Sportscaster eyed in fraud

With a down-home, easy-going demeanor and connections across the South’s college sports scene, Booneville native and University of Mississippi alum Scott McKinney built a sports talk radio empire.

His Southern Sports Tonight show was heard in the coveted afternoon drive time on some 115 stations from Texas to South Carolina. His guests included A-list coaches.

But McKinney’s image took a major blow in March when he was arrested in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., where he now lives, and charged with 16 counts of investment fraud, racketeering and theft.

If those allegations prove true, McKinney could be in trouble in his home state, also.

Three men – two from Mississippi and one from Tennessee – say McKinney bilked them out of about $140,000 in 2001 and 2002 to fund the startup of the show, which appeared to thrive until abruptly going off the air in January 2005.

Clarion Ledger