The HBO Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel special about college sports that was so widely rumored and discussed last month is finally set to air tomorrow night at 10:00 p.m. ET. I know this because I was somehow included on the email blast that HBO's P.R. department sent out.
The show will have two prerecorded segments followed by a round table discussion. The first segment will be about how college sports generates a lot of money while athletes do not get paid salaries. Presumably there will be a section in there detailing how water is, in fact, wet.
The second segment sounds more promising, as it is on the subject of whether college athletes should be paid. That part will also include a discussion of street agents and impermissible benefits. In a preview video, the segment's host Andrea Kremer promises stories of players getting paid and having their grades changed. Finally, the discussion panel will consist of Gumbel, Rich Rodriguez, Billy Packer, trollmaster general Jason Whitlock, and former Ivy League Athletics Commissioner Jeff Orleans.
If you recall, this HBO special was part of the discussion about the tapes that John Bond and Bill Bell have with details about Cecil Newton. Former Alabama radio host Scott Moore, who has since left the station he had a show on, talked about how HBO wanted Bond and Bell on the show but that Mississippi State asked them not to participate. HBO, one would assume, would have wanted to play some of those tapes, but Bond at least won't release any to the public at the advisement of his legal counsel.
We do know that former Alabama WR Tyrone Prothro was interviewed for the show, as was former Auburn lineman Troy Reddick, but from there the details get sketchy. Prothro allegedly was approached by a runner for agent Raymond Savage while in the hospital after his gruesome leg injury, an action that got Savage arrested last month for breaking Alabama's sports agent laws. The rumor mill has produced plenty of smoke about what else there will be, but anything solid enough to be reported anywhere has been disputed by someone.
It sounds like there will be plenty to discuss on Thursday morning.