Todd O'Brien's story has created quite a stir, and rightfully so. His SI.com piece had more than ripple effects; it's created waves in the college sports community.
O'Brien wrote eloquently on his situation, but we wanted to hear more, so we were able to get him on today's podcast, his first interview (of what will be many; O'Brien's about ot do a media tour de force) since the piece went live. I ask him about his relationship with Phil Martelli, why he decided to leave, when he decided to leave, the laptop-theft issue from last February, and if that has any connection to the situation he finds himself in now.
And to be clear here: Martelli has, for perhaps the first time in his career, been muzzled on this issue. I'd be eager, willing and anxious to have him on the podcast if he so pleases.
What to hear where:
- From the beginning: A reset and introduction to O'Brien's situation, for those not fully understanding the rare circumstances he's involved in right now.
- 2:45: O'Brien explains when and why he approached Martelli about leaving.
- 6:23: Who is Phil Martelli, and did the relationship between he and O'Brien sour quickly?
- 10:18: O'Brien details when and why he last spoke to Martelli. And the discussion was much more positive then. "Seemingly a good talk," O'Brien said.
- 12:40: How O'Brien's involvement (minimal or otherwise) in a laptop-theft incident from February plays into his leaving the school and his fractured relationship with Martelli.
- 17:51: Why should we believe this isn't about athletics and O'Brien being frustrated over a depletion of playing time? He states his case, and admits the lack of playing time did give him incentive.
- 20:18: Why UAB? O'Brien is from Pennsylvania, and attended Bucknell and St. Joe's, after all.
- 23:25: Why won't Martelli let this happen? That's the crux of the issue. What's O'Brien's perspective on this?
- 26:20: We know O'Brien hopes he'll play again, but does he believe Martelli will actually go back on his word?
You can listen to the CBSSports.com College Basketball Podcast every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The podcasts are posted here and simultaneously through iTunes (link below). Each Wednesday CBSSports.com national writers Jeff Goodman and Gary Parrish hop on to banter and bicker. Mondays and Fridays are reserved for the most prominent voices in and around the game. Here's the iTunes subcription link. We also have an RSS feed for you to track. I don't believe they are making Zunes anymore, but nonetheless, I've been instructed to link you on how to listen via that device, too.