Bacon on WTKA

Submitted by Section 1 on August 23rd, 2013 at 9:22 AM

He's standing by his soon to be published book, which featured comments about Silas Redd's travels to USC.

"No retraction," John said.  He has checked his notes, reflective of interviews with Penn State players.  He had multiple sources.  The sources all volunteered the information.  He was not making a goal of investigating USC.

He invited a lawsuit if any of the parties felt defamed.

A podcast should be available later today.  I'll post a link when one becomes available.

You can preorder the book by going through his website to the Amazon portal: 

Edit:  podcast link HERE.


Blue Durham

August 23rd, 2013 at 4:46 PM ^

I've been agreeing with you.

Just like with the Purdue game you referred to elsewhere, if Bacon looked at the DVR of that game and the PSU game, he would know that his account doesn't line up with events as they played out.  I suspect that he did not do this.

Was Bacon actually at the PSU game and in the locker room at half time, or was his account derived from later interviews of players, coaches, etc, and collated 2 or 3 years later?  I do not recall from the book, but I think the latter.

I doubt that this has been fabrication as some have asserted, but rather poor vetting and sourcing, some of which may have occurred more than a year after the games. 

Which I also think is the case of the Penn State/Redd/Snoop Dogg/USC stuff.  Why would anyone take the word of a couple of players reporting on events (regarding an ex-teamate who abandoned them) that took place 4,000 miles away?



August 23rd, 2013 at 4:58 PM ^

Yes. And act as if the warrantless statement of jilted team-mates need no corroboration, then looking moon-eyed at people questioning this and going "why would they lie?".

I think he's utterly disingenuous. He is either an outright liar, or, as you suggest, mindlessly passing along 2nd-hand testimony without bothering to verify it.

Blue Durham

August 23rd, 2013 at 7:59 PM ^

I haven't followed the discrepancies of the book Three and Out as closely as you have, and certainly some of the errors can be attributed to poor fact-checking (in the case of scores), trying to resolve differing accounts into one readable one, etc.

Regarding the Penn State half time situation discussed above, I highly doubt he witnessed this first hand, so he very well may be just reporting RR's or some other coach's version without checking to see if it is consistent with the game tape.

But this Penn State/Redd/USC/Snoop Dogg thing raised a red flag for me when it was reported and became a much bigger thing when he said that he had no reason to doubt the players truthfulness. Regardless of how truthful these players are, they could not have first-hand knowledge of the events in LA.

In short, when Bacon said today on radio that he had no reason to doubt the players, he displayed all the concern for the veracity of the facts of a Hollywood gossip columnist.

And that is quite an interesting approach for an author promoting a book with the subtitle "The Fight for the Soul of College Football."


August 23rd, 2013 at 4:25 PM ^

How did he "get it wrong"?

He says Threet cried in his locker because he got benched. Threet demonstrably never got benched.

How does he get that wrong? Did he confuse games?

If he did confuse games, is that supposed to bolster my confidence in his reporting?

You're acting like people who claim climate change isn't true despite the mountain of evidence staring them in the goddam face.


August 23rd, 2013 at 3:31 PM ^

"Got things wrong" is more accurate.

Man, if you really want to sludge through all that again here's a start-

And that was just one search. Last season's MGoBlog edition of HTTV is another good one. But while I'd do a quick search, I don't know that I'd recommend going back and reading all that.



August 23rd, 2013 at 10:16 AM ^

JUB of course knows the legal standard for defamation, so his declaration for people to "bring it on" is the equivalent of Boubacar Cissoko waving the incomplete sign after Golden Tate lit him up all day in 2009. The fact remains that Bacon's explanation for not even contacting USC, Redd or his family to examine the quote is one of the crappiest explanations for non-journalism I've ever read. It's very hard to take him seriously after reading that, and it definitely sheds light on the blatant homerism for one side in his 3 and Out book. It's very likely he just didn't bother trying to interview the people who he criticized in that book either.


August 23rd, 2013 at 2:56 PM ^

"he obviously felt that by people not responding was an indicator that the research he gathered thru interviews has a better chance than not of being true"

If this is was Bacon's approach, it is deplorable. It is, my friend, is why you should keep in mind that you are reading a subjective, biased reporting of events, not an objective, peer-reviewed accounting. 


August 23rd, 2013 at 11:48 AM ^

That last sentence is ironic given that you're the one accusing HIM of malfeasance — Bacon takes questions anywhere and everywhere about his work and his methods, and you're an anonymous guy on the internet who's declaring that it's "very likely" he didn't do something you have no idea if he did or not.

Or do you want to put your real name and e-mail address on that accusation, like Bacon puts his name and reputation on the things he writes?

Also — and this is a pet peeve as a fellow writer — it wasn't _Bacon_ that "criticized" Lloyd. It was the people who were involved in the situation who told Bacon what happened from their point of view. Just as there were people who told him about RR's botched handling of Lloyd's assistants, and the many other dumb things RR is shown doing in the book.


August 23rd, 2013 at 10:40 AM ^

Here's the John U. Bacon segment, as it is pertinent to the thread - HERE

Bacon does come out swinging, it seems, on this one, immediately referencing his notes and how they contain supporting information for his stance in a couple interviews. He claims that the USC stuff came into light unprompted (i.e., he didn't ask about "Snoop") in those interviews. 

Section 1

August 23rd, 2013 at 10:52 AM ^

I was editing it into the OP just as you were posting.  For those who may be inclined to listen to the podcast, LSA2000 is right; they wasted no time getting into USC.  You won't have to listen to a 50-minute podcast.

And by the way, listeners will note that John is coordinating a couple of big appearances with the release of his book.  New York, Chicago, etc.  Where he will no doubt field tough questions.  Just as he did with the tour(s) surrounding Three and Out

Fielding tough questions; what a concept.  Something that a number of Bacon's critics and subjects never seem to do.


August 23rd, 2013 at 3:07 PM ^

"Fielding tough questions; what a concept.  Something that a number of Bacon's critics and subjects never seem to do."

You just dont get it. Perhaps you are blinded by your own fealty, or you are just drunk, but anybody can field tough questions about a monograph. For the most part, because it is a non-peer reviewed monograph, we have to take his word about his methods, the extent of commonalities across interviews, how data from interviews fit together, how events fit together, and so on. Being able to give his impressions and his take on such things does not mean that his telling of events is not biased to an uncomfortable degree for many of us. 


August 23rd, 2013 at 10:43 AM ^

You guys are talking like the guy is on the stand, under oath or something. He's a writer, a psuedo-journalist, whatever that means these days. He interviews people, they tell him things, he maybe follows up on things and if he gets independent corroboration he writes them in his book. None of what he does constitutes an investigation, or would be admissible in a lawsuit. On the other hand, he's covered himself enough to show he didn't just pull stuff from thin air so no one's going to be able to come after him for defamation or slander or whatever..... pretty much the same thing with thousands of articles and reports that get written every day. I'm not sure why Bacon gets the microscope treatment just because he wrote some behind the scenes stuff about our program in his previous book, as if whether the new accusations are true or not would validate/invalidate his previous work or something.


August 23rd, 2013 at 11:36 AM ^

that when the AD was trying to persuade the team to play in the TicketCity Bowl in 2011, he told the captains that they could use the money to pay off the $60 million sanctions - sanctions that wouldn't be mentioned, much less imposed, until July 2012?  Because that's how the latest excerpt has it playing out.


August 23rd, 2013 at 11:48 AM ^

I think Bacon's assertion in that podcast that Henson started over Brady is way worse of an offense than quoting those PSU players about Redd. It might be time to stop considering him some sort of definitive historian of UM sports.


August 23rd, 2013 at 2:11 PM ^

Is this the same radio appearance in which he claims Henson started over Brady in 1999, explaining why it's hard to get Brady back to campus today?

You know, which is 100% bullshit?