Feds Drop Case Vs. Bonds; UAB Football Returns; And ESPN's Talent Troubles

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Not all of the interesting sports stories of the week are splashed across the headlines. That’s why we created “3 Stories You Should Know” — a discussion of the news you might have missed. This week, Only A Game guest host Shira Springer was joined by Toronto Star sports columnist Bruce Arthur and sports writer Erik Malinowski.

1. Investigators formally drop criminal case against Barry Bonds

This week, former San Francisco Giants slugger Barry Bonds learned that federal prosecutors will not continue to pursue their criminal case against him. Bonds was convicted of obstruction of justice in 2011 for his grand jury testimony in the BALCO performance enhancing drug scandal, but that conviction was overturned. Sports writer Erik Malinowski is glad to see the prosecution of Bonds come to an end:

EM: The saga of Barry Bonds, the convicted criminal, has formally come to a close. It's pretty easy to make the argument that this was a poor use of public funds. And I suppose frankly I would be surprised to see the government repeat this kind of investigation with such a fervor in the future.

2. After cutting program last year, UAB football will return

Earlier this week, the University of Alabama at Birmingham announced that it was reinstating its football program. The university cut football late last year, citing budgetary concerns. OAG guest host Shira Springer wishes the university would reconsider its change of plans:

SS: Now I understand this is Alabama and college football is sacred, but I am quite disappointed by the news that football is back at UAB. Not because I am against UAB football, but I really hoped that the university would be a trendsetter and start a serious conversation among smaller college football programs around the country about whether fielding football programs made sense.

3. As competition grows, ESPN loses Simmons, Olbermann and Cowherd

ESPN brings in 50 percent of Disney's cash flow, but in recent months the network has parted ways with Bill Simmons, who founded Grantland and the documentary series "30 for 30," commentator Keith Olbermann, and radio personality Colin Cowherd. ESPN says these are business decisions, but Toronto Star sports columnist Bruce Arthur is skeptical.

BA: Well, with two of these, this circles back to football, probably. If you believe that this isn't just about money, if you believe that this is also about creative control. ... ESPN is fanatical about controlling its talent to a degree. There's lots of churches there, but you can't have too many heretics. Bill Simmons — what was his most controversial thing that he did? He was suspended for calling Roger Goodell, the commissioner of the NFL, a liar. Keith Olbermann has been merciless in his criticism of the NFL.

Previous Editions Of “3 Stories You Should Know” On OAG:

This segment aired on July 25, 2015.


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