Johnny Manziel and Paul Finebaum appear to have smoothed out their issues.
Finebaum, a radio host for ESPN and popular SEC figure, tweeted some praise at Manziel on Monday after watching the former Texas A&M quarterback’s interview on “Good Morning America.”
Watching @JManziel2 interview again and appreciate his candor. Handled incredibly difficult subject with aplomb. Many suffering have already reacted on show and say Johnny helped them immensely by speaking out. Like everyone, hoping for the best.
— Paul Finebaum (@finebaum) February 12, 2018
During the interview, Manziel revealed that he suffers from bipolar disorder and used alcohol to treat his depression.
Manziel seems to be all about the fresh starts, as he told Finebaum he’s letting go of any “dislike” he had for the host.
As we all know you have been one of my biggest critics. I had a certain dislike in my heart about you that I’ve let go of. There’s more to life than just football and my health as a person comes before football everyday of the week. I appreciate you saying this.
— Johnny Manziel (@JManziel2) February 13, 2018
This is yet another sign that Manziel is maturing. He seems to be in a much better place mentally as he continues to repair his public image and attempt a football comeback.
Paul Finebaum was not a big believer in the Miami Hurricanes in the week leading up to their game against Notre Dame, but he ate crow in a big way on Sunday.
It started with the ‘Canes themselves getting involved in a little bit of trolling over his criticisms.
— Respect (@CanesFootball) November 12, 2017
Finebaum’s first punishment after Miami’s 41-8 win Saturday night? He had to wear the Turnover Chain courtesy of Jonathan Vilma.
After all that crap Paul was talking last week, it was only right I made him wear the Turnover Chain…..yeah I did that
— Jon (@JonVilma51) November 12, 2017
He wasn’t done there, going on ESPN’s Sportscenter to loudly proclaim that The U is back — with the chain to prove it.
Guys. I am officially scared. HELP! Finebaum has gone wild pic.twitter.com/WIcZQn5w8l
— Billy Marshall (@BillyM_91) November 12, 2017
Coaches and teams do pay attention to what Finebaum has to say. Perhaps it was used as a motivating factor.
As Butch Jones’s position grows more and more tenuous with Tennessee, talk of potential replacements is beginning to heat up.
One popular name for any high-profile opening will be former Oregon coach Chip Kelly, who is currently serving as an ESPN analyst after his firing by the San Francisco 49ers. Jones is still employed, so it would be premature to say anything is close, but Kelly has at least talked about the Tennessee opening.
We know this because his ESPN colleague Paul Finebaum said so.
“It’s an awkward kabuki dance every Sunday morning about 7:15 when I bump into him, because I have the same response wherever I have previously been,” Finebaum told WJOX 94.5, via Michael Wayne Bratton of Saturday Down South. “I say ‘Chip, I was in Knoxville yesterday, saw a lot of signs with your name on it. Anything new?’ He says, ‘Haven’t gotten a call yet.’
“I mean, I’ve talked to him. I don’t want to speak for him because I don’t know him that well… I think he clearly wants to coach. He’s up there (at ESPN) studying college football, and I do believe he will be back very quickly.”
Kelly has, in the past, kept his focus on NFL jobs. That may change if a big college job comes available, and he’ll be linked to any that do.
H/T The Spun
Paul Finebaum showed on Friday that he has a pretty good sense of humor.
The ESPN personality changed his Twitter handle and the name of his TV/radio show from “The Paul Finebaum Show” to “The Pete Finebaum Show” as a nod to his beef with Jim Harbaugh.
This is hilarious — The Pete Finebaum Show pic.twitter.com/bU4i8R5PpG
— angelique (@chengelis) February 17, 2017
— Rachel Lenzi (@RLenziCMG) February 17, 2017
Finebaum, who is an SEC expert, has been critical of Harbaugh since the former 49ers coach’s arrival at Michigan. This week he accused Harbaugh of “cheating” by hiring the father of a top 2019 quarterback recruit to his Wolverines coaching staff.
In response, Harbaugh slammed Finebaum on Twitter, irreverently calling him “Pete.”
At least Finebaum has shown he can have a laugh about matters. Well played, Paul. Or should I say, Pete?
- Paul Finebaum
Paul Finebaum has been critical of Jim Harbaugh since the coach took over at Michigan, even going so far as to call some of his recruiting tactics “cheating.” On Thursday evening, Harbaugh responded.
The Wolverines head coach dropped the hammer on the ESPN SEC personality with this tweet, in which he (intentionally?) got Finebaum’s name wrong.
Pete Finebaum, the unabashed SEC water carrier, really needs to get his facts straight. #AlternativeFacts
— Coach Harbaugh (@CoachJim4UM) February 17, 2017
What had Harbaugh so heated against Finebaum, a longtime SEC talk show host?
On Wednesday, Finebaum questioned Harbaugh’s recruiting tactics during an appearance on ESPN’s “Outside the Lines.”
While Finebaum believes Harbaugh taking his team out of the country is “genius,” he calls Michigan hiring the father of a recruit for a coaching job”cheating.”
“This is wrong. It may not be illegal by NCAA standards and bylaws by this moment, but to me it’s cheating. It’s blatantly disregarding the spirit of the NCAA rules. We all know why he’s doing it,” Finebaum said on the show. “In my mind he’s cheating.”
Harbaugh has been one step of the NCAA every year since taking over at Michigan. First he organized satellite camps, forcing the NCAA to look into that. Then he took his team to Florida for spring practice, leading to a rule change. Now he’s going abroad and has many more of those trips planned. He is forcing the NCAA to close every loophole they have.
But hiring a recruit’s dad for a job in order to have a good shot at the recruit? It’s nothing new for coaches, but it does seem somewhat fishy.
Is that cheating or unethical? That’s up to everyone to decide. And maybe the NCAA will, too. But Harbaugh does have some good defenses to his hiring considering Mike Johnson does have a strong coaching background as a former 49ers offensive coordinator.
Nick Saban and ESPN’s Paul Finebaum got into a heated discussion during SEC Media Days on Wednesday that got even more animated when the two were off the air.
It all started when Saban was asked about two of his players, All-Pro offensive lineman Cam Robinson and defensive back Hootie Jones, being arrested back in May on drug and weapons charges. The charges ended up being dropped, and Saban implied that neither player will be suspended for the season opener against USC as long as they continue with their community service efforts.
Finebaum wasn’t satisfied with the conversation ending there, noting that people are going to be critical of Saban if he doesn’t suspend two players who were riding in a car with drugs and weapons. Saban began to lose his cool. Here’s a video:
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) July 13, 2016
“I don’t really care to answer the critics, because I’m gonna do what’s right for the players,” Saban told Finebaum. “If the players really did anything that wrong, they would have gotten charged with something. There were four people in the car. Why did the two football players get arrested and the other guys not get arrested? There’s no law about concealed weapons in Louisiana. Why did they search the car just because there was a gun on someone?
“There are reasons why there weren’t charges brought against these guys. Do we condone the behavior? No, but you’re innocent until proven guilty in this country regardless of whether you get convicted in the media or not, which is what you’re doing to these players.”
Saban said that was the “end of the conversation,” but he was still fuming when the cameras stopped rolling. AL.com captured some footage of Saban ripping into Finebaum off the air:
We have video of a HEATED exchange between Saban and Finebaum once they went to commercial break: https://t.co/AKUo7gUbQb
— John Talty (@JTalty) July 13, 2016
AL.com’s Michael Casagrande shared some details of what Saban said to Finebaum during the commercial break.
Within earshot of media, Saban launched into a four-letter tirade directed at Finebaum. In it, he used his fingers to note the small amount of marijuana found in the car and insinuated the arresting officers were disgruntled LSU fans.
Saban typically has very little patience with the media, and you can see a great example of that in this video. While Finebaum is a known agitator, he has a point in this situation. Even if there wasn’t enough to prosecute Robinson and Jones, that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t face more than a slap on the wrist for riding around with guns and drugs — no matter how small the amount.
No pressure, Jim McElwain. No pressure at all.
As if Florida paying a record amount to buy McElwain out of his current contract with Colorado State weren’t already enough, McElwain now is being hailed as the next Urban Meyer.
The praise came from none other than king of SEC media, Paul Finebaum:
In Jim McElwain, I think Jeremy Foley just hired the next Urban Meyer at Florida.
— Paul Finebaum (@finebaum) December 4, 2014
Finebaum also went on ESPN to talk about the move and said, “I think it’s a home run hire.”
Finebaum also credited McElwain for elevating the Alabama program.
McElwain had tremendous success as the Tide’s offensive coordinator, and he was doing phenomenal work with the Colorado State program, but calling someone the next Urban Meyer is as lofty as it gets. Outside of Nick Saban, who is a better college football coach than Urb? Those are the two guys, and Finebaum is putting McElwain in that class.
Like I said, no pressure, Jim.