Orange Watch: McNabb’s latest troubles has left us shaking our heads

Syracuse legend Donovan McNabb has his No. 5 jersey honored. Mandatory Photo Credit Kicia Sears, The Juice Online.
McNabb is one of SU’s most prominent alums

Item: Donovan McNabb being named in a sexual harassment complaint has us shaking our head with a wide range of negative emotions.

We’ve always had the utmost respect for former Syracuse great Donovan McNabb, not only for the way he conducted himself on the field as an Orange star guiding the program to its last appearance in a major bowl game (1999 Orange Bowl loss to Florida), but also for how he handled the adversity thrown his way by overly-sensitive Philadelphia Eagles fanatics from the day he was drafted in 1999, and through his 11 years of Pro Bowl-level play in the “City of Brotherly Love.”

But his suspension this week by ESPN, where McNabb worked as a radio commentator, after being named in a sexual harassment complaint by a former employee of the NFL Network, where he worked in 2012-13, is disturbing on many fronts for an esteemed graduate who is a “Life Trustee” member of the university’s Board of Trustees.

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Not only has the recent focus spotlighting the topic of men from professions such as politics, media, entertainment, and professional sports behaving inappropriately towards women causing a nationwide outburst against a habitual problem that has thankfully gained the attention that it deserves, the fact that a former Orange hero to many is caught up in the wave of disgust is a sad reflection competing against our fond memories of an all-time great Syracuse football player.

The latest negative news surrounding McNabb comes following his two arrests, a conviction, and a guilty plea to DUI near his suburban Phoenix home in 2013 and 2015, the first which resulted in a one day jail sentence, and the second which ended with in an 18 day jail term and 72 days of house arrest.

Married to another former great Syracuse athlete, four year basketball letter winner Rachel Nurse, whose family has produced its own esteemed athletes such as Edmonton Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse and Connecticut and Canadian national team women’s basketball standout Kia Nurse (who helped UConn beat Syracuse in the 2016 NCAA title game), only further tarnishes McNabb’s reputation and perch among the university’s elite alumni.

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About Brad Bierman 848 Articles
Now in his sixth decade of covering SU sports, Brad was sports director of WSYR radio for eight years into the early 1990s, then wrote the Orange Watch column for The Big Orange/The Juice print publication for 18 years. A Syracuse University graduate, Brad currently runs his own media consulting business in the Philadelphia suburbs. Follow him on Twitter @BradBierman.