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Albert has accepted a sportscasting job at MSG Network in New York

Marv Albert looking to future with second chance

Web posted on: Thursday, July 16, 1998 4:37:10 PM EDT

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Sportscaster Marv Albert, 10 months removed from a sex scandal that derailed his career, said Wednesday he is thankful to be getting another chance.

"This is a day for me to look forward and to turn the page of what has been a very difficult time in my life," Albert said at a press conference that announced he would be rehired by the MSG Network.

MSG officials say Albert will do radio play-by-play of New York Knicks basketball games at Madison Square Garden, and anchor a nightly news show.

Albert was fired from NBC after pleading guilty to an assualt charge

'A part of the family'

"We consider Marv part of the family and loyalty is important to us," said Dave Checketts, president of Madison Square Garden.

Albert resigned from the cable network in September 1997 and was fired from NBC after the embarrassing sex scandal in which he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge.

Albert had been accused of throwing his former girlfriend, Vanessa Perhach, on a bed in a Virginia hotel room in February 1997, biting her on the back more than a dozen times and forcing her to perform oral sex.

Albert and his wife heading to court in 1997

Therapy sessions

Albert said he has been seeing a therapist on a regular basis since last September and it has been a positive experience.

"Through these regular sessions I feel I've learned more about myself than at any point in my life," he said.

Now he's concentrating on restarting his career.

"Returning to the Garden is what I wanted to do, and I'm thankful that I have been afforded this opportunity," Albert said.

He said he'd take his comeback "one step at a time" and wouldn't say whether he would try to get back into network sports. Albert said he would continue therapy and wouldn't be so work-obsessed, which got him in trouble in the first place. "My lifestyle and my hectic schedule did not allow me to call a timeout," he said.

A business decision

Albert said he had no control over how people will react to him coming back, or if they taunt him in sports arenas.

"I think that my personality has certainly changed after going through the entire situation," he said. "It will take a little while for me to get back to my normal personality, but I think that will come in time, and I think I will be taken seriously in time."

Checketts said bringing Albert back was a business decision. He checked with MSG sponsors and shareholders to see what objections they would have, and MSG even spoke to Albert's therapist about whether he was ready.

"I think we're going to get tremendous support," he said. "How long do we have to hold some people out ... and punish them? It's not our right. He's ready to come back."

Albert worked for over three decades broadcasting Knicks and New York Rangers NHL games, as well as being the lead NBA announcer and an NFL football sportscaster for NBC.

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