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Albom criticized after fabrication

April 11, 2005 at 2:21 PM

DETROIT, April 11 (UPI) -- Detroit Free Press sports columnist Mitch Albom is facing criticism for an article that contained false information.

Albom, a nationally known sports columnist, radio and TV personality, best-selling author and playwright, reported that two former Michigan State basketball players, Jason Richardson and Mateen Cleaves, attended the Michigan State-North Carolina NCAA tournament Final Four game in St. Louis on April 2, the Chicago Tribune reported Monday. However, while both players had planned to attend, scheduling conflicts had kept them from the game.

The Detroit Free Press was investigating the cause of the fabrication Monday.

"It's not viewed as a minor infraction because in the minds of the editors, it was a fabrication," Free Press public editor John Miller said. "More than being factually wrong, this was something reported that did not happen."

Randy Harvey, the Baltimore Sun's assistant managing editor for sports, said he expects Albom to lose his job.

"I don't see how they will have any choice at the end of their investigation but to fire Mitch and the editor or editors who read the column before it was published," Harvey said.

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