On this very special episode of the Moran-Alytics Podcast, Patrick Moran gets away from his typical conversational format with guests that talk about their life and career, and instead dedicates an entire show to a very talented high school football player in Florida that despite personally doing nothing wrong has been unfairly and excessively punished by the Florida High School Athletic Association.
“The Knowledge McDaniel Story” tells the tale of a senior high school football star who earlier this spring received several D-I offers, including Ohio State and the University of Georgia, all the while seeing his Grandmother/caregiver fall on impossibly hard financial times. Desperate for a bed to sleep on, food and the environment to better focus on his studies, McDaniel started living with the family of a close friend and teammate. Unaware any FHSAA rule was being violated, an investigation was launched after a former player’s parent wrote an anonymous letter to the state alleging several violations. While most were quickly proven inaccurate, it was disclosed that because McDaniel lived with a player on the team and a family with “athletic interests.” Among other program penalties, McDaniel was deemed ineligible to play his senior season just two days before the team’s Kickoff Classic.
This kicked off a wild series of events, appeals and suspicious circumstances that have resulted in the innocent kid being partially reinstated, meaning he can play in the regular season after missing four games but no postseason contests, despite the publicly written plea of the Appeals Committee Chairperson for a full and unrestricted reinstatement and the resignation of another committee member over a mediation decision.
It’s a story with many layers that’ll have your head spinning and likely angry. It’s also a story that’s caught the attention of several nationally known people in the sports world. ESPN’s Dick Vitale lives in the area and has gotten to know Knowledge personally through all of this. He had a passionate social media rant recently regarding this story that is replayed on this podcast.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Josina Anderson, Tampa Bay Bucs Pro Bowler Gerald McCoy and former Buffalo Bills Pro Bowler Eric Wood are among other notable figures that have publicly tweeted out in disgust over what’s happened.
After laying out the details of Knowledge’s story, Moran has an interview with Jason Dill (@Jason_Dill) of the Bradenton Herald, who provides insight mainly from a reporter’s perspective but does drop the nugget that he feels McDaniel ultimately has been sentenced twice for the same crime.
The big interview on this podcast is with Florida born and raised former 14-year NFL star, Kevin Carter (@KevinCarter_93) who once was a Florida high school football legend himself. Carter, now a CBS Sports college football analyst is downright incensed at the FHSAA over their refusal to reinstate McDaniel without restriction and pulls no punches in an interview you absolutely need to hear.
Please listen to the podcast and when it’s over, we implore you to at least try and help right this absurd injustice to an innocent teenage child. To do that, you can contact the Director of the FHSAA , Mr. George Tomyn and let him know you think what they’re doing to Knowledge McDaniel is wrong. Mr. Tomyn is the one person that has the power to instantly overturn everything. His office phone number at the FHSAA is (352) 372-9551 (extension 110), his email is firstname.lastname@example.org and you can use Twitter @FHSAA.