Mike Francesa Lies About On-Air Bashing of Virginia, Gets Hammered by Virginia Star


Mike Francesa has been in the broadcasting industry for over 40 years now and much has changed since he first started in the 1970s.

Francesa came up at a time when you could say something on radio and everyone would forget about it two weeks later. There was no one recording the radio broadcast to call you out on an erroneous statement like there is now with the presence of Twitter and social media.

Francesa found that out this past week when the Twitter account Funhouse dug up some old clips in which the veteran radio host said that Virginia would never win a championship under Tony Bennett.

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“Ugh. He’ll never win a championship with this team, though,” said Francesa. “They can’t play offense. Here’s the bottom line. There’s going to come a game in the tournament where they need to make a shot and get a shot and they can’t get it. I think they’re very defendable. I don’t like them, I don’t like them offensively at all.”

Two months later, UVA did exactly what Francesa said they wouldn’t do as they won their first NCAA Championship in program history with Bennett as the coach.

When a caller to his radio show reminded Francesa of his comment, instead of just taking the “L” and moving along, Francesa fired back and accused Funhouse of doctoring the clip.

“That guy changes stuff all the time! And Monz and I know it because we’ve caught him, we’ve caught him doing it! I know he does! And when he wants to make something really juicy, he can make it up too! So don’t always go by that like it’s real, because they can edit stuff a million times on the internet. That’s one of the biggest problems on the internet.”

But one of the greatest things about the internet is immediate access to content, which helped a Virginia player come across Francesa’s comments.

Ty Jerome had 16 points, eight assists and six rebounds in the Cavaliers’ win over Texas Tech. Jerome called in to Francesa’s show and he threw a subtle jab at Francesa by complimenting Bennett and UVA’s coaching staff.

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“Great coaching staff. I know some would disagree, but I loved the coaching staff from day one,” Jerome responded when Francesa asked him why he chose to go to Virginia.

Texas Tech had the nation’s No. 1 defense heading into the game but UVA scored 85 points against them which was the most the Red Raiders allowed all season.

Jerome credited the offensive efficiency of the Cavaliers for their performance and again took a shot at Francesa for not doing his research.

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“Our offensive numbers, offensive efficiency, I think we’re in the top five in the country, we have been all year. So, you know, I’m sure a lot of people don’t do their proper research on college basketball before they speak,” said Jerome.

Outside of Francesa, Jerome also made sure to call out any other sports personalities for their remarks about Virginia including Stephen A. Smith who said he’d rather watch someone like Zion Williamson or UNC in the Final Four.

“I just feel so bad for Stephen A. Smith. He said he hated watching us. And he had to watch us every single round of the tournament. I feel so bad for him. It must have been so hard for him,” said Jerome.

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Ross Kelly has been a sportswriter since 2009.
Ross Kelly has been a sportswriter since 2009 and previously worked for ESPN, CBS and STATS Inc. A native of Louisiana, Ross now resides in Houston.
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