Tara Sullivan Denied Access to Locker Room at Masters, Augusta Apologizes

On a day that Charl Schwartzel stole the show at the Masters and Rory McIlroy had a historic collapse, the outdated set of gender rules at Augusta National managed to take over golf headlines.

Tara Sullivan, a columnist for The Bergen Record of New Jersey, changed the conversation when she tweeted that she wasn’t allowed in the locker room for an interview. “Bad enough no women members at Augusta. But not allowing me to join writers in locker room interview is just wrong,” she wrote.

The tweet quickly spread throughout the twitterverse and turned into an Associated Press story.

It was no matter that the officials at Augusta apologized for the mistake as soon as they heard about the problem. It was no matter that they paged Sullivan to address the matter immediately.

As soon as her tweet spread throughout the media, the damage had already been done.

What’s most interesting about the story is that it was actually a female security guard who stopped Sullivan to say she wasn’t allowed in the locker room. The security guard was persistent with the policy according to Sullivan, and it sure seems like she was mistaken with her rules. But if the Masters is so biased as gender biased club, wouldn’t it have been a male security guard denying Sullivan access? I would think so, and this just further confirms it was a mistake.

I just hope people don’t use this story as an excuse to explore Augusta National’s male-only membership policy. As a club, they have the right to restrict membership to males, just as female clubs can do the same. Take this for what it was — a mistake, and nothing more. Too bad Charl Schwartzel’s win will likely be overshadowed because of it.

Jalen Rose Arrested on DUI Suspicion Week of Fab Five Documentary

Jalen Rose, the former Michigan Fab Five star and NBA veteran, has been in the news quite a bit recently, but now it’s for the wrong reason. Rose was arrested on March 11th, the week his Fab Five documentary aired on ESPN, and cited on suspicion of driving drunk. According to WDIV’s report:

Rose was arrested just after 2 a.m. on Walnut Lake Road just west of Middlebelt Road after a passer-by called officers to report seeing a Cadillac Escalade that appeared to have gone off the side of the road. Police said Rose was not hurt but refused to take a breathalyzer at the scene and was taken to Henry Ford Hospital hospital for a blood test. Police have not released the results of the blood test.

Had Rose been found guilty of DUI, he most likely would have been sacked by the LBS Nut Bag, but we must reserve judgment until the results of the blood test are released.

What makes the timing of the arrest extremely notable is that Rose stirred up controversy in his documentary saying he hated Duke. Rose said he felt Duke only recruited Uncle Toms which prompted a bold response from Bobby Hurley, and more recently, a response from Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski. You have to figure at this point that many people feel it’s the karma police getting Rose back for the documentary, but we’ll wait for the official word before going all in.

CBS, TBS, TNT, and truTV Doing Fantastic Job with March Madness Coverage

We’re midway through the first day of the 2011 NCAA Tournament and the quality of games has been fantastic. We’ve seen a four seed get upset by a 13 seed, and there has been game-winner after game-winner after game-winner at the buzzer. You really can’t ask for much more in terms of having exciting, competitive games in March Madness.

What must really be commended is the new setup for the games schedule. For the first time I can remember, they decided to stagger the start times. There’s generally a good 15 minute difference between the time one game starts and another one does, which means we no longer have to miss really good endings. As long as the games aren’t taking too long — which they haven’t — the staggered start times allows viewers to see the final 10 minutes of pretty much every single game.

As if that’s not enough, having all games broadcast simultaneously is a dream for cable and satellite TV holders. In the past, a March Madness tournament package was offered and if you wanted to see all the games you had to pay a significant charge (and sometimes the game you wanted to watch still wasn’t accessible). Now, all games are available at no extra charge. And as a bonus, it’s extremely convenient to locate the games on DirecTV.

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Kirk Herbstreit Moved Out of Ohio Because of Fan Heckling

Kirk Herbstreit and his family have moved out of Ohio. Take it from one who knows: moving it tough, not fun. It must be even less fun when you are heckled out of town.  According to Herbsteit, that’s exactly why he and his family chose to relocate to Nashville, Tenn.

Herbstreit was a quarterback at The Ohio State in the late 80s and early 90s.  Although he works as a college football analyst for ESPN, he insists you won’t find a bigger Buckeyes fan in the country. “Nobody loves Ohio State more than me,” Herbstreit told The Columbus Dispatch. “I still have a picture of Woody Hayes and my dad (Jim, a former OSU player) in my office, and nobody will do more than I do for the university behind the scenes.”

However, Herbstreit said there is a small fraction of the Ohio State community that takes issue with his responsibility as an objective analyst, and it was their criticism over the years that forced him out of Ohio.  “I’ve got a job to do, and I’m going to continue to be fair and objective,” he explained. “To continue to have to defend myself and my family in regards to my love and devotion to Ohio State is unfair.”

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Fans Miss End of Kansas-Missouri Game Because of Sun Spots Affecting CBS Feed

The tournament hasn’t even started yet but we’re already having complaints from fans about getting their game switched out for another one on CBS. Only this one appears to be due to a legitimate technical error rather than the judgment of an individual.

During Saturday’s border war on the hardwood between Missouri and Kansas, fans in Kansas City, Columbus, and St. Louis had their game on CBS switched to the Michigan-Michigan State contest as I learned from KC radio host Nick Wright. Other fans across the country lost the Kansas-Missouri feed, but were apparently intentionally switched to the Arizona-Oregon game instead.

KU Sports says “KCTV5 apologized to viewers and said that CBS told them the problem related to sun spots causing problems with the satellite feed from the national network.” They’re saying the problem won’t happen again which is good, because I’ve never heard of such an issue.

Kansas may have been ahead by a dozen points with three minutes left in the game, but if there’s anything I know about the Jayhawks it’s that you don’t screw with their fans when it comes to basketball. You mess that up, you get fury and CBS learned that the hard way.

John Ireland Will Walk for Autism Speaks Instead of Cleveland to LA

Late Wednesday night we wrote about KCAL-9 Lakers reporter and KSPN show host John Ireland who said he would quit his job and walk from Cleveland to LA if the Lakers lost to the Cavs. Naturally, the Cavs went on to beat the Lakers 104-99 — the same team that had beat them by 55 in their previous meeting. Like many other people, we wondered how Ireland would handle the situation Thursday, and he addressed it with a settlement he figured was fair.

Instead of walking from Cleveland to LA which is a 2,344 mile journey, Ireland said he would participate in the Autism Speaks walk in April. He pledged $1,000 of his money to the charity and has a goal of raising $2,344 (you can donate here). Additionally, he said he would sponsor five kids to attend Dave Miller’s MVP basketball camp.

So how did the the challenge come about in the first place? Ireland explained it to LBS in an email.

“We have a former NBA and college coach, Dave Miller, who works on our Lakers pre and post shows on 710 ESPN. At the start of the seven game, thirteen day road trip, he said something like ‘the game I worry about is that last one–Cleveland. The Lakers could lose that game.’

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Lakers Host John Ireland Will let Money Talk Instead of Taking Pledged Walk

UPDATE: Ireland addressed his declaration in the first few minutes of Thursday’s show. As you could imagine, he backed out of his promise to quit his job and walk home from Cleveland. Instead, he is pledging $200 for every point the Lakers lost by ($1,000) for the Autism Speaks Walk in April that he will be doing (his goal is to raise $2,344 – you can donate here). He also said he would sponsor five campers for Dave Miller’s MVP camp next year. Here’s the audio of Ireland addressing his promise and his charity plans:

KCAL 9 Lakers reporter and KSPN radio host John Ireland was so confident the Los Angeles Lakers would beat the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday he declared on the radio he would “quit my job and walk home if the Lakers lose.” Sure enough, after making strong promises like that the Lakers did the unthinkable and lost to the worst team in the NBA 104-99. Just in case Ireland didn’t know the way back to LA from Cleveland, we mapped it out for him:

Ireland, who is a former co-worker of LB and extremely nice guy, was obviously not prepared for the guarantee to blow up in his face. He actually predicted a 13-point Lakers win, so it’s not as if he envisioned a blowout. Ireland said he would return to LA for an event in Manhattan Beach Thursday, then fly back to Cleveland to walk home. At that point he’ll only be a guest on his former show.

Here’s the audio confirmation from the Mason & Ireland Show on Wednesday:

Move’s on you, John. What will it be?