Appearing on 104.5 ESPN radio in Baton Rouge a day after calling out LSU for publishing billboards congratulating gymnastics on its second-place finish at the NCAA championships, national reporter Darren Rovell said he doesn't apologize for or regret his comments.
"If LSU baseball ... had a runner-up billboard, you guys would be slamming it from now until the end of time," Rovell told Jordy Culotta and T-Bob Hebert, hosts of "Off the Bench" on KNXX-FM.
On Sunday, the former ESPN reporter and current Action Network sports business reporter cited LSU Gymnastics' social media post with a photo of the billboard and said, "No, you can't put up a billboard for coming in second."
The billboard is a photo of the team posing with its second-place trophy with the words "2019 NCAA Gymnastics National Runner-Up."
The criticism triggered angry responses from LSU fans and gymnasts alike, including Sarah Finnegan, Ruby Harrold and McKenna Kelly.
Rovell emphasized that he wasn't "denigrating" the team's showing at nationals, calling it "an incredible accomplishment."
"It's my take that you can't really have a picture with the runners-up trophy and say runners-up," Rovell said. "I don't think that's the way to go."
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Video via LSU gymnastics
He suggested the billboard would've more effective if it said "thank you" or "incredible season."
The Tigers finished second Saturday in Fort Worth, Texas, to national champion Oklahoma.
LSU posted its second-best score ever in a national final.