While The Post’s Bart Hubbach makes great sport out of Bill Belichick’s penchant for taking on reclaimation projects, the same could be said of Florida International A.D. Pete Garcia. Two seasons after tapping disgraced Knicks coach/exec Isiah Thomas to coach his men’s basketball program, Garcia earlier this week hired former CNN Anchor Rick Sanchez, who lost his job in Atlanta last year after publicly bitching about a Jewish Media Cabal. Pointing out that Sanchez, “has a tight relationship with school president Mark Rosenberg, who is Jewish,” the Miami Herald’s David J. Neal gives the former ample rope with which to describe his appointment as the new color man for FIU football.
“I played college football. I love football,” Sanchez laughed. “That part of it is exciting. We all tend to think we could do play-by-play better than the next guy. I don’t need to chase the next anchor job.”
Or, if you didn’t know that Sanchez, Cuban-born and Hialeah-raised, brags of how much FIU’s enrollment and FIU’s team displays South Florida’s ethnic diversity all the way up to Cuban-American head coach Mario Cristobal. Or, if you didn’t know that FIU athletic director Pete Garcia has known Sanchez since they were at Mae M. Walters Elementary School, through Filer Junior High and to Hialeah High.
Sanchez rose to stardom as a Channel 7 news anchor in South Florida’s bullet-heavy 1980s and establish himself as South Florida’s most polarizing news personality as the station began to dominate the local news ratings. Starting in 2001, he went to MSNBC; returned to South Florida’s WTVJ-Channel 6; then to then-WBZL Channel 39; before going to CNN.
“I stand by what I said — generally, the news media, broadcast more so than print, has not given opportunities to people of color, particularly Latinos,” Sanchez said. “I don’t need money. If anything, I’m looking for opportunities to empower others and myself so we’re not getting jobs, but creating jobs.”