Selena Roberts breaks Auburn cheating story on her new site

The notion that Auburn might not play by the rules hardly is new. I almost feel like Captain Renault saying he’s “shocked” to discover gambling at Rick’s.

However, what is new is the source of the latest allegations. They came from Selena Roberts in her website, Roopstigo.

Here’s the summary of the story from USA Today:

Selena Roberts, an Auburn alum, writes in a story on Roopstigo, a website she founded, that Auburn committed a variety of NCAA violations including payment of players and changing grades in 2012. Based on interaction with former Auburn safety Mike McNeil, one of four former Tigers who were arrested for an armed robbery in 2011, and “more than a dozen players” from the BCS title team including Neiko Thorpe, Darvin Adams and Mike Blanc, Roberts reports players had grades changed, were provided with money and “more than 40” tested positive for drugs after the title game.

The former New York Times and Sports Illustrated reporter founded the site last October. Her story alleging misconduct at Auburn is fairly good way to get Roopstigo’s name out there.

She definitely has their attention in Alabama. Denials were flying all over the place.

In a Q/A with, Roberts stood by her story. Mike Blanc is now denying some of the things he said to you. What’s your take on that?

Roberts: Well, I think I mentioned this to you before in an email. It takes a lot of courage to speak the truth and to go out and have some conviction about, you know, a subject that would very popular, obviously. A subject that, let’s face it, at Auburn, draws a lot of backlash. I think it’s unfortunate that he’s taking that stance, but given the pressure he’s under I can see how it happens. Do you think he changed his story after this story got so big today?

Roberts: I think any time athletes talk and have interviews, I think they’re used to, maybe a smaller market or something like that, I don’t know. I don’t know why he would change his stance, to be honest with you. I don’t know what goes on in his head.




Reality series debuts on Selena Roberts’ new sports network

Selena Roberts’ site has been up since the fall, but now it is kicking into full gear. I’ll have more from Roberts on the site soon. Here’s the PR version of what it is all about.

Roopstigo is a revolutionary website and free app founded by Selena Roberts, best-selling author and award-winning sports journalist for Sports Illustrated, ESPN, and The New York Times, and advised by former president of HBO Sports and Madison Square Garden, Seth Abraham. Roopstigo is shifting the paradigm in how fans consume sports content by offering free, long-form journalism with interactive features, documentaries, web series, video shorts, and animation created by some of sports media’s most renowned figures on a mobile platform across 8 distinct channels. During Roopstigo’s recent launch month, it accumulated over 103,000 unique visitors, surpassing the launch figures of other successful digital sports properties such as Time Warner’s Bleacher Report, ESPN’s Grantland, and Vox Media’s SB Nation. Roopstigo/”Healing Agent” was recently featured on Good Morning America, MSNBC,, and

Here are the details and link to the new reality series. It looks promising:

Roopstigo Mobile Sports Network ( will debut a new reality sports TV series, “Healing Agent,” directed by multiple Emmy Award winner, Frank Belmont, and scored by nationally recognized vocalist and X-Factor contestant, Jeff Gutt. In each episode, former powerhouse NFL and boxing agent Greg Marotta will work one-on-one with an ex-professional athlete who achieved greatness but has fallen on hard times. Marotta will help each pro-athlete to understand, combat, and heal their life and wellness problems. In the pilot, Greg works with former NBA first-round draft pick Luther Wright who overcame drug addiction but is now over 500 pounds and battling life-threatening obesity.

Marotta’s long history in the sports world gives him unique insight into what it’s really like to be a pro-athlete, the inner workings of the guts and glory, and the incredible challenges players face living in and then leaving the world of professional sports.

Marotta founded Select Sports, a firm representing professional athletes in 1980. Beginning in 1999, Marotta worked closely with Don King, CEO of Don King Productions, and was responsible for all of DKP’s marketing and sponsorship business. Among the partnerships developed by Marotta was the groundbreaking sponsorship agreement between NBC-Universal and DKP to promote the movie “Cinderella Man,” the first time a Hollywood studio used boxing events as a promotional vehicle. In 2008 Marotta premiered “The Natural,” a critically acclaimed approach to sports and entertainment radio on WVNJ.

“Healing Agent” will premiere both on and in its free application. The show, and all future episodes, will remain live on all platforms and can be watched for free at any time over the next six months. Roopstigo is currently fielding offers from various prominent TV networks for the rights to air the series after its initial debut.



Big day for Bleacher Report founders: Turner buys site for $175 million

For all the millions of people who never make a dime off their site, there are the select few who hit it big. As in winning the lottery big.

Monday, the founders of the Bleacher Report cashed their ticket. Turner Sports bought the site for a reported $175 million.

Bleacher Report was founded in 2006 by four 20-somethings as an outlet for fans to discuss their favorite teams. From the San Jose Mercury News:

Within months, the site became a hit thanks to a legion of contributors willing to write about sports for free.

“Most of our contributors aren’t professional journalists. They’re lawyers by day, Giants fans by night,” CEO Brian Grey described in an interview last year.

Writing about sports for free? Wonder who in the world would do that?

OK, enough about me.

Turner needed a sports presence after shift over to Time Inc. From the release:


Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. has acquired Bleacher Report (B/R), one of the fastest-growing sports digital properties on the Internet, it was announced today by David Levy, president of sales, distribution and sports of Turner Broadcasting. San Francisco-based B/R ( and its popular mobile offerings will now operate as part of the Turner Sports division.


B/R delivers original and entertaining sports editorial content and is a leading sports media destination, delivering over 10 million monthly unique visitors. The company has developed a next-generation publishing model powered by an expanding base of passionate and knowledgeable contributors who deliver high-quality content that readers crave at the team and topic level.


“Bleacher Report is a strategic acquisition that further enhances Turner’s portfolio of sports offerings, as well as reflects our continuing commitment to bring fans greater content across all screens throughout the entire year,” said Levy. “As brand builders and content providers, we were attracted to Bleacher Report’s fast growth to a leading marketplace position and a valued consumer destination. The site will continue to innovate and provide users and sports fans with branded news and information. With our expansive digital rights and resources, Turner will further ensure Bleacher Report’s continued growth and success.”


Levy added, “With the acquisition of Bleacher Report, we have added another dimension to our portfolio of digital and mobile properties that will enable us to offer our advertising partners integrated opportunities across all screens and demos that will enhance our ability to monetize sports programming throughout the entire year.”


“Bleacher Report was created to put fans first, and we are excited to integrate our innovative content publishing model and engaging multi-platform consumer digital media experience within Turner Sports’ world-class television and digital content portfolio,” said Brian Grey, in his newly-expanded role as chief executive officer, Bleacher Report & senior vice president, Turner Sports. “Together the portfolio will define how content creators, consumers and marketers come together around the sports team and topic content experience that fans will consume across every screen.”


Turner Sports currently manages digital properties on behalf of the NBA, NCAA and PGA, oversees ad sales for NASCAR.COM and has a strategic sales relationship with Yahoo! Sports. B/R will complement a preeminent collection of brands within the Turner Digital portfolio spanning entertainment, sports, kids, news and comedy destinations across broadband, mobile and tablet. The Turner Digital portfolio currently reaches 86 million unique visitors a month.


In addition to its digital portfolio, Turner Sports broadcasts a number of events year-round on TBS, TNT and truTV, including the NBA, MLB, NASCAR, the PGA Championship and the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship. Its on-air roster of announcers and analysts includes Marv Albert, Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith, Reggie Miller, Steve Kerr, Shaquille O’Neal, Cal Ripken, Dennis Eckersley, John Smoltz, Ron Darling, David Wells and Kyle Petty, among others.


Grey will continue to oversee B/R’s day-to-day operations out of its San Francisco offices and will report directly to Lenny Daniels, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Turner Sports.  Together, Grey and Matt Hong, senior vice president and general manager of operations for Turner Sports, will partner in the overall management and integration of the Bleacher Report operations into the Turner Sports portfolio.