It just wants to grab a piece of the recruiting pie.

The good news from this announcement is that Marshall is out June 27 from the Huntsville Times.

The bad news, what little journalistic integrity ESPN had is being sold out to compete with Rivals and Scout. It doesn’t matter that these sites are quasi-independent of ESPN; the Worldwide Leader’s name is on the site, and thus inextricably linked to content.

38 Comments

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  1. 1
    tmc1

    Sound of crickets coming from the east…

    As I recall the other day I read a nice piece of JOURNALISM by Shane about
    “The advent of the new sports media” The piece was well-written, concise and well informed. I also recieved a nice bashing from…….. 2008seven, track’em33, 6downnow7,WillisMann, JeroyJenkins.
    Fast Forward to the present…….

    Wow! What can you say when the #1 Aubbo spinmiester himself (Phillip Marshall) abandons the Newspaper world and goes internet?
    Oh hey I know!…. Shane, YOU….WERE…ABSOLUTELY….FUCKING…. RIGHT….Thank you Shane for you 100% correct assesment of this new trend!
    Looks like some Aubbos will be eating from the “all you can eat Crow Buffet” tonight… War Tiger!!!

  2. 2
    mike

    Cap-

    I have been waiting on this piece since Monday morning when I heard that Marshall was leaving the H’ville Times to take this new position. Thanks for not letting me down!!!

  3. 3
    tmc1

    I agree… I have sat back for quite a while and watched Leni ( I mean Phil) singlehandly keep the toilet paper
    companies in business. It is never good news to learn that it will take even more forests just to remove the brown circle from Phillip’s wayward nose.

    Like most of you, I watch in mounting disgust as Phillip refuses to admit that he has a Tommy Tuberville problem.
    If he is not willing to report the good and the bad he is no better than the tabloids.

    I also realise that the Phillip Marshall’s of this world are necessary. Their “yes man” positions are crucial in the making and marketing of a tinhorn Fuhrer like Tommy Tuberville.
    But without an objective media the truth suffers and gets skewed to the point that it becomes food for ignorance.
    And much like Leni Riefenstahl when the truth does finally come out,(or all hell breaks loose,) we can count on the likes of Phil to act claim total innocence.

  4. 5
    mike

    Did Marshall really win Alabama’s Sportswriter of the Year award in 2006 and 2007? Wow, once again I am shocked at how much pull Ol’ Tubby has!!!

  5. 6
    TideDruid

    Cap, when does the Alabama affiliate start up?

    If they don’t have anybody for it, we should team up and totally start a site war with Marshall and whoever does the Tenny page 😉

  6. 7
    capstonereport

    I did it for you mike! 😉

    And Druid, I’m told the Alabama site is scheduled for July or something like that. I was also told by a reliable source the Bama site manager/writer hasn’t been selected.

    I’m more than willing to team up for that. I can write propaganda as good if not better than the next guy! Just ask Mike Shula how supportive I was to his administration.

  7. 8
    capstonereport

    BTW, I think Marshall is a very good writer. However, he is considered by most reporters I’ve spoken with to be a shill for Tuberville.

    I believe this speaks volumes about what ESPN hopes to accomplish with these fan sites.

  8. 9
    sixdownnow7

    PLLLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEASE Losers! That includes you TMC1. PM has been writing for nearly 40 years
    IMHO we need more recruiting information from other sources OTHER than Scout and Rivals. These guys have very little objectivity when they come to rating a player.
    A player should be a five or four star regardless of where he signs. We all know that a player is rated higher for signing with one school verse another. This is a very bias system and is intended to boost sales to DELUSIONAL fans.

    When Bama can win one on the field, then give me a call. Other than that Bama still sucks and cheats!

  9. 10
    mike

    Cap-

    Thanks, I appreciate it!!!

    I believe you are a very good writer too. Matter of fact, I expect the awards to start coming in any day!!!

    What reporters consider Marshall a shill for Tubby?

  10. 11
    capstonereport

    You are welcome.

    I can’t spill the names, because sports writing is a very close fraternity, and they wouldn’t want the backlash.

    I will say, that I’m going to give the Alabama site the benefit of the doubt; however, I once called Bamaonline Pravda….so, if we start seeing excessive cheerleading then I’ll have to call the new guys out too.

    And as hard as it might be to imagine, I have won an award or two for writing…despite my failure to ever grasp basic grammar!

  11. 12
    tmc1

    6downnow7
    The same Rivals and Scout that rated the 4 and 5 star recruits for Bama also rated players like (San)Quinton Groves for the NFL.
    And they dont change their rankings just because a player choses one school over another.
    You would think that if Phil Marshall had been such a great reporter for 40 years you would be better informed. You have been had by the Phillip Marshalls of this world 6downnow7. You have been led down the path of ignorance so far by people like Phillip Marshall that you no longer remember what the truth actually is.
    You believe it when he says the NCAA has no interest in the Auburn sociology program, just like you believe that when CTT loses or falls short it is never his fault, he was cheated! someone lied! You believe the Phillip Marshalls of this world because they tell you the things you want to hear. And they have done nothing but spoon fed you ignorance to advance their careers.
    I think I would not be worried so much about the Bammers if I were you right now 6downnow7….
    The rats always abandon ship right before it goes down. Bye Bye Phillip.

  12. 13
    mike

    tmc-

    Funny that you bash 6down for following a path of ignorance….what would you call the path that Bammers have followed the past few years?

  13. 14
    tmc1

    Mike,
    The first thing I can say about Bama is that things have been sucky for our program for years. And the UA administration decided to take responsibility and make some changes (finally). Whether or not these changes will work no one knows. But at least Bammers are willing to admit a problem existed.

    Mike, you seem like a rational, reasonable man. Doesnt it seem that something is askew on the plains to you?

    Why would Phillip Marshall leave a career job at the Times to take on a job that is not guaranteed to last 6 months on the internet?

    Do you believe that the whole “independent study group” thing will just be forgotten by the NCAA? That the NCAA will just look the other way because Phillip Marshall says they will? Common sense tells me to ask the same question even some of the Auburn Beat writers are starting to ask….Why is the NCAA still there?

    See Mike, that is symptomatic of a disease Auburn has developed. The Auburn faithful have been misled, and misinformed by the Auburn Press for so long that they cant fathom the real state of affairs.

    Example: Instead of worrying about why sociology-gate hasnt went away, The Auburn press worries about how much money Nick Saban makes.

    Another Example: Instead of wondering why local athletes like Dee Finley went elsewhere, or why commitments like George Baker and Enrique Davis went elsewhere at the last minute, The Auburn press worries about The “Saban” Rule. Or focuses on CTT’s latest PR soundbite.

    It is not that they are lying per se, Its just that they arent talking about the issues that might be perceived as negative.

    The Bama program has been in the toilet for quite a while. In comparison to where the once mighty Tide stood, the current version of the tide is not even a decent shadow. But Bama is making changes. And 6 years of losing the Iron Bowl has been a wake up call for Bama.

    The 6 in a row thing is HUGE among the Auburn faithful, it has become a rallying cry for underacheivement in the SEC west and CTT (and the Auburn Press) have all pointed with sheer schadenfruede.
    Guys like 6downnow7 use it as a their mantra. You would think that something that important would have matter on signing day. But it didnt. Why didnt Phill or Charles ask why?

  14. 15
    mike

    tmc-

    What do you mean by “Why is the NCAA still there?” Maybe you know something that I don’t……Because all I know is that the NCAA made an inquiry about the situation and Auburn followed up by sending a report to the NCAA. Nothing uncommone about any of that. The NCAA has yet to report back to Auburn. Once again, nothing uncommon about that. The whole story had died, until a few weeks ago when some organization honored the finger pointer. Call me crazy, but I am not worried about the situation.

    As for Phillip Marshall…I think this is a great opportunity for him with the shift in media these days. Not only that, but from what I have heard he is going to get better compensation.

  15. 16
    mike

    tmc-

    Sorry, just had a computer glitch…

    Anyways, like I said I think it is a great opportunity for Marshall based off of the popularity that similiar sites have gained over the past few years. Honestly, I must be missing your point…..Marshall left the Times where he was an Auburn beat writer to take another job where he will cover Auburn. So, where are the warning flags again????? Think you are grasping at straws my friend.

    Back to the independent study group…do you not think that every university has a similiar program?

    The Auburn press is the one’s worrying about the Saban Rule? Are you serious? How many times has Cap written something on this site in the last month with “Saban Rule” in the title. Give me a break.

    As for Dee Finley, Auburn never had a shot at him, which is too bad because I think he will be one heck of player. From day 1 he said he wanted to get away from home and in all honesty…he needed too. As for Enrique Davis…I think its pretty obvious why he went to OM. He wanted to be a feature back and with Nutt at OM (remember McFadden and Jones) and Franklin coming to Auburn I think it was a pretty easy decision. I hated to lose him, but I can’t blame him…he’s not looking to win, he’s looking for $$$. Now there was some concern over losing guys like Baker on NSD, but it happens. I would be much more concerned IF Auburn hadn’t gotten busy in recruiting this year…and from all indicators Auburn is looking really good.

    So, you wish they would talk more about having a down recruting year? Why? Why wouldn’t they focus on the positives? All I hear from the Bammer side is the positives…last year’s recruiting class…I don’t hear them talking about last year’s 6-6 regular season or losing 6 in a row to Auburn. The simple fact is that you and other Bammers want to hear the negative stuff about Auburn, while boosting up Bammer.

    Obviously, the 6 IN A ROW had been HUGE for the Bammers too since you say it has been a wake-up call.

  16. 17
    tigerfan45

    Now I know where all of the AL dickheads go to worry about Auburn. Its nuts reading what you people say. Every commet is about either au or someone who writes about au. Get a life TMC or should I say TOTAL MORON COCKSUCKER. You wouldn’t know class if it hit you in the ass. I read your onehit wonders at other sites, so here is your onehit,,,,EATME. You want to know why they came out with the Satan rule,,, because he was cheating. A simple fact. All of the SEC coaches say the samething. He is a cheater just like your beloved Bear… the granddaddy of all cheaters,,,, the cheating guru. The master of cheaters,,, Five star cheater. one bear of a cheater…. and last but not least, every NC we have was done by cheating. Before you say it yes we cheated too, Dye was taught by the best. I guess I can say that about all of your beloved Bears disciples. I wonder where they learned it from.

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