If you were listening to Drive Time Sports on 103.7 on Friday, you heard KARK news director Rob Heverling call in and apologize for the Fayetteville-based Razorback Nation sportscast's poor journalism standards in reporting that Razorback superback Darren McFadden had purchased a new Cadillac Escalade with help from sports agent Mike Conley. Turns out the vehicle was leased and Conley was not involved and is not even McFadden's agent yet. Razorback Nation went with the story using Arkansas sports reporters' favorite "unnamed source" and had not talked to Conley before going with the story.
While he was at it, Heverling should have just apologized for Razorback Nation period and included an apology for the season before last when the station never mentioned the Travelers or showed highlights of games thanks to its Fayetteville-centric approach to sports news in Central Arkansas and beyond.
KARK sports has gotten much better since it went back to a split broadcast for sports that included highlights and news generated from a Little Rock-based sports anchor. Their coverage of the Travs was much improved last season and sportscaster Aaron Nolan is always good about reporting on Travs news these days.
The problem with Razorback Nation, and this has been the case since it started with Bo Mattingly, is that it has succumbed to jockeying to be the insider's insider (as everyone in the Razorback press corp seems to be doing except for T. Biddy) and to the Hogville culture of spreading rumors as fact based on unnamed sources.
I have to credit Heverling for calling Drive Time with the apology and posting this on KARK's web site. What he did and said really impressed me, and I look at KARK's news operation with new admiration.