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Decision to hire singer out of sync with sports

By Doug Gorman

So, let me see if I've got it straight.

Justin Timberlake isn't just going to delight young female fans with his singing talents anymore.

Now, the teen-idol (do they still call young singers that?) is venturing into other areas by joining Turner Sports as an analyst.

Am I missing something here?

I know very little about the young pop star. I can't name a song by his group `N Sync, and until doing research for this column, I had no idea he had released his first solo album (I'm more of an 80s rock fan).

I do know just because someone is a pop star doesn't mean they are qualified to serve as a sports journalist.

However, it doesn't appear to be a simple publicity stunt for the man who once dated singer Brittany Spears.

Turner Sports is serious about using Timberlake on some big assignments.

As a TNT corespondent, Timberlake will work the NBA playoffs, NASCAR events and the PGA Championship.

When on TBS, he will broadcast from major league baseball games. Gee, no wonder long-time Braves announcers Skip Carey and Pete Van Wieren were replaced?

The new budding sportscaster will also work Big 12 and Pac-10 football games during the college football season?

Won't some of this interfere with his touring schedule?

Timberlake is a huge sports fan known for taking part in celebrity sports events such as the NBA All-Star Weekend.

Turner Sports executives are trying to sell Timberlake's passion for sports as a way to convince fans that this will be a good fit.

Executive Mike Pearl stated "Justin's interest and enthusiasm not only in the NBA, but in all sports should help provide our broadcast with a new fresh approach."

There was a time when critics opposed athletes or coaches jumping from the playing arena to behind the mike.

That in most cases as worked.

Two former coaches, John Madden and Dick Vital hit the lottery when they entered the broadcasting business. They are known more as television personalities than coaches.

But jumping from the rock and roll tour bus to the sidelines is a whole lot different in my humble opinion.

After all there should still be such as thing as journalistic integrity.

I'm after all, how many young teen-aged girls are going to tune into watch how Tigers Woods does in a golf tournament or Jeff Gordon fare in an auto race?

Gorman is the sports editor of the Daily. E-mail: dogorman@news-daily.com