Our friends over at the monolith that is the World Wide Leader has embroiled itself into quite the sticky wicket. No, we’re not talking about Chris Berman’s bombastic commentary during the meaningless Home Run Derby. No, we’re not talking about the consistently vapid and self-congratulatory ESPYs.
Instead, we’re talking about ESPN’s decision to indefinitely suspend college football writer Bruce Feldman for participating in the autobiography of former Texas Tech head coach (and former Kentucky assistant) Mike Leach, even though the WWL had given Feldman permission to participate on the project.
Sports By Brooks broke the story of Feldman’s suspension. At issue is Leach’s claims in the book that ESPN hyped the story of his controversial interaction with Red Raider player Adam Jones because Jones is the son of ESPN football analyst Craig James. Even though ESPN approved Feldman’s participation in the book, the WWL did not like what the book had to say. So Feldman was told he cannot write for ESPN, tweet for ESPN, appear on television for ESPN, appear on radio for ESPN or ESPN podcasts.
The outrage across the internet concerning Feldman’s suspension has been widespread.
Stewart Mandel of SI.com tweeted, “One of the finest writers in the profession was suspended today because of a company’s own irresponsible journalism.” He also called for a boycott of ESPN.
Awful Announcing calls the debacle ESPN’s Waterloo.
CBS Sports’ Gregg Doyel has changed his twitter avatar to a picture of Feldman.
Richard Deitsch, media writer for SI.com, tweeted, “Second, I’ve never heard a single person in sports journalism say one bad thing about @BFeldmanESPN. That’s why you are seeing this support.”
Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports tweeted, “ESPN staffers are obviously muzzled on Bruce Feldman, but internal outrage is overwhelming. Good guy done bad”
And (thank goodness) Buzz Bissinger is weighing in:
- Is anyone actually surprised by suspension of Bruce Feldman by ESPN. The book he co-wrote critical of king a—— Craig James.(1)
- ESPN has so many different standards for so many different people–guidelines longer than f—— George R. Martin novel and far less sense.(1)
(1) The dashes are mine, of course. Buzz would never uses dashes to cover up profanities.