The NAIA’s James Justice, a senior basketball player for the Martin Methodist College RedHawks (logo at left) won ESPN’s live dunk contest, beating out NCAA Division 1 players like Auburn’s Kenny Gabriel, Miami’s Dequan Jones and Clemson’s Bryan Narcisse in the semifinals.

In its usual style, ESPN virtually never even mentions NAIA college sports. That’s because the behemoth outfit is geared purely toward hyping its own programming, not actual sports journalism. Since ESPN doesn’t broadcast NAIA games they pretend their football, basketball and baseball teams don’t even exist. It’s similar to soccer, where the ESPN on-air talent used to treat it like a joke, but when ESPN decided to air games, their broadcasters were forced to do their usual bit of disguising sports publicizing as sports broadcasting.

Right now the cable outfit called CBS College Sports (the new home of Jim Rome) carries NAIA sports coverage. Anyone who is disgusted with ESPN and the NCAA should love NAIA sports, especially when one of their student athletes outshines the hired guns in NCAA Division 1 hoops like James Justice did. It took an enormous social media campaign simply to get Justice in the Exclusively Sports Publicizing Network’s contest. That media campaign, and Justice’s performance in the contest, are a triumph for REAL student athletes over ESPN’s and the NCAA’s attempts to relegate them to obscurity.

For more fun remember to follow Balladeer’s Blog’s fooball coverage in the fall, when I give special attention to NAIA teams that defeat NCAA teams!


Filed under College Basketball


  1. Great way of describing ESPN! They are just a self-marketing outfit all day long. Forget about tough coverage of SEC scandals, too, now that they are so deeply in bed with the SEC.

  2. Great take on ESPN’s way of doing business. You’re right – people fed up with the ugly Goliaths like ESPN and NCAA Division 1 should get into NAIA college sports.

  3. Great remarks about ESPN! They are a virtual monopoly and need their party crashed!

  4. Go NAIA! Give me real student athletes over the thugs and criminals of NCAA division 1.

  5. Great shot across the bow of espn, the robber barons of sports!

  6. ESPN blows! Glad to see someone like this real student athlete crash their party!

  7. KICK ASS POST! ESPN is a joke anymore the way they ignore teams they don’t have tv contracts on.

  8. WAY TA GO BRO!!!!! Slam it and jam it up espn’s ass!

  9. Hi! Luv a good david vs goliath story! ESPN blows! Cheers!


  11. My son graduated in the top 20% of his class of 600+ students. Was a two time district MVP, all state in Texas as a QB…started as a true freshman for Missouri Valley College…no one gave him publicity because he was under 6′ as a QB…had amazing highlights against some of the best defenses in the 5A….he’s now excelling in the NAIA…All Conference as a true freshman…
    I agree with ur statement…the ESPN could help some kids find a place to play if they just tried to air the playoffs or even the championship games…in all sports!!

  12. Good 4 u 4 mentioning this! ESPN needs to show NAIA college sports more love!

  13. Terrell

    NAIA basketball is the best!

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