I used to like Alan Ashby…

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until this:

Alan Ashby, who recently lost his job as radio analyst for Astros games, is a candidate to become the next head of the Harris County-Houston Sports Authority, the authority’s chairman said Thursday.

Ashby, a popular former Astros catcher, has the kind of sports background that would be useful for the sports authority’s next chief executive, said chairman Billy Burge.

“You need somebody from a sports culture who has worked sporting events around the country,” Burge said. “I’m not saying (Ashby) is the person, but that’s the kind of profile we are talking about.”

Oliver Luck, a former Houston Oilers quarterback and former head of NFL Europe, resigned as the sports authority’s chief executive at the end of December. He was hired as president of the Major League Soccer team relocating to Houston from San Jose.

The sports authority’s board will form a search committee this month and likely make its choice sometime next month, Burge said. He expects three to five candidates to emerge.

That’s a shame. There must be SOMETHING else he can do.

KEVIN WHITED ADDS: This part was the real stunner to me:

Ashby said he took classes at a community college, but does not have a college degree.

“He doesn’t have a financial background. But (the sports authority) has a controller,” Burge said.

The job would focus more on attracting sports events to Houston, not bond repayments, Burge said.


Ashby may be a nice guy, and his supporters may feel like he got a raw deal from Drayton McLane, but there is no way that Billy Burge ought to be able to bestow a $200,000-per-year position on an athlete with no college degree simply because Billy Burge thinks it’s a great idea. It smacks of the sort of cronyism that Mayor White’s press shop has long said won’t be tolerated by this administration.

Incidentally, is Burge’s boosting of Ashby’s candidacy really “news” at this point? The story is set up so that Burge effectively is acting as Ashby’s PR man, touting his candidacy, yet a formal search committee has not yet been formed. Does that mean the fix is in, already?

PREVIOUSLY: Billy Burge: THE best reason to shut down the Sports Authority!, Shut down the Sports Authority and save $40 million, County official recommends downsizing Sports Authority

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About Anne Linehan 2323 Articles
Anne Linehan is a co-founder of blogHOUSTON.