Sandusky's hardly lonely after voting Auburn first


As soon as this week's college football rankings came out Sunday, Gerry Sandusky knew he was in for seven whole days of trouble.

Sandusky, the weeknight sports anchor at Channel 11, is one of 62 Associated Press poll voters, and he was the only one to cast a first-place vote this week for No. 3 Auburn.

"When I saw that Auburn got the one first-place vote, I said to my wife, 'Honey, put the answering machine on. It's going to be a long week,' " said Sandusky.

Sandusky, who became a voter this year at the request of a local Associated Press reporter, assumed the poll panel was substantially larger, or at least large enough to give him a measure of anonymity.

Instead, he has been fielding phone calls and giving interviews to radio talk shows and newspapers all season about his votes.

"When I came across the [acknowledgment] letter and I saw the number of voters, I said, 'Gulp,' " said Sandusky. "Then I came across the next big lie, namely that they won't release your name. Yeah, right. I should have a bumper sticker that says, 'Honk if you don't know how I voted.' "

Ever the iconoclast, Sandusky, who has been voting for Auburn since it beat Florida two weeks ago, went in a completely different direction than the other 61 AP voters, who chose either top-ranked Nebraska or No. 2 Penn State.

To place Sandusky even farther out on a limb, the Tigers are in the midst of NCAA sanctions that ban them from a bowl this year.

"My take on this is if they are going to be listed, I'll vote for them," said Sandusky. "If the people responsible for the problems are no longer associated with the school, then I think the school should be eligible for the vote."

And Sandusky says he would consider voting for Auburn as national champs if Nebraska and Penn State both stumble in the regular season or in a Jan. 2 bowl game.

Just don't call him about it.

Where have you been, David?

For everyone who has wondered what happened to David Hartman since he left ABC's "Good Morning America" in 1987, here's an answer: Hartman has been producing, writing and acting as host of documentaries.

One such program, "Sports Greats: One on One with David Hartman," airs tonight at 7:30 on ESPN, as the man himself chats with Troy Aikman, Ken Griffey Jr. and Hakeem Olajuwon in a one-hour special.

Quick quiz: Who co-anchored "GMA" with Hartman when it debuted in 1975? Answer to follow.

On the air tonight

TNT presents a live two-hour tribute to Michael Jordan tonight at 8 from the new United Center in Chicago, where his No. 23 will be retired and an 11 1/2 -foot, 2,000-pound statue will be unveiled.

The list of invited luminaries for tonight's occasion features the usual NBA dignitaries and an assembled group of celebrities including Kelsey Grammer of "Frasier," oafish comedian Sinbad, actors Woody Harrelson and Craig T. Nelson, and Larry King.

Larry King?

Longer-term friendship

The Atlantic Coast Conference and Raycom/Jefferson Pilot Sports have announced a four-year extension of their men's basketball television package, plus the formation of a new joint corporate marketing venture, "ACC Properties."

The television contract, which was due to run out after the 1997 season, now extends into the year 2001.

This year, the Raycom/JP partnership will televise or produce 83 games involving ACC teams on a schedule that runs from telecasts on CBS and ESPN2 on Nov. 26 through the ACC tournament championship game on March 12.

Analysis by Wes

Former Washington Bullets coach Wes Unseld has signed on to become lead analyst for NBA Radio broadcasts, replacing Bob Lanier, who took an assistant coaching job with the Golden State Warriors.

Alas, the closest NBA Radio affiliate is Washington's WTEM (570 AM), which can barely be heard above a whisper this side of Laurel.

Quick quiz answer

Go to the head of the class if you said David Hartman's first GMA partner was . . . Nancy Dussault.

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