Friday, October 17, 2003

Scott County prosecutor declines ESPN interview on football team hazing incident

Interim Commonwealth's attorney Marcus McClung in Scott County is refusing to talk to ESPN about the football team hazing incident from Rye Cove, concluding that it would add to the suffering of the victims to have their stories told on national television, according to this report in the Kingsport paper (registration required).

The article quotes Mr. McClung as saying the following:

"Marcus McClung said Thursday that he has spoken with officials at ESPN, the 24-hour sports cable network, but their requests for an interview from his office about the June 16 incident have been refused.

"It's not that we are trying to be rude to ESPN or hate ESPN or any other national media (source). This is a policy issue that my office is taking,'' said McClung.

"It just doesn't seem right to do (an interview) and blow this issue up any more than it is now. To think that this issue would not be reported on given the facts would be incorrect. But to further expand upon events to a national audience, I think, is not acceptable because the victims are trying to get on with their lives,'' he said."

Unrelated to matters of law enforcement, I'm sure Marcus would be glad to hear talk on ESPN about another McClung, Seth McClung, a major league baseball pitcher with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. I think Seth and Marcus are brothers. The last I heard, Seth was injured and did not play the last part of the season. ESPN says here that Seth pitched 38 and 3/2 innings for Tampa in 2003, with a 4-1 record and 25 strikeouts.

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