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You want answers? You want the truth? You can't handle the truth!

The best part about that Jack Nicholson performance is he did it with the same intensity for the all the takes where the camera's on Tom Cruise saying his lines as well as the takes where the camera's focused on Nicholson. Usually, in a scene shot and edited as that one was, the actor not on camera reads his lines with half intensity.

So, I come back from a day off ready to talk about 2012 wide receiver recruit Nick England transferring to Old Dominion, the reports that Vero Beach kicker Karson Dietrich would walk-on here, the possibility that 2012 freshmen Johnnie Durante, linebacker Leroy Owens and quarterback Favian Upshaw are transferring and, boy, what a comments section! Comments begging for commentary!

So let's throw on The Crusaders' Southern Comfort, grab some Fanta Grape and get started...

1. No, I don't hate FIU. I hate Purdue. I hate Indianapolis Ben Davis High. I hate any school swimming against Miami Country Day. I don't care enough about FIU sports to hate it. Hate to break it to you, but few do.

"Oooo, they fired coaches he got along with..." Maybe some of you are that childish. I'm a little too old for that. I've been doing this job over 25 years, almost 24 at The Herald. Many coaches I've gotten along with have been fired. Many more will. The Florida Panthers fired two of my favorite people to cover, Bryan Murray and Terry Murray, on the same day. I never wished that franchise ill.

Was I surprised by the Isiah Thomas firing? A little. Was I annoyed -- like the few others in the local media who care about FIU -- that I couldn't get an answer as to why he was fired? Sure. Did I also put in the blog once the team's 2010-11 APR came out that eight wins plus an 825 APR pretty much explains his firing? Sure did.

(Oh, I heard last year's APR could be another stinker, and FIU could be looking at some punishment from the Kollege Kremlin up on West Washington in Indianapolis. Also, I've heard this year's staff has been much more diligent in getting kids to class.)

I wasn't the only one in the media who thought Mario Cristobal's firing premature. FIU's been pilloried nationally and locally over that. But I handled the coaching search the same way I have every other search I've covered. And Ron Turner hired who he's hired and fired who he's fired (and when he's fired them). I didn't make a single decision. I just wrote about them.

I don't have an axe to grind against anybody. What have I written about Pete Garcia that's so savage? Or untrue? 

My point in saying I could really embarrass folks daily if I wanted, well, I'm not sure I could put it any plainer. Any reporter who's on a college beat for a while knows many things athletes, coaches, administrators have said or done that would embarrass the proudest supporter of that school. If a reporter wanted to humiliate the school he covers, especially a public one, he could have that school to where it's the butt of weak Jay Leno jokes and better Dave Letterman jokes in a month.

There's a reason Brent Musberger said in the Pony Excess 30-by-30 documentary on 1980s SMU, "When the local media turns its guns on you, you're finished."

Let's end this part with one simple fact: I actually like FIU. I try to write about most of FIU's teams either in the paper or on the blog. If I hated FIU, I wouldn't make the effort. I'd write about football, basketball and a little baseball and that's it. That's what drives this blog's readership and the print readership. If I wrote less than 100 words about any of the other sports, it would make no difference in any performance review I received at The Herald or the number of people who read this blog.

How do I know? I look at when blog readership increases, decreases and what gets comments. Football moves the needle. Basketball, some. Baseball, a quiver. Everybody else, zzzzz. For example, during swimming and diving's spectacular conference meet last year, I was blogging updates soon as the official results posted over several posts. FIU had the conference Swimmer of the Year (Johanna Gustafsdottir) and Diver of the Year (Sabrina Beaupre) yet readership flatlined. All those posts drew one, "Yay for FIU! Good job, ladies!"-type comment. 

This year, I hope to do the same updates and hopefully add end-of-day interviews. But, I hate FIU. Yah.

2. I didn't volunteer to cover UM because, No. 1, that beat wasn't open. This one was. Adam Beasley left the beat. It was open. See, like most positions in companies, a job has to be open before you ask for it.

No. 2, FIU is a public university with a nice walkable campus filled with mostly polite young people still optimistic they can change the world. That's good energy. One FIU employee, who used to be based away from the main campus, told me she used to reenergize by walking through the GC when she'd be called back to Camp Mitch. It feels much better spending my days around that than in a windowless media room waiting to talk to Dolphins players in the midst of another non-playoff season then in the offseason wondering who they'll draft.

No. 3, it works well for schlepping my daughter to school, picking her up from school and handling other daddy duties. Speaking of my daughter, a corollary to something I often tell her:

3. If it doesn't happen or almost nobody knows it happened, it doesn't get reported. That simple. And I've been on this beat for 20 months now. I hear more than I once did.

There's a reason coaches used to almost patrol the dorms at night. If something happens and they're on the scene, they can help defuse the situation or help erase it before official reports have to be made.

Well, the alarm rings in four hours. Froot Loops atop tonight's taco dinner should make for a fun midday. Good morning.

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Sounds good to me DN...

Nice job dodging the core question, David. Again, no one is accusing you of hating FIU.

Let me ask these core questions (for which I don't expect an honest answer) that get to the heart of the issues I have with your coverage of FIU:

1. What is your personal opinion of FIU's athletic director, Pete Garcia?

2. Does that opinion affect the way you cover ANY news on FIU athletics?

It would have been more fun if you actually confessed that there is an agenda in the Herald against FIU.

Not sure I get the animosity towards DJN here guys. I've been reading his blog and reporting on FIU from day 1 and he has been informative on both good and bad, as well as writing articles about the school with homerish tendencies (pre-season football where the hype came back to bite everyone). It's not a bad thing to have a guy who reports both positive and negative things coming from our alma maters athletic deparment. Do we really want to go back to the days of Beasley??

I am a proud alum and support the school to the fullest. Having said that I appreciate DJN's writing and perspective. When I want or need a homerish take I go to Pelegrin, whom I also respect and enjoy reading.

That is all. Go Panthers

I also respect DJN's blogs and articles about FIU. I may not agree with everything he writes/posts, etc., but I do believe he is fair in his reporting. The good, the bad, and the in-between.

Now, on to reports of England, Durante, Owens, and Uphaw leaving. Owens didn't even make it to the 2012 roster last year, I'm assuming due to academic/NCAA reasons, so techinically he wasn't really a part of the team last year. Upshaw didn't have much of a future at FIU as a QB. England did contribute early and could've been a nice WR down the road, and I really hate losing a talent like Durante, who was awesome in high school at Krop. David, may grades may have a lot to do with some/all these guys
"transferring"?

Great blog DJN. A few points:

1. I'm sure you know you inherited significant animosity toward the Herald.

2. The small FIU fan community has become dominated by few vitriolic fans. The message board is now 20% info and 80% petty personal fighting. The majority of long-time fans don't even post anymore because posts are often misread as personal attacks and more fighting ensues (I'm sure you know the feeling).

3. The firing of Mario has only intensified #2.

Owens was one of the LB steals of last years class. As MC said at last years preview the LB class on 2011 was better than all 'Belt teams/CUSA teams/ and some BE teams...

Owens/Jean/J.Glanton, etc... I was looking forward to amore experienced staff workinking with these guys along with Luis R., Caleb, Colimon, & even Jordan at 220 freshman...

Fabian was a receiver/athlete, not a QB. Specially in the Offense that Turner wants to play, he would not be a good fit.

Losing Durante and England stings particullarly with the on going rumors of from veteran WR's and academic short commings.

If true, Good Luck.

As for FIU...NEXT UP.

Go Panthers

I still don't understand why you feel compelled to respond to BGH's paranoia and obsession with the Herald, DJN? No matter what you state you will be second-guessed and your credibility questioned. You chose this career. You knew, or should have known, the attendant hazards of your career. They will continue to detest The Herald. Period. Now man up and get to work. You are doing an outstanding job and that's that.

Remember something: never argue with anyone that is (1) crazy; (2) disgruntled; (3) stupid or (4) an obsessive compulsive true believer/crusader. BGH falls into at least one of these categories and possibly all.

This is the perfect summary of what a sportswriter should be. If you look at the sports-dedicated organizations (ESPN, CBS Sports, etc.), they specifically have their bloggers NOT being fans of the schools (example - Heather Dinich, the ACC blogger, is an Indiana alum). Keep it professional, and keep up the good work. As a Miami fan, I find your dedication to the "other sports" of FIU to be pretty awesome. Well done.

I have enjoyed this blog more ever since you took over, whether the good or the bad. Keep up the good work DJN!

Pn8013, miacane, chiapanther, OC, Fanatic, DC, Really: gracias, sirs.

Southpaw: you're not satisfied with any answer I give to any question, so my last answer to you is "go sit your happy butt over on the grassy knoll and read the blog or don't."

And, BGH, I thought you weren't going to read the blog anymore. Yet, here you are again, commenting for the second time since that declaration. Because you know you like it...don't you? Don't you?...Come on, who's your blog daddy?...Say my name, say my name...:)

ROFLMAO!!! Good Job DJN!!!

BGH is a lunatic, but he's our lunatic, go easy on him.

I wish you hadn't responded to them, it's just wasted keystrokes for you, and in some sick twisted way you've added to their so called credibility. You know what they say, when you fight with pigs, you're going to come out smelling like crap no matter the outcome.

It isn't even about you really, there's been a "Herald Hates us" mentality since well before Pelegren wrote his manifesto. It's in full gear now because people are trying to turn firing a well respected coach, taking over a month to hire choice #4, and losing out on an entire recruiting class into a good thing.

Yes, DJN I love your writing, I don't like when I feel you are taking shots at us. I will continue to read your blog and keep pointing out the good (that there is a lot) and the bad. Thanks.

Did you know froot loops all taste the same?

The colors mean nothing.

M&Ms too.

I still like the green ones better.

Nice meeting you before the game on Thursday djn. Don't respond back to the loonies that just escaped the bin. They are trolls on this board and on the other ones also. Keep on doing what you do and if you need to call them out, just do it with a slap of comedy and sarcasm

me doth think you protest too much...

I suspected there would be a few who wouldn't believe DJN if he replied that he indeed did not hate FIU (thanks for the response, btw)and they did not disappoint. Some people choose to never be satisfied. I know, I used to be one of them. Then I realized how much it sucked to be perpetually miserable.
Imagine if these people were fans of Penn State or USC for the last few years? EVERYONE HATES US!!!

I like DJN do love to sit and watch the runway show from our lady panthers as they stroll in Univeristy Park. (I hate MMC name) Que bellas!!

>Yes, DJN I love your writing, I don't like when I feel you are taking shots at us. I will continue to read your blog and keep pointing out the good (that there is a lot) and the bad. Thanks.

DJN doesn't take shots at anyone. Do you comprehend how media works? Pete, you don't need to hide behind a username...

1. What is your personal opinion of FIU's athletic director, Pete Garcia?

As an fellow FIU fan, I an attest to how awful Pete Garcia is. Other FIU fans don't actually like him...right? Right?!

DJN,

I think most casual FIU fans and the more reasonable of the hardcore fans enjoy your writing. I like that you brought up the Musberger quote. It would really be obvious if you wanted to crap all over our program. Every group has its crusaders and ignoramuses. It's like talking to any Dolphin fan who uses 1972 as the basis of a present day argument or talking to a Hurricane fan who didn't pass the FCAT much less ever had a chance of attending the school or a Heat fan that buys lower bowl seats to text/facebook all game and leave with 10 minutes left in the 4th quarter. It's pointless. I also have great respect to the time you dedicate to the small potato programs. Those kids deserve your coverage and our support. Great work.

As far as Pete Garcia goes, we get it. He's a polarizing figure. But you know what, he's low on my South Florida sports management hit list:

1) Jeffrey Loria
2) Jeffrey Loria
3) Jeffrey Loria
4) Michael Yormark and the Panthers ownership
5) UM Athletic Department (though Larranaga is making them look good right now)
6) Anyone in local government/business that has been a hindrance to the formation of a viable MLS franchise here
7) Stephen Ross (for now, he's trying to get off)
8) Pete Garcia

Mickey Arison is one of the best owners in sports.

FIUnole84, YES. WHO is making it difficult for us to have an MLS franchise here? I want that guy drawn and quartered. ASAP.

Also, LOL at the BGH burn :( Treat him nice, he's one of ours, even if we hate him really hard sometimes.

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