Sports Outside the Beltway

Should NBC Sports fire George O’Leary Johnny Miller?

If anyone doesn’t know who George O’Leary is, here is a reminder.

In 2001, O’Leary left Georgia Tech to take over as the head coach for the University of Notre Dame. Five days later, O’Leary resigned after he was discovered to have lied on his resume. On the resume, O’Leary claimed that he had earned a master’s degree from New York University when in actuality, he only attended the school but never graduated. He also claimed that he had earned three letters in football at the University of New Hampshire, when the school claimed he had not even played in one game.

O’Leary is still a Division I head football Coach. He is presently working at the University of Central Florida.

A few months ago I blogged about golfer and NBC announcer Johnny Miller and his recent book. Miller’s book ‘I call the shots’ is full of mistakes. Here’s a re-cap.

1- Lee Janzen won the 1993 US Open not 1994
2- Sevriano Ballesteros won 6 not 3 US PGA Tour titles.
3- Ed Fiori did not beat Tiger Woods in a playoff at the 1996 Quad Cities tournament. Woods finished fourth.
4- Valderama has NOT hosted ’several’ Ryder Cups. It hosted the 1997 Ryder Cup only.
5- Tiger Woods is said to have shot 16 under for the 2000 US Open at Pebble Beach. Woods shot 12 under, its even stated he did so on the previous page!
6- Ernie Els bogeied the first hole of the 1994 US Open Playoff, not make a par. Miller compounds this mistake by saying Els who got a drop on that hole may have been helped by this ‘par’.
7- Annika Sorenstam was tied for the lead not one shot back when teeing off 18 at the 2003 US Open.
8- Craig Stadler’s disqualification for kneeling on a towel in a San Diego tournament happened in 1987 not 1983.
9- Ray Floyd lost the 1990 not 1989 Masters in a playoff to Nick Faldo.
10- Gary Player’s first major championship was the 1959 British Open not the 1959 Masters.
11- Tom Watson won five British Opens(75,77,80, 82, 83) not six
12- Jack Nicklaus started the final round of 1986 Masters 4 back, not 6 back.
13- Tom Watson did not win 2 AT&T championships at Pebble Beach. The tournament was the Bing Crosby Pro-am and not sponsored by AT&T when Watson won there in 1977 and 1978.

Since writing that I’ve found six more mistakes in the book. The worst of which is on page 224 where Miller writes-

“I also won the San Francisco City Championship, the biggest local amateur tournament there was.”

Unfortunately history says otherwise.

1956 Ken Venturi
1957 Tal Smith
1958 Bill McCool Angie Vote
1959 Bob Sylvestri Dorothy Stamps
1960 Bob Sylvestri Linda Collins
1961 Verne Callison Jane Thomas
1962 Tom Dixon Jan Ferraris
1963 George Archer Jan Ferraris
1964 Ken Towns Jan Ferraris
1965 Walt Gilliam Jan Ferraris
1966 Larry Anderson Marie Strand
1967 Bob E. Smith Linda Collins Maurer

So in addition to Miller putting his name on a journalistic fraud, he is now a liar too. George O’Leary got fired at Notre Dame for doing much the same thing. Does Johnny Miller deserve the same fate?

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Strange. Johnny Miller won the Junior Amateur championship in 1964 at San Fran’s Olympic Club. But he’s listed as one of several guys who went on to become big-time pros who competed but failed to win the City Championship.

The City Championship is as diverse as San Francisco itself. Hackers hitting the ball sideways play alongside more accomplished golfers who bomb it down the middle. There are flights for all abilities, but the Championship Flight is the one that grabs the headlines. It is there that many of the great ones cut their teeth. Ken Venturi, Johnny Miller, George Archer and Bob Rosburg, to name a few, all started their competitive careers trying to win the City Championship. Even Tom Watson, while a young psychology major at Stanford took a crack at it. But only Venturi and Archer among them was successful.

Posted by James Joyner | November 29, 2006 | 09:12 am | Permalink

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