THURSDAY: After Firing, Marv's Future Uncertain

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NEW YORK: So, farewell then, Marv Albert. The famed NBC sportscaster has been unceremoniously dumped by his employers, just hours after he entered a plea of guilty to assault and battery. "Mr. Albert asserted his innocence and assured NBC's senior management that there was no basis whatsoever to the charges," said the network's statement. Translation: You lied to us, so we're washing our hands of you. It was a reaction that came as a surprise to most commentators, who had been expecting Albert and his bosses would be able to work out some kind of deal, and that the commentator's throaty affirmatives would be heard once more. Now it seems someone else from NBC's packed stable will be asked to step up to the plate: perhaps the squeaky-clean Bob Costas, who has kept a lower profile of late.

All in all, it was a particularly bad day for Albert to get out of bed. Indeed, none of the last three days has been a walk, as lurid detail after lurid detail of his sex life emerged, and the tabloids seemed barely able to conceal their glee. But Marv's misery is not over yet. Not only could he still face a year in jail or a $2,500 fine, but also Sally Donnelly, TIME Washington correspondent, reports that his accuser has already retained a lawyer for further action: "It's a slam dunk," says Donnelly, "that she'll file a civil suit against Albert."

Any civil action would force the mysterious plaintiff to reveal her identity, and make her a candidate for tabloid fame which, as Marv knows, can be more of a curse than a blessing.

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