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Broadcaster's Expletive During Navy Game Under Review

Tuesday, October 4, 2005

Best-selling author John Feinstein , who provides color commentary on radio during Navy's football games, used an expletive to describe the referees during the broadcast of the Midshipmen's 28-21 victory over Duke on Saturday, but it is unclear if he will be punished.

Feinstein, who works for the Navy Football Radio Network, immediately submitted his resignation to Navy senior associate athletic director Eric Ruden , who rejected it.

Ruden said Feinstein is scheduled to be in the booth alongside lead play-by-play announcer Bob Socci and Omar Nelson , who also provides color commentary, when Navy hosts Air Force on Saturday.

"Obviously, it was inexcusable," Feinstein said. "I just felt under the circumstances that if they didn't want me to come back, then I would have understood."

Feinstein, a freelance writer whose work appears regularly in The Washington Post, used a highly profane word directed at the referees after Duke receiver Eron Riley appeared to push junior cornerback Jeremy McGown so he could catch a two-poi nt conversion pass to tie the score at 21 with 3 minutes 20 seconds remaining.

Feinstein, in his ninth season in the radio booth, immediately pulled himself from the air for the remainder of the game, but apologized on-air at game's end.

"This is very serious and something we don't take lightly," said Ruden, who attended the game. "But accepting John's resignation was premature because I saw how remorseful he was and how very upset he was with himself."

Steve Hopp , the general manager for Sajak Broadcasting, which owns WNAV-1430 -- one of five stations that aired the game -- said he would meet with Navy athletic officials this week to discuss the matter.

"Unfortunately, that's what happened," Hopp said. "We're obviously concerned with what happened, and we're exploring what plan we're going to take."

-- Jon Gallo

© 2005 The Washington Post Company