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ESPN Reduces On-Air Talent For NFL Draft, Scales Down Post-Pick Interviews
Published April 13, 2011
LISTEN ALL OF Y'ALL, THIS ISN'T SABOTAGE: NFL Senior VP/PR Greg Aiello yesterday denied a CBSSports.com report "alleging that league employees are attempting to sabotage” the NFLPA’s planned event in N.Y. around the Draft. The report alleged that NFL team officials are telling agents to “stay away from the NFLPA event.” Aiello noted that the report “likely is referring to Gil Brandt, who has assisted the NFL since 1995 in inviting the top prospects” to the draft. Aiello spoke to Brandt and is confident Brandt “never told any of the players they would not be allowed to attend the draft,” as the report claims (NFL.com, 4/12). ESPN's Tony Kornheiser said, "I thought it was really wrong for the NFLPA to say that players coming into the league should boycott the draft. This is equally wrong if it's true. It's small, it's petty. The NFL should disassociate itself immediately from all of this because you're taking it out on players. ... Both sides are acting in a petty manner." ESPN's Michael Wilbon: "Stop using these guys as pawns." Kornheiser said of the lockout in general, "Settle this stupid thing already! Both sides are making money!" ("PTI," ESPN, 4/12).