Channel 2 fires Dixon for comments on Cottle

Color analyst didn't know he was on air before game

April 27, 2004|By Jeff Zrebiec | Jeff Zrebiec,SUN STAFF

Mark Dixon, a first-year color analyst on Channel 2's Toyota Lacrosse Game of the Week, was fired last week after comments he made on air about the appearance of Maryland men's lacrosse coach Dave Cottle, sources said.

"A mistake was made, it was dealt with privately and it's been resolved," said Dixon, 32, who teamed with Channel 2 sports anchors Keith Mills and Scott Garceau for the weekly broadcasts. "I have no other comment."

"I can confirm that he was fired," said Michael Draman, vice president and station manager at WMAR, who said Dixon was a freelance employee of the station. "However, we don't comment on any personnel matters involving employees."

Dixon's comments, which occurred before the opening faceoff of the 100th Johns Hopkins-Maryland game on Saturday, April 17, did not air on Channel 2, but were heard on the College Sports Television network, which purchased the rights to broadcast the game from Channel 2.

It was apparent that Dixon, Garceau and Mills did not realize they were on the air when the comments were made. CSTV cut to a commercial immediately following Dixon's remarks.

CSTV, started last year to cover men's and women's college sports, is available to more than 20 million cable and satellite households nationally.

In a statement, CSTV said it "found the comment made by the WMAR announcer on the WMAR-produced show unacceptable and immediately voiced ... displeasure to WMAR."

Cottle declined to comment.

Dixon was a midfielder for Johns Hopkins from 1991 to 1994. He was the color analyst for Blue Jays radio broadcasts on WJFK (1300 AM) for six years, and replaced Quint Kessenich, who is now an analyst for CSTV, in the Channel 2 booth this spring.

Brian Kroneberger, a former All-American midfielder from Loyola College, has replaced Dixon.

Sun staff writer Kevin Van Valkenburg contributed to this article.

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