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Thursday, May 08, 2008

Andre Allen, Posted by Dan Wolken

Andre Allen
Posted by Dan Wolken

So WREG TV Channel 3 “scored” the first big interview with former Tiger point guard Andre Allen since he was kicked off the team three days before the Final Four. The station even trumpeted its “exclusive” with Allen, which aired during the 10 p.m. news cast on Thursday night.

The truth is, there is only one question worth asking Allen, and it’s absolutely the first question I would have asked had I been in position to interview him: How in the world could he have failed a drug test during the NCAA Tournament?

Yet, Claudia Barr never asked that question. She didn’t even bring up the subject of drug tests. Or if she did, it wasn’t included in the on-air package. There was no discussion at all about why Allen was kicked off the team. WREG owes an apology to everybody it hoodwinked into watching that interview. Yes, Allen apologized for “what happened.” But what was the point of the interview if there was no explanation of, well, what happened?

As I wrote about on April 4, Allen was one of just two players in recent memory to fail a postgame drug test in the NCAAs. To have it happen right before the Final Four, on a team as high-profile as Memphis, was stunning. Allen said in the interview that “people make mistakes,” which is undoubtedly true. But given the nature of that mistake and the stage on which it happened, casting him as a sympathetic figure is uncalled for — at least, unless there’s a valid explanation he’s willing to talk about.

Instead, the most stunning revelation in the report was that Claudia Barr thinks that the Booker T. Washington team in her day could have beaten Allen’s Booker T. squad.

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