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Chargers' Cromartie singled out in ESPN report on Florida State

ESPN’s Outside the Lines did a lengthy investigation into the role of academics in Florida State’s football program, and the report that ran on ESPN Sunday morning singled out one former Seminole, Antonio Cromartie, as a player who particularly struggled academically when he was on campus.

The Outside the Lines report quoted a former teammate and classmate of Cromartie’s as saying that Cromartie’s reading level was so low that he could only read a word or two every minute.

Cromartie, currently a San Diego Chargers cornerback, declined to be interviewed for the piece, and ESPN reported that Cromartie’s agent, Gary Wichard, also wouldn’t give an interview but did acknowledge that Cromartie has language deficiencies.

Although the tone of the ESPN report seemed to suggest that the Florida State investigation had uncovered something scandalous, the same facts could have just as easily been turned into a profile praising Cromartie for overcoming his learning disabilities and becoming a success in his chosen profession.

Perhaps if Cromartie had granted ESPN an interview, that’s what it would have been.

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45 Responses to “Chargers' Cromartie singled out in ESPN report on Florida State”
  1. Igottz5onit says: Dec 13, 2009 9:47 AM

    Yeah ESPN’s obvious biases are so evident in so many of their reports. They are the Fox news of sports.

  2. FireJerryJones says: Dec 13, 2009 9:49 AM

    Uhh… we are talikng about ESPN. Right?

  3. chapnasty says: Dec 13, 2009 9:53 AM

    @ igottz5onit
    You mean they are more like MSNBC? I mean anyone who actually watches the news on Fox understands its the most balanced, those who just watch their opinion commentators on the other hand would think it was biased. The again there are people like you who are probably a puppet and just say its biased to agree with the left. Moron.
    Is this really suprising though? I mean colleges dont care how smart someone is as long as they can make the program money. Hopefully if this is true they worked with him and helped him overcome his learning issues.

  4. east96street says: Dec 13, 2009 9:57 AM

    Wow, MDS! A football factory University MIGHT have given a pro athlete a degree he didn’t fully earn? Now that’s a breaking story! What next? Several hard hitting posts dedicated to an in depth investigation of how NFL players “abuse” oxygen on the sidelines by breathing heavily in and out into the oxygen mask? Game day, and this is the best you can do?

  5. getagrip says: Dec 13, 2009 9:57 AM

    And this is surprising, why? Anyone who pays attention knows that half of the football players at most universities are functionally illiterate. They get special sections for all of their classes (that meet once every other week), and then probably don’t even show up for them.
    No one gets too upset because it’s the money football brings in that pays for the new hard science & engineering buildings.

  6. Bird Man says: Dec 13, 2009 9:59 AM

    Yea he should’ve granted an interview. “Hey we’re doing a piece about how some college football players (specifically, you) can barely read. Why don’t you come on the show and we’ll chat.”

  7. Runnin' outta fingers says: Dec 13, 2009 10:00 AM

    A man with a pen is always biased, no matter how he writes the story

  8. stiller43 says: Dec 13, 2009 10:03 AM

    So…he had trouble reading the brand name of the champagne, so after 45 seconds of frustration, he just threw it?

  9. milehiclown says: Dec 13, 2009 10:04 AM

    This, “the same facts could have just as easily been turned into a profile praising Cromartie for overcoming his learning disabilities”, could only be true if the dude CAN READ.
    A learning disability is one thing. A life of chosen ignorance–anybody who WANTS to learn can–is something else.
    I mean, look at matriculation rates for pro players. They are, to be kind, atrocious. College sports has absolutely NOTHING to do with learning. It is the farm system for the NBA and NFL.
    It is also worth asking: how did he get accepted to college if he couldn’t read?

  10. Jimbo says: Dec 13, 2009 10:04 AM

    I didn’t know he was ever on campus nor could he read. Of course, that was Florida State when they were good. Would have loved to have taken a photo of his expression when he was given his “pro” playbook. Would have come in a close second to D. Manley “reading” his upside-down………….

  11. bearsrule says: Dec 13, 2009 10:06 AM

    chapnasty says: December 13, 2009 9:53 AM
    @ igottz5onit
    You mean they are more like MSNBC? I mean anyone who actually watches the news on Fox understands its the most balanced, those who just watch their opinion commentators on the other hand would think it was biased. The again there are people like you who are probably a puppet and just say its biased to agree with the left. Moron.
    You’re the best spokesman the Right has. Keep it up and don’t ever change. Moron.

  12. TheWizard says: Dec 13, 2009 10:10 AM

    The league has many semi-literate stooges.
    No need to single one person out.

  13. Favre On HGH says: Dec 13, 2009 10:11 AM

    Not often will you find a Heisman finalist like Gerhart: a two-sport athlete and such a devoted student that he’s carrying 21 credit hours — majoring in management, science and engineering — and still finding the time to lead the nation in rushing yards (1,736).

  14. SoCalDave says: Dec 13, 2009 10:16 AM

    Two words a minute is well below the fluency rate for a 1st grader

  15. Patsfan1776 says: Dec 13, 2009 10:16 AM

    Bird Man is correct.
    ESPN:
    We’re doing an interview on how you and the university cheated you through the system because you can’t read. And during the interview, we are going to hand you a nursery rhyme and ask you to read it.
    Gee, I don’t know why someone wouldn’t want to do that interview.

  16. Favre On HGH says: Dec 13, 2009 10:18 AM

    Although the tone of the ESPN report seemed to suggest that the Florida State investigation had uncovered something scandalous, the same facts could have just as easily been turned into a profile praising Cromartie for overcoming his learning disabilities and becoming a success in his chosen profession.
    —————————————
    I detected a slight hint of sarcasm here. Most of the people who have language deficiencies also have speaking deficiencies. Cough * ebonics* cough.
    He is fairly well spoken though. Video interview below.
    Aside from a reading deficiency like dyslexia that might be holding him back there is no reason for him not to. He was born in the US so it is not like he had to move here and learn a new language.
    http://www.nfl.com/players/antoniocromartie/profile?id=CRO161100
    Born: 4/15/1984 Tallahassee , FL

  17. Igottz5onit says: Dec 13, 2009 10:25 AM

    haha Chapnasty, another brilliant post by you. And they are always of such great quality and intelligence. I am actually neither a liberal or a conservative, I am just not stupid enough to overlook the facts of Fox’s (under the heavy hand of Rupert Murdock’s rule) obvious agenda when blurring the lines between conservative commentary and legitimate news. Obviously MSNBC is garbage was well and CNN has been leaning to the left for some time as well. Anyone with half a brain knows that you really have to dig past the bias and do your own research to find the truth of any news story, which I believe is a main reason for the growing popularity for blogs as news resources. That being said, any neutral observer can see that Fox uses the slogan Fair and Balanced so often to make up for its actual lack of any objective journalism. They use every dirty trick in the book, including but not limited to; pitting multiple big name conservatives against no name left weaklings, actually turning off the microphones of liberal commentators when they are veering off the conservative message, and even using graphics suggesting outright lies denigrating the liberal agenda. But you have always come off as a moron on here so I am not surprised by your post.

  18. pudgalvin says: Dec 13, 2009 10:27 AM

    @birdman: HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Good stuff.
    I don’t really understand how these guys get to where they are without being able to read. I know they’re football players and not engineers, but still, how do you go through 3 or 4 years of college without being able to read? If you really think about it, it shows just how much these schools are doing to keep these guys on the football team.
    Of course, you could also just listen to Devin Hester speak, and that would also give you a pretty good idea. (Sorry Devin, still love ya, but that’s not english you’re speaking.)

  19. mike s says: Dec 13, 2009 10:40 AM

    re: getagrip
    A report recently came out saying that of the 120-odd Football Bowl Series schools, less than 30 of their athletic departments actually make money on football and basketball.
    Also, I am quite sure that there are many less successful Division 1-A football programs that do not have any functionally illiterate players.
    I say, pile onto Florida State. They cheated, they got caught, hang them high.

  20. deymond says: Dec 13, 2009 10:42 AM

    MDS, you throw out the term “learning disabilities” but nothing is mentioned in your article (I didn’t see the ESPN report) about learning disabilities. I hope you aren’t conflating learning disabilities with “lazy and stupid” because those are two very different things.

  21. wallyworld says: Dec 13, 2009 10:43 AM

    ESPN just reported that Tom Cable taught Cromartie “Hooked on Phonics.”

  22. chunky soupy sales says: Dec 13, 2009 10:46 AM

    Let me think about this… I know people with degrees who work in the fast food business and here’s a guy who can’t read making millions.
    I think Cromartie wins this fight.

  23. Sonny Mooks says: Dec 13, 2009 10:47 AM

    Mario Manningham, cough, cough….

  24. Captain says: Dec 13, 2009 10:48 AM

    Who is to blame more? The colleges that accept these guys as students or the high schools that graduated them in the first place?
    Why should academics be tied to those who want to play football at this age? There is no alternative system for them to pursue. Baseball and basketball doesn’t mandate it.
    The fact that they play for free (minus the scholarships) is akin to slavery and the slavemasters are the schools and head coaches raking in millions.
    The system is a joke.

  25. DC_Bengals_Fan says: Dec 13, 2009 10:52 AM

    “the same facts could have just as easily been turned into a profile praising Cromartie for overcoming his learning disabilities and becoming a success in his chosen profession.”
    Except for the fact that it might be hard to stay eligible in college if you’re completely illiterate. Which leaves open the question of who was doing his classwork.

  26. Unnamed Source says: Dec 13, 2009 10:55 AM

    no wonder he threw that champagne bottle…he couldn’t read it

  27. penguininbondage says: Dec 13, 2009 10:56 AM

    Dexter Manley, nuff said

  28. PolegoJim says: Dec 13, 2009 11:15 AM

    Mooks – Not a sharp knife for sure, but not why NYG signed him. He’s explosive w/ football smarts.

  29. Scoop says: Dec 13, 2009 11:16 AM

    Ahh, the media circling the wagons. Of course its really Cromartie’s fault for not participating in his public embarrassment. ESPN is just trying to serve the public, and if a dude gets humiliated in the process, thats just part of a larger noble cause. Who cares if ESPN’s only cause is to enflame its shallow audience in pursuit of the almighty dollar?
    In the immortal words of Dan Reeves: You gaaahs are unbelievable…

  30. SaintsBucsPanthersSUKK says: Dec 13, 2009 11:16 AM

    It’s more disturbing that A. Cromartie uncontrollably inseminates those hooch boxes with his love gun all over the U.S.A., paternity suits abound with that guy. His Seminole needs to be neutered.

  31. brwnhtr says: Dec 13, 2009 11:24 AM

    give me a break. espn doing an investigative report? like they didn’t already know what the FSU “student athlete” communication skill level was. when you have to pick the most literate starting defensive player to do all of the line up introductions because the other ten can’t even pronounce their own names, or when your not allowed to do post game news conferences with the statistical game leader because they can’t put together a sentence, or erin andrews isn’t allowed to interview anyone but Bowden on the field, they knew all along what they were dealing with. Now that Bobby B is gone, it’s open season. Investigate this, ..!..

  32. Bob Nelson says: Dec 13, 2009 11:24 AM

    So hand him some printed material and see if he can pass his literacy test in order to vote.

  33. Tim says: Dec 13, 2009 11:29 AM

    2 words a minute is so exaggerated it’s not even believable. Kindergartners read better than that. Now if it was three words, now we have a story.

  34. Ray Guy says: Dec 13, 2009 11:32 AM

    “Fox uses the slogan Fair and Balanced so often to make up for its actual lack of any objective journalism. They use every dirty trick in the book, including but not limited to; pitting multiple big name conservatives against no name left weaklings, actually turning off the microphones of liberal commentators when they are veering off the conservative message, and even using graphics suggesting outright lies denigrating the liberal agenda.”
    ____________________________________
    Well, they learned from the best at it:
    ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC, CNN, only the agenda is reversed.
    So how did Cromartie pass the entrance exam into college? Oh wait, he must have gotten “special treatment”.

  35. East Bay Ray says: Dec 13, 2009 11:39 AM

    I don’t see how this is at all surprising or a scandal. Cromartie and lots of other uneducated athletes aren’t uneducated because they are athletes. They’re uneducated because they are just unwilling or unable to learn. FSU is to applauded for giving Cromartie the job training that allowed him to become a millionaire athlete. His education or lack thereof is his responsibility.
    Look at it this way. Without football, what would Cromartie be? At best a burger flipper or ditch digger, at worst a criminal. At least he’s a contributing member of society now, and FSU helped him to become that.

  36. netdawg says: Dec 13, 2009 11:43 AM

    “…becoming a success at his position” Like reading X’s and O’s is a major accomplishment! Unless he’s going to be selling tic-tac-toe sets when he retires in his 30s I’d say that retard has a lot in front of him.
    Then lets take into consideration the fact he can’t seem to keep his johnson in control and we have the potential for the “DUH” army all over the country.

  37. Zaggs says: Dec 13, 2009 11:47 AM

    “Perhaps if Cromartie had granted ESPN an interview, that’s what it would have been.”
    Maybe Cromartie knew that ESPN was only doing the report to tear down FSU. I’m sure if Antonio had agreed to do the interview it would have been questions like “how many times did you cheat?”, “How did Bobby bowden help you cheat?”.

  38. Bigbluefan says: Dec 13, 2009 11:54 AM

    Cromartie is dumb he can not spell ESPN

  39. justmyopinion says: Dec 13, 2009 11:57 AM

    Probably one of the most biased piece of journalism you will ever see on TV. ESPN should be ashamed they stooped to this level. Fred Rouse, the player who claims that Cromartie could not read, was kicked oout of the university for stealing from a fellow teammate and getting caught with marijuana. He is an immature, bitter young man and nothing he says holds any merit with me.

  40. IWanttoPunchFloriointheFace says: Dec 13, 2009 11:58 AM

    Yeah, this is real shocking – like anybody that actully has a brain doesn’t know that half the reggins ‘graduating’ from college aren’t dumb as a box of rocks and the ‘universities’ didn’t make it that way…

  41. natelan says: Dec 13, 2009 12:02 PM

    # chapnasty says: December 13, 2009 9:53 AM
    @ igottz5onit
    You mean they are more like MSNBC? I mean anyone who actually watches the news on Fox understands its the most balanced, those who just watch their opinion commentators on the other hand would think it was biased. The again there are people like you who are probably a puppet and just say its biased to agree with the left. Moron.
    —————————————–
    Hey chapnasty,
    I’m calling you out on this one. You may be really swell at altering the perceptions of YOUR OWN REALITY, but for those of us living in the “REAL WORLD,” we all uniformly agree that “Fox News” is synonymous with “Fake News,” AKA “Faux News,” AKA “Bullsh*t.”
    MSNBC and CNN aren’t vast improvements by any means. In fact, any American who truly believes that they have been intellectually enriched by watching any of these channels, should be first in line to buy the new “Do it Yourself Lobotomy” kits this Christmas, because you are a sheepish idiot.
    I implore you, keep your idiotic murmurings to yourself… Our world has already strayed so far from reality, that your stupidity could really send it over the edge.
    My many thanks.
    And Go Chargers!!!

  42. Bubba Maximus says: Dec 13, 2009 12:07 PM

    Absolutely amazing.
    “Outside the Lines” – which is the only consistently decent product that comes off the ESPN assembly line – reports that a professional athlete attended a major university for several years despite the fact that he appears to be functionally illiterate … and the jock-sniffing losers who populate this message board respond by criticizing ESPN.
    Or, even worse, these same jock-sniffing losers augment their responses by adding, “Who cares?”
    The fact that so many of these jock-sniffing losers live their lives vicariously through ignorant athletes would be hilarious if it wasn’t so pathetic.
    Seriously, you clowns need to lay down the bong, put up the joystick, get out of your mom’s basement, and TRY to think like mature adults.
    In the meantime, please have yourselves spayed and/or neutered so that you do not contaminate the planet with the fruits of your dumb-ass loins.
    Thank you all, and may God bless America!

  43. EskinSux says: Dec 13, 2009 12:44 PM

    One or two words a minute? Seriously? How is that even considered reading? I know FSU is known as Free Shoes University, but one or two words a minute? Did he sign his letter of intent to go to college by marking it with an X?

  44. natelan says: Dec 13, 2009 12:52 PM

    # Ray Guy says: December 13, 2009 11:32 AM
    “Fox uses the slogan Fair and Balanced so often to make up for its actual lack of any objective journalism. They use every dirty trick in the book, including but not limited to; pitting multiple big name conservatives against no name left weaklings, actually turning off the microphones of liberal commentators when they are veering off the conservative message, and even using graphics suggesting outright lies denigrating the liberal agenda.”
    ____________________________________
    Well, they learned from the best at it:
    ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC, CNN, only the agenda is reversed.
    So how did Cromartie pass the entrance exam into college? Oh wait, he must have gotten “special treatment”.
    ————————————–
    You say ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC and CNN all have an “anti-conservative agenda?”
    When 5 multi-national news conglomerates all agree that conservatives and republicans are stupid, it ceases to be an “agenda,” and begins being “truth.”
    Think about it, you knob.

  45. kveitinger says: Dec 14, 2009 9:54 PM

    I am sorry to all of you who have been duped by ESPN’s poor reporting. I graduated from both Lincoln High School and FSU. I assure you Cromartie would not have been allowed to play football nor graduate from Lincoln if he were illiterate.

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