People & Personalities: ESPN's Rece Davis Wants Part Of College Football Playoff
ESPN's Rece Davis said that he "wants to be heavily involved in ESPN's coverage of the 2014 BCS playoffs." SI.com's Richard Deitsch noted Davis "knows he is unlikely to get a game-calling assignment but wants as big a studio role as possible." Davis said, "Look, I have a friend -- and one of the best guys in the business with Chris (Fowler) -- who is going to have a huge role and I completely understand that. But with our level of coverage there is going to be a lot to do. I certainly don't want it to be perceived that I am trying to elbow anybody out of the way. I understand what Chris has accomplished and the level of his expertise. But I want to have as much a part of this as I can" (SI.com, 7/7).
BIG SHOES TO FILL: In Orlando, Brian Schmitz noted broadcaster Jeff Turner has "replaced Matt Guokas" as the Magic's TV analyst, signing a four-year deal. Turner had "made some pinch-hitting appearances for Guokas" but now is "faced with the fulltime task of replacing him." Turner said, "Sometimes now I feel like ... you're like Ray Perkins following Bear Bryant or Gene Bartow following John Wooden. Matt was so good; you're expected to do a good job. Those are big shoes for me to fill" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 7/6).
GETTING HIS FEET WET: In Tampa, Tom Jones noted former NFLer Ronde Barber will join the Fox broadcast booth this season, and will "get a little practice" this preseason as he will join play-by-play announcer Chris Myers for three games carried locally by WFLA-NBC. Barber replaces former NFLer John Lynch. Jones wrote Myers "isn't a bad veteran for Barber to work with to get his feet wet." Barber for the regular season will "be teamed with veteran Fox announcer Dick Stockton." Lynch is "expected to be paired with Kevin Burkhardt" (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 7/6).
SIGNING OFF: In S.F., Tom FitzGerald noted broadcaster Dave Flemming has "dropped his Stanford football radio play-by-play job from his busy broadcasting schedule, saying he no longer could make a full-time commitment." Flemming also "handles play-by-play" for the MLB Giants, Pac-12 Network football and college basketball for ESPN. In the past year, he "also worked NBA games for ESPN" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 7/5).
SEARCH PARTY: Georgia Tech AD Mike Bobinski said that "more than 100 people had applied" to replace former football and basketball play-by-play announcer Wes Durham, who recently left to pursue a TV opportunity. In Atlanta, Ken Sugiura reported IMG College has "begun the preliminary screening work" for a replacement. IMG will "choose a pool of finalists who will be brought in for interviews." GT will have the "final say," with Bobinski noting a decision could be made "in the next few weeks" (ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, 7/6).