CBS: No regrets on Ware injury coverage
In this photo released by the University of Louisville, injured Louisville guard Kevin Ware lies in a hospital bed holding the NCAA Regional Championship trophy flanked by coach Rick Pitino, left, and former Louisville assistant coach Richard Pitino, Monday, April 1, 2013, in Louisville, Ky. Ware broke his leg in the first half of Sunday's Midwest Regional final when he landed awkwardly after trying to contest a 3-point shot, breaking his leg in two places. He was taken off the court on a stretcher as his stunned teammates openly wept. His teammates went on to defeat Duke 85-63 to reach their second straight Final Four. (AP Photo/University of Louisville, Kenny Klein)
NEW YORK (AP) — The chairman of CBS Sports had no regrets about banning further replays of Louisville basketball player Kevin Ware's gruesome broken leg and says if anyone wants to watch it on the Internet, that's fine with him.
CBS aired two quick replays Sunday from a wide enough distance for viewers to see the leg land awkwardly, but not any blood or bone. It hasn't been shown since on CBS.
"In today's world, if you want to see a piece of video instantaneously that you just saw on television, there are a million ways to do that," Sean McManus said Monday. "I've seen statistics on the millions of views this piece of footage has had on YouTube and I have no problem with that."
Ware was injured after attempting to block a shot in the Cardinals' regional final victory over Duke. The sight of his tibia bone protruding from his skin left coach Rick Pitino and his teammates in tears. Ware was operated on later Sunday and is expected to watch Louisville's Final Four appearance Saturday from the bench in Atlanta.
The network received praise for restraint, although McManus said he knew people would say CBS should have shown it more because the network was in a position to document history.
Several postings of CBS' coverage were quickly available with a search for Ware's name Monday afternoon.
"If people want to go watch the footage for whatever reason, they have a right to do so," McManus said. "I just didn't think we had any obligation to be the facilitator of putting that footage back on the screen. We documented it, we described it and we showed it, and I think that was enough."
It's considerably different from when Washington Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann broke his leg during a Monday Night Football game in 1985. It was equally horrific, with bone jutting through skin. Back then, about the only way a viewer could see it again is if a television producer decided to show the replay, said Jeff Billings, a sports media professor at the University of Alabama.
Aside from the availability of footage online now, many viewers have DVRs that enabled them to replay the incident as much as they wanted, Billings said.
"Current technology makes it a whole lot easier for them to take the high road," he said.
CBS concentrated on the methods it had to tell the story that others did not have — access to players and coaches and pictures of their reactions, he said.