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Rod Gilmore Explains PAC-12 Player Priorities To Paul Finebaum

“During the interview, Gilmore said that university presidents and trustees should be worried about the optics of having a season just for financial reasons, noting that the desire to start a season can only take conferences so far.”

Ricky Keeler

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With college football right around the corner, one program made the decision to cancel its entire season as UCONN shut down the program for the 2020 season due to COVID-19 on Wednesday. Meanwhile, the Big Ten also made an announcement Wednesday as they unveiled their conference-only schedule, which is slated to begin on September 5.

All of this news comes days after PAC-12 players released a statement to The Players’ Tribune demanding safety precautions be put in place in addition to a 50/50 revenue split with the conference for the upcoming season. The Big Ten released their own statement on Wednesday:

During the first hour of The Paul Finebaum Show on Tuesday, ESPN college football analyst Rod Gilmore joined the program. Gilmore, who is a Stanford alum, has been working at ESPN and ABC since 1996 and is one of the more familiar voices in the booth for PAC-12 games. You can catch the interview here at about the 20-minute mark.

Right at the beginning of the interview, Gilmore mentioned that he is worried about the start of the college football season, saying a bubble model, which has proven to be the most effective way to limit athletes exposure to the virus, is beyond what college football can do.

“I’m more worried today than I was yesterday. It just seems to fluctuate on a daily basis,” he said. “The events of the last few days are really unsettling. When you hear about a player at Indiana who has COVID-19 and winds up in the hospital, Rutgers shuts down, Northwestern shuts down…I am more worried today than I was a couple weeks ago. Add to the mix that the players have found their voice and they are weighing in with their concerns, which is perfectly legitimate. That was something conferences didn’t have to consider a couple of weeks ago.”

Gilmore, who has spoken with PAC-12 players about these issues, gave insight gave some insight into the players’ demands and their priorities.

“You have to step back and recognize we are in the midst of a sea change in college football, he told Finebaum. “The things that are concerning players just didn’t crop up this year….All these things have been percolating for quite a while. Then, we have 2020 where we have these incredible triggering events with George Floyd killing on video for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. Social justice has become a very personal thing to a lot of players. They feel invested. 

“You look at the PAC-12 players and their manifesto/list of demands. They included in there the reference to money and sharing the revenue but from talking to players the past few days, it seems clear their focus was really on health and safety, getting the testing right, and being able to make an impact socially. There’s a lot going on and a lot to unpack.”

During the interview, Gilmore said that university presidents and trustees should be worried about the optics of having a season just for financial reasons, noting that the desire to start a season can only take conferences so far.

“We may get a start, we may get teams that push ahead to start the season, but can we get through a season? I’m not optimistic right now at this moment.”

Of course, with all the conference schedules not having the same format, it also leads to the question that if one conference does not play, would the others follow suit? Gilmore would not be surprised if that did not happen:

While schedules are being released, there is still so much uncertainty surrounding college football in 2020. This interview between two prominent media members in college football highlights that. 

Sports Radio News

Marc Bertrand Signs Contract Extension at 98.5 The Sports Hub

“I take great pride in having been a part of the station since its inception.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Mass Amherst via Facebook

Zolak & Bertrand co-host Marc Bertrand will remain on Boston’s 98.5 The Sports Hub for the next several years.

According to All Access, Bertrand and parent company Beasley Media Group reached an agreement on a contract extension.

Bertrand said being a Sports Hub lifer is something he’s very fond of.

“I take great pride in having been a part of the station since its inception,” Bertrand said. “I’m fortunate to have great teammates on Zolak & Bertrand and as a group, we are incredibly thankful for our loyal listeners. It is their support and engagement that makes this job fun every single day.”

Bertrand and partner Scott Zolak have been on the air together since 2015.

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Sports Radio News

Gabe Kuhn To Take Over Afternoon Drive On 92.9 ESPN

“Kuhn, who had hosted at competitor Sports 56 the last two years, will host The Gabe Kuhn Show from 4-7 p.m. central starting Monday.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Former University of Memphis offensive lineman Gabe Kuhn will soon be making his debut on 92.9 FM ESPN in Memphis.

Kuhn, who had hosted at competitor Sports 56 the last two years, will host The Gabe Kuhn Show from 4-7 p.m. central starting Monday.

Gabe Kuhn is a 2017 Memphis graduate with a degree in journalism. He played under Justin Fuente, Barry Odom and Ryan Silverfield.

“Love this city, can’t wait to talk to y’all everyday,” the newest addition to 92.9 ESPN tweeted. “Let’s get this thing going!”

92.9 ESPN is an Audacy station.

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Sports Radio News

Jeff Thurn To Exit ESPN Sioux Falls To Join ESPN Radio

“I get to stay here and do it from here. Who gets to radio from Sioux Falls on a national level?”

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ESPN Sioux Falls host Jeff Thurn will depart the station for a new national position with ESPN Radio.

The host of Overtime from 11:00 AM-2:00 PM on ESPN Sioux Falls, Thurn has been with the station for more than a decade.

Thurn thanked executives at Results Radio — owner of ESPN Sioux Falls — as well as listeners and guests for being so supportive during his tenure with the show and station during a thread posted to Twitter.

Thurn joined ESPN Radio as a fill-in host in February of last year.

“I’m so pumped to get to go out there and do something on a national level,” Thurn told Dakota News Now last year. “I get to stay here and do it from here. Who gets to radio from Sioux Falls on a national level? I think it’s really cool just growing up here, having that opportunity, to now do that on ESPN Radio throughout 2022…that’s pretty cool for me personally.”

His final show on ESPN Sioux Falls will be on Friday, February 3rd.

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