It might have been better for everyone if this would have happened a long time ago, but Deion Sanders says he’s cut ties with Dez Bryant.
Sanders’ relationship with the former Oklahoma State receiver led to the premature end of Bryant’s collegiate career. The NCAA suspended Bryant in September 2009 for the rest of that season for lying about having lunch with Sanders. On Friday, Sanders said on the Ben & Skin Show on ESPN 103.3 FM in Dallas that it bothered him that he took blame for Bryant’s lie.
But Sanders, a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame class of 2011 and current NFL Network analyst, aimed his harshest comments at Bryant’s recent conduct. The Dallas Cowboys wide receiver was issued a trespass warning last week at a Dallas mall after an off-duty police officer requested that Bryant and his friends pull up their pants because their underwear was showing. According to a police report, Bryant responded with repeated profanity.
Sanders’ reaction: “I’m upset but not surprised whatsoever.”
Here’s what else Deion had to say about Dez:
On the connection between the mall incident and Bryant’s difficult upbringing: “He needs help. He needs help. I told the Cowboys from Day One that he needs help. Matter of fact, they have a team in place to help him. But you cannot tell a grown man what to do.”
On taking blame for Bryant’s lie that prompted his NCAA suspension: “I don’t have a problem with you lying to me. That’s one thing. But when you lie to yourself as a man, you have a serious problem and that’s where this kid is. And I can’t condone it.”
On his decision last summer to sever his relationship with Bryant: “I haven’t spoken to the kid. I have no desire to speak to the kid. In regards to me, I can forgive, but I can’t forget. You can’t tarnish the other things that I have going on and the other kids. It’s sort of like I can’t allow something to poison the fruit of many other kids. I can’t do it, so I cut off those ties a long time ago.”
I’m not condoning Bryant’s recent behavior, but these comments, first reported by ESPN Dallas, clarify Deion’s motivation for his relationship with Dez. He was more interested in what Dez could do for him than what he could do for Dez.
If you’d like to listen, the podcast version of Deion’s segment should be posted here today.
Assistant sports editor Ryan Sharp found this jewel today on the WWW:
Apparently the ties between Wes Welker and Rex Ryan go beyond the state of Oklahoma and a few remarks about feet in a press conference.
In a blog posted on ESPN.com on Tuesday, Ryan said he and Welker regularly trade text messages, the contents of which are apparently much nastier than Welker’s jabs at Ryan for the foot-fetish videos that came out last season, purportedly starring Ryan’s wife.
“We text back and forth and rip each other back and forth before we ever play,” Ryan told ESPN.com. “That’s what we do. Trust me, we’ve said a lot worse to each other than what was reported. But I think he just went public with those comments, and that’s probably what upset (New England coach Bill) Belichick.”
Belichick benched Welker for the Patriots’ first offensive series for making 11 foot-related comments during a pregame press conference.
Mars Blake-Man (aka Blake Griffin) pays homage to Mars Blackmon (aka Spike Lee) in this video promoting USC tight end Jordan Cameron. Acting lessons can wait for the off-season, but even if there’s a long NBA lockout I’m not sure Denzel has anything to fear. Still, it sure seems like the kid from Oklahoma Christian School is enjoying himself in Hollywood.
Losing the recruiting battle for former Oklahoma running back Adrian Peterson in 2003 prompted Oregon to make a bigger investment in Texas recruiting. That investment, which reportedly includes a $25,000 payment to a Houston-based recruiting service, has triggered an NCAA probe.
Yahoo Sports! and ESPN reported that Oregon paid $25,000 to Complete Scouting Services, a company owned by Willie Lyles, who mentored blue-chip running back Lache Seastrunk. The payment reportedly came shortly after Seastrunk signed with Oregon.
A former Oregon recruiting coordinator told The Oregonian’s Aaron Fentress that such services are vital for Oregon to compete nationally for recruits, and that the program’s decision to invest in them to Ducks’ 2003 recruitment of Peterson. Read Fentress’ story here.
Deryk Gilmore said the Ducks began purchasing the packages shortly after Palestine (Texas) High School officials refused to provide Oregon with game video of Peterson. Gilmore said Oregon was told Peterson was not leaving the state.
“Of course we all know he wound up at Oklahoma,” Gilmore told The Oregonian.
Seven years later, Oregon signed three running backs out of Texas, including Seastrunk, who like Peterson was a five-star recruit. And current Oregon running back LaMichael James, who finished third in the Heisman Trophy voting, is from Texarkana and reportedly has a relationship with Lyles.
Was Nenad Krstic being frozen out in Oklahoma City?
I’m not sure Krstic would put it quite that way, but his comments in this column by the Boston Globe’s Bob Ryan cast the impression he wouldn’t have minded seeing the ball a little more.
Writes Ryan, “The 27-year-old Serb is still a bit bedazzled by the events of the past few days. He wasn’t having the greatest year of his life in Oklahoma City. More and more the Thunder had become the ‘Kevin [Durant] & Russell [Westbrook] Show.’ ”
A few other tidbits from the column:
– Krstic on the trade that sent he and Jeff Green to Boston for Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson: “I didn’t expect anything to happen. I spoke to my agent and he said, `Nothing’s happening.’ I found out from my agent about a half-hour before the trading deadline. He said, `You’re going to be very happy.’ When I sat down to think about it, I’m really happy to be playing for the best team in the Eastern Conference.”
– Krstic on his new teammates: “These guys are so unselfish. I am still adjusting to their style. I have gotten so many easy looks already. It’s great, you couldn’t ask for better teammates.”
– Celtics coach Doc Rivers on the new Celtics: “Both Krstic and Green have already commented on the passing. When you’re open here, you get the ball.”