The Florida Marlins, two-time World Series winners since their launch in 1993, are the latest Major League Baseball team to build a ballpark of their own. Scheduled to open in 2012, the stadium is a 37,000-seat, retractable-roof venue costing $642 million and largely paid for by Miami-Dade County. A public outcry erupted in August after leaked financial reports indicated the ballclub turned a $50-million profit at the same time they were seeking public financing. REAL SPORTS host Bryant Gumbel heads to South Florida to cover this hot-button story and examine the concerns raised by public officials who say their viewpoint has changed in light of this new information.
One week after his explosive first-person account in Sports Illustrated, former certified NFL agent Josh Luchs sits down with HBO for his first extended TV interview. At age 19, armed with only a high school diploma, he was certified as an NFL agent by the NFLPA for a mere $300 application fee. In the SI piece, Luchs admitted to subsequently making cash payments to 30 college football players in hopes of signing them as clients when they became eligible for the pro draft. He left the player representation business in 2008 after a dispute with his former employer led to his suspension by the NFLPA. Luchs' headline-grabbing account has reignited the debate over whether to protect student-athletes from preying agents, or simply permit college players to share in the revenues they help generate. REAL SPORTS correspondent Bernard Goldberg goes one-on-one with Luchs for his take on the debate and delves further into his account of nearly 20 years in the business.
On Oct. 26, 1985, Citadel linebacker Marc Buoniconti stopped East Tennessee's Herman Jacobs short of first down on a crucial third-and-one. The collision left Buoniconti, son of former Miami Dolphins great Nick Buoniconti, paralyzed from the neck down. Though he has spent the last 25 years in a wheelchair, Buoniconti has brought a "never give up" attitude to his role as president of The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, the world's largest and most comprehensive spinal research facility. Meanwhile, the incident left Jacobs, at the time an NFL prospect, consumed by remorse and unable to return to football with the same passion. His life was in a downward spiral until he reunited with an unlikely friend. In this REAL SPORTS/Sports Illustrated collaboration, correspondent Mary Carillo profiles both men 25 years after their life-changing collision, and shows how their friendship has endured tragedy.
In 2005, Denver Nuggets head coach George Karl and his son, former Boise State hoops star Coby Karl, shared a common bond no father and son could imagine: a diagnosis of cancer. Though they conquered the illness together, George Karl survived another bout of the disease, this time affecting his neck and throat, after beating prostate cancer. Following up REAL SPORTS' 2007 report, correspondent Jon Frankel reconnects with the accomplished 59-year old coach to reflect on his successful battles off the court as he prepares for another challenging season on the hardwood.