Liberty University, a regular clearinghouse for disgraced idiots, has once again reached into the scrap heap to create a job opportunity for someone who was rightfully booted out of their chosen profession due to a spectacular professional failure. This time it’s via their media apparatus, and the person being hauled back into the light is a former Fox Sports Florida sideline reporter whose career went to shit after she was just wildly racist during a Barstool Sports broadcast appearance.
Emily Austen went on something called The Rundown in June 2016, where she shared a couch with Barstool founder Dave Portnoy and Pardon My Take co-host Dan Katz, and spent 35 minutes charming the lads with a startlingly broad and unapologetic repertoire of offensive commentary. Fox Sports Florida disavowed her comments the following morning, and she was fired later that day. Video of her appearance is below:
In a long essay published on Sports Spectrum Wednesday night, Austen announced her new position and described her path back to employability in sports media. This seems to have involved a public speaking tour centered on her story of bombing out of sports media and her rejuvenated Christian faith.
Instead of running away from this, I chose to use my pain as a platform. My personal story and message on The Power of Social Media has resonated with thousands of student-athletes and staff across the country at universities and high schools. From places like the University of Alabama to Vandegrift High School, I am so thankful that God gave me the platform, the strength and the courage to be vulnerable enough to share my story with others.
Imagine successfully selling a motivational speaking tour based around the premise that a media career blowing up over racist and antisemitic comments made on a popular sports show was in any meaningful sense a social media phenomenon. At any rate, Austen says she was interviewing for jobs outside of sports media in September when she doubled down on prayer and landed a gig as anchor and reporter for Liberty University’s “Game On” sports television show, where she will “honor God, share the Gospel through athletics, and promote Liberty student-athletes, coaches and staff and their walks with Christ.”
This is Liberty’s thing. Their athletic department is stocked up with hires from Baylor’s period of worst dysfunction, and their head football coach, Hugh Freeze, resigned from Ole Miss over what was described by school officials as a pattern of “moral turpitude.” The hiring of Austen fits right in line with the university’s evident exploration of some market inefficiency in replacement-grade boneheads who would otherwise be unemployable due to their own ugly screw-ups.