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Commentary: Who is Douglas Berman and Why Is He Calling ESPN An Evil Empire?

Thursday, December 13, 2007 , Posted by Christopher Byrne at 8:51 PM, under , , , ,

Athens, GA (Dec 13, 2007) - According to an article in the New York Times, he is quoted as saying he described ESPN’s “attempt to undercut” the US Army sponsored All American Bowl an “effort to undermine our Army.' So just who is Douglas Berman, and why is he so upset with ESPN, upset enough to equate ESPN to something just short of being an evil empire?

The former campaign chairman of Senator Bill Bradley's failed 2000 presidential run is from an organization called Sports Link, Inc, which runs the All American Bowl for the Army. The cold, hard truth about this man is that he probably does not care that ESPN is trying to "undermine our Army." The bottom line is that he does not want to face competition, especially from ESPN. The sad truth is that both groups are attempting to exploit the dreams of high-school players for their sake of their own wallets.

Douglas Berman Chairman of Sports Link, Inc. (second from left) discusses the 2007 All American Bowl with San Antonio City Councilman Chip Hass (far right), Lt. Gen. Robert L. Van Antwerp, commander, U.S. Army Accessions Command, and Frank Burney, Chairman of the All American Bowl Host Committee. Photograph by Daren Reehl. Courtesy of U.S. Army.

It is unclear why there is the need for two, or even one, high school all-star game to be televised except to help college recruiters, the networks, and the Army recruiters. It is also unclear why it is almost impossible to find out anything about Mr. Berman's company on-line. The web site link provided on the All American Sports web site links to a dummy search engine page, and Berman's email address is given as an America Online address.

So before Mr. Berman goes on berating ESPN for bringing competition to his previously monopolistic hold on a high school all-star game, he needs to be more forthcoming about his company and their relationship with the Army. This arrangement had to be consummated under some form of contract. If there is a contract, was it awarded competitively as required in the federal government? Or was there some justification for the award of a sole-source contract for this event? What is the value of the contract and when does it expire? Once these questions are answered in a public forum, Mr. Berman's complaints might fall on more understanding ears.

Related Links

NY Times: ESPN Will Take on Army With Its Own High School Game

Currently have 1 comments:

  1. Andrew Wice says:

    That the connection between Sports Link and the U.S. Army could be considered a non-competitive bid had not occurred to me. That's an interesting angle.

    The fact that all of these high school athletes have already committed to their college underlines how little they themselves will gain by this.

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