SBD/Throwing A Changeup/Sports Media

Sharpe To Take Leave Of Absence From CBS Over Legal Matter

CBS Will Not Replace Sharpe (c) On Studio Show During Leave Of Absence

CBS NFL studio analyst Shannon Sharpe in a statement said he has "decided to step aside from the NFL Today" until a situation is resolved in which he was served last week "with a temporary restraining order by an Atlanta Court per a petition" by a woman named Michele Bundy, according to the blog SPORTS BY BROOKS. CBS Sports Senior VP/Communications LeslieAnne Wade said in a statement, "We accept Shannon's decision and decline to comment further on a pending legal matter." SPORTS BY BROOKS noted Bundy was "granted a temporary protective order against Sharpe after accusing the CBS commentator of forcing her to have sex with him, making multiple threats on her life and stalking her." Sharpe "performed his regular NFL studio host duties on CBS on Sunday and did not comment about the case" (SPORTSBYBROOKS.com, 9/14). CBS indicated that it will not fill Sharpe's role on "The NFL Today" while he is out, instead proceeding with a four-man studio crew of James Brown, Dan Marino, Bill Cowher and Boomer Esiason (THE DAILY).

BOGGED DOWN IN MINUTIA: FOXSPORTS.com's Brian Lowry wrote NBC NFL game analyst Cris Collinsworth is "fine with X's and O's," but the problem is that he "simply doesn't provide much color, in the sense that originally gave these jobs their name." Collinsworth "doesn't get in the way of the game, as some analysts do, and he can be economical, which is always welcome." But he "seems so preoccupied with recognizing such intricacies on every play he sometimes misses the bigger picture -- and doesn't seem terribly interested in pursuing meaty topics that deviate from picking up the next first down." Lowry wrote former NFL analyst John Madden's "gift was the ability to be colorful and shrewdly analytical" all at once (FOXSPORTS.com, 9/14).

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