Hearne: Whitlock Star Saga at Turning Point

Kansas City’s sports natives are getting restless…

That’s because controversial Kansas City Star columnist Jason Whitlock has been missing in action from the pages of the newspaper since his May 26 column, “NCAA breeds a culture of corruption.”

In the interim the Big 12 nearly died and went to heck, KU weathered its biggest sports scandals ever, culminating in the unexplained resignation of its bull-in-a-china cabinet athletic director, the Royals interrupted the team’s annual summer swoon by winning enough games to engender momentary hope. the LeBron reality saga went down and an optimistic Kansas City Chiefs squad is poised to begin training camp in the area for the first time in eons.

And no Whitlock to sort it all out and/or stir up you-know-what.

Let the guessing games begin!

As noted here, Star staffers such as Whitlock get about 30 paid vacation and/or sick days a year. That’s six weeks. Plus one week of unpaid “furlough” time, courtesy of the red ink being churned up by the Star’s parent company McClatchy.

Let’s do the math…

Through last Friday, that puts the big galoot at eight weeks off, or one week over the limit. One unpaid week over the limit, notwithstanding some sort of mitigating circumstances allowing for a grace period being granted.

Death in the family, health issues, carryover vacation time (normally not allowed) from unused off -ays from last year.

“Somethings going on,” says a source close to a friend of big guy. “I think (supposedly) there was an argument between him and (editor) Mike Fannin over some writing award. There was an award, there was an argument and supposedly Fannin wanted him terminated but he was just suspended. Nobody knows for sure.”

Which brings us to the here and now…

“If he’s not back next week for Chiefs camp, he’s probably gone or there’s some outside problem,” the source says. “Because Whitlock loves the Chiefs training camp. I know one thing, Whitlock is not going to miss a Chiefs camp, he never has. I

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6 Responses to Hearne: Whitlock Star Saga at Turning Point

  1. Anonymous says:

    Rainbow Man
    He is in a staredown with the Star on a very long paid leave with a deadline. He can only return if he signs a contract. He is trying to feed his national presence but there are not many takers… His best option is to stay at The Star where he has a job, and continue his national stuff on the side…. the Star and Jason both need each other right now. What Jason needs to realize that if he hangs on at the Star and plays well with others he will be in a much better place if the Star burns out in a couple years. Bailing out in a pissing contest will ruin his career. Now is not the economy for egos, in print, TV, radio, or blogs… You gotta be hirable… not a “walk off the air” guy.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Agate Clerk
    JW doesn’t have many bridges left to burn….Seems similar to Jay Mariotti’s quitting the Chicago Sun-Times in a huff two years ago when the editors called his bluff…he still is without a newspaper. Unlike Mariotti, JW does not have a regular TV gig like “Around the Horn” to fall back on….My hare-brained theory is that after Posnanski left, JW believed he had the upper hand and the Star couldn’t afford to lose a second prominent columnist. He may have miscalculated–Mellinger’s performance has shown that there are talented people on staff able to step up to the columnist’s job, and the desire to remove Whitlock’s hefty salary from the payroll may be greater than the desire for a national-rep sports columnist.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Whitlock has responded to the ridiculous amount of blog postings about his future at the star. Check his twitter page.
    Hearne, how many days off does the Star give for the birth of a child? Is Whitlock a daddy?

  4. Anonymous says:

    craig glazer
    I think Rainbow man is right. Yes Hearne goes edit me. I write fast and don’t re read my stuff. So I need it, alot. Hearne is pretty good at what he does…..so am I.

  5. Anonymous says:

    craig glazer
    See I wrote fast and wrote goes instead of does. Damnit..

  6. Anonymous says:

    Kia Zi
    I guess he might not be very popular. Alot of people say he is always talking about the black thing this and the black thing that, but in sports most people want to talk about what team is going to win regardless of what color the players are. More people read KC Confidential because they don’t sensor their readers blogs, they allow us to vent or to rave about the “real” action of the team we love and no one cares what color you are, mostly we just care about whether you will win the game or not. And of course everyone wants to know the inside juice on sports players lives. People who live for sports can’t get the gradification from the Star like we can KC Confidential. Sports fans want to be apart of all aspects of the players lives, we want to “feel” their joy and pain. If all a writer cares about is color, what is he doing writing a sports page? Most sports players are black, white, Japanese, Korean and there are even some Mexicans. All sports fans want is action and more action, we don’t really want our fun ruined by a guy who keeps bringing up the color issue. We all know what color we are and we know what color the guys on the teams we love are, we don’t need a trouble maker ruining everyone’s good time especially right in the middle of a game.

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