This thread is about to go to bed forever, but this story keeps getting legs and I want to know what you guys think of this. I heard Musburger say this during the game and I didn't think much of it. Pete Carroll isn't too concerned about it, apparently, but I guess the USC brass is angry.
Do you guys think this is a big deal or is this getting blown out of proportion?
USC complains about commentary by ABC's Musburger
September 19, 2006
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Southern California formally complained that ABC-TV's Brent Musburger revealed privileged information in play-by-play commentary during Saturday's game against Nebraska.
The university sent a letter to ESPN, which oversees sports programming on ABC, saying Musburger, with less than 10 minutes to play and the Trojans leading 21-10, began describing how USC quarterback John David Booty lets receivers know he has spotted a certain kind of coverage.
"John David told us that his signal when he finds one-on-one and they're coming, it's that 'hang loose,' that familiar sign you've seen surfers use," said Musburger, referring to the sign where the thumb and little finger are raised.
USC sports information director Tim Tessalone sent a formal complaint to ESPN/ABC game producer Bill Bonnell on Monday and sent a copy to the Pacific-10 conference office.
"We're supposed to be partners in this, but this is certainly going to make us think twice about trying to help them have as good a broadcast as possible," Tessalone said. "What he did was unconscionable."
Last Friday, announcers and producers met with coaches and star players as part of their game preparation. During the meeting, there was discussion about how a replay of the Ohio State-Texas broadcast showed Buckeyes quarterback Troy Smith tapping the top of his helmet to let receiver Ted Ginn Jr. know he's noticed one-on-one coverage.
Booty was asked if Southern California had a similar signal, and Booty told Musburger about his "hang loose" signal.
"We are very mindful of what we learn in pre-game meetings in terms in what is appropriate for broadcast and what is for our background. We're sorry this led to an unfortunate misunderstanding, which was never our intention," ESPN said in a statement released by spokesman Josh Krulewitz.
Musburger said in a statement late Monday that the network regretted the confusion.
Asked about Musburger's on-air revelations, USC coach Pete Carroll said with a laugh, "Just wondering what they're going to tell us next. I'm not worried about it. There's a million signals, a million ways to do it."
Is Carroll just making good on this situation or is he truly not concerned? I can't imagine they'd use the same signal in two different games.
I just don't see what the big deal about this is. It's not like Nebraska exploited this info anyway.