James Brown played some basketball at Harvard


Wesley Saunders puts his shoe back on. (Streeter Lecka / Getty Images)

He spends most of his time now as the moderator of CBS’s “NFL Today” panel, but there was a time when James Brown was a basketball player.

At Harvard.

That’s something he brought up on Twitter midweek as Harvard prepared to play its NCAA tournament opener, the game in which it, you know, upset New Mexico.

In an interview with the Crimson in 2002, he was asked what Harvard needed to do to “regain its glory:”

“I think the challenge that is always going to be there for a place like Harvard is that it does not give out athletic scholarships. I’m not saying I disagree with that. It’s not like I came from a family where money grew on trees. We had to work hard. I took out loans, but I recognized that those loans would pay off later in the game of life. But in terms of going out for those top-shelf players, Stanford gives out scholarships, Duke too. But that always is going to be a challenge—that Harvard will have to compete on an equal footing with those schools. Having said that, I still think that there is enough good talent out there for Harvard to be able to compete effectively. If you look at Princeton, even going back as far as the Bill Bradley days, you can still compete effectively with the right coach and the right talent. As in the case of the business world, effectively marketing oneself is extremely important. In this case it is the matter of recruiting and selling Harvard.”

Wrong. Correct answer: pull an NCAA tournament upset.

Wonder if he has some eligibility left. The Crimson trailed Arizona badly throughout the first half.

More on the NCAA tournament

D.J. Stephens and the blocked shot

Interactive bracket and NCAA tournament history database

The Bracket Challenge contest (Round-by-round)

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.

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Alex Prewitt · March 23, 2013