I’m going to keep this short and sweet: ESPN color commentator Andre Ware owes Miami in general, and Jaquan Johnson in specific, an apology.
The 1991 Heisman trophy winning QB, now a color commentator for College Football broadcasts on the ESPN family of networks, alleged during the 2nd quarter of Miami’s 49-24 win over Toledo that Johnson, an All-American Safety for the Hurricanes, was faking an injury to slow down Toledo’s offensive tempo.
And I quote from the broadcast audio:
Andre Ware (color commentator): “[Toledo] actually caught Miami misaligned on the last two plays....and now they’ve got a player down. It looks like Jaquan Jonnson maybe. The All-American Safety.”
Kevin Brown (play by play announcer): “That is bad news.”
Ware: “I think he’ll be okay. That’s one of those convenient ‘I’m gonna go down...the tempo is getting a little fast...a little too much success is taking place’.”
Brown: You’re smelling something fishy you think about that (injury)?
Ware: “Yeah. No doubt.”
Here’s a video of the first part of the exchange (it cuts off in the middle of Ware making his accusation):
“That’s one of those convenient, I’m gonna go down, the tempo is getting a little fast & a little too much success is taking place....” #AndreWare @ESPNCFB @ESPN In case you didn’t see/hear it - hear ya go!!! #Classless #UncalledFor pic.twitter.com/N2ar3HEKIq— The Ms T (e1Ri) (@6OnTheWay) September 16, 2018
There, in plain English, Ware accuses Jaquan Johnson of faking an injury. And, tacitly, he accuses Miami of cheating by directing their star player to fake such an injury.
That is unacceptable.
Johnson, who had been limping for 2 plays prior to going to the ground with his injury, left the game with 1:23 left in the 2nd Quarter and did not return to the field. He was seen on the sideline later riding the stationary bike, but he played exactly zero snaps after the injury.
Yet and still, Ware’s statement accusing Johnson and Miami of faking the injury have gone without correction, clarification, or apology.
That is unacceptable.
Andre Ware owes both the University of Miami and Jaquan Johnson an apology for his statement. I know he wants to lay low and pretend like nobody noticed what he did or heard what he said, but we did and we did, and now Ware needs to own up to that.
Since he decided to impugn Miami and Johnson’s integrity publicly on Saturday, we’ll see what kind of integrity Andre Ware has based upon how this situation is handled.
Sometimes in life, you’re wrong. It’s up to Andre Ware to admit that, and apologize to UM and Jaquan Johnson.