ESPN apologized for comments play-by-play announcer Brent Musburger made on the air about Katherine Webb, girlfriend of Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron.

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College football

Musburger’s remarks lead

to apology from ESPN

On Tuesday, commentary on the broadcast of Monday’s BCS National Championship Game between Alabama and Notre Dame included words such as “creepy” and “awkward.”

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The subject was not Alabama’s 42-14 victory, but comments made during the game by ESPN play-by-play announcer Brent Musburger regarding the girlfriend of Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron.

In the first quarter, ESPN showed McCarron’s girlfriend, Katherine Webb.

Musburger called the 23-year-old Webb, the 2012 Miss Alabama USA, a “lovely lady” and said to his broadcast partner, Kirk Herbstreit, a former quarterback at Ohio State, “Wow, I’m telling you quarterbacks: You get all the good-looking women. What a beautiful woman.”

Musburger, 73, also said, “If you’re a youngster in Alabama, start getting the football out and throw it around the backyard with Pop.”

ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz said, “We apologize that the commentary in this instance went too far and Brent understands that.”

For her part, Webb did not seem to mind what Musburger said. “It was kind of nice,” she said. “I didn’t look at it as creepy at all.

“For a woman to be called beautiful, I don’t see how that’s an issue.”

26.4 million watch game

The game was seen by an average of 26.4 million viewers, the second-biggest audience for a program in cable-television history and a 9 percent increase from last year’s 21-0 Alabama victory over Louisiana State in the title showdown.

The most-viewed program was the 2011 BCS title game, Auburn’s 22-19 victory over Oregon, seen by 27.3 million viewers.

For the five BCS bowl games, ESPN averaged 15.1 million viewers, up 7 percent from last year.

Meanwhile, BCS conference commissioners announced the first semifinal games in the new playoff system will be played in the Rose Bowl and the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1, 2015.

Joeckel opts for NFL draft

Texas A&M offensive tackle Luke Joeckel, winner of the 2012 Outland Trophy as the nation’s top interior lineman, has chosen to bypass his senior season and make himself eligible for the NFL draft.

Others leaving early for the draft include offensive tackle David Bakhtiari of Colorado and cornerbacks Steve Williams of California and Terrence Brown of Stanford.


Hall to announce results

With the cloud of steroids shrouding the candidacies of Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and others, members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America might fail for the second time since 1972 to elect anyone to the Hall of Fame. Results are to be announced at 11 a.m. PST Wednesday.


• First baseman Adam LaRoche, 33, agreed to a $24 million, two-year deal to stay with the Washington Nationals, with a mutual option for a third year. He had 33 homers and 100 RBI last year.

• Third baseman Alex Rodriguez, 37, of the New York Yankees is scheduled to have surgery on his left hip next Wednesday and surgeon Bryan Kelly said the ex-Mariner probably will be ready to play after the All-Star break.

Lance Armstrong has agreed to a tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey where he will address allegations he used performance-enhancing drugs during his cycling career.

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