A Realist’s Opinion On The Bruce Feldman/ESPN Saga

by Dom

Okay, we all (or not) heard about the drama going on between college football writer Bruce Feldman and ESPN. Apparently, Feldman contributed–along with former Texas Tech head coach Mike Leach–to a book which had some ESPN-slandering stuff in it. I can agree with ESPN if that were the case because an employee of a company shouldn’t be contributing to a book that makes them look bad.

I think ESPN didn’t know there was any slanderous writing in the book, but they heard there was so they figured why not suspend Feldman until a thorough investigation was carried out. That seems fair. The media decided to architect a story which made Feldman look like a victim of a ridiculous “power play” by ESPN.

At this point, I side with ESPN. However, the next piece of information slightly pushed me to neutrality.

According to TheBigLead, ESPN kept quiet about the Feldman incident until 16 hours after the news leaked. Tons of journalists, agents, and athletes poured their emotions about the situation onto Twitter and Facebook accounts. A Twitter hashtag was even created — #FreeBruce.

Why did ESPN wait so long to explain what happened? I realize the information and subsequent investigation about the case is sensitive, but couldn’t ESPN release a short statement. In my mind, it would read like this: “ESPN has decided to place Bruce Feldman on temporary leave, pending an investigation of possible slanderous acts directed toward ESPN and written in Swing Your Sword, a novel authored by Mr. Feldman and Mike Leach.” 

Of course I’m not a lawyer so my legal verbiage may not be up to the standards of Joe Pesci in My Cousin Vinny, but you get the point.

The bottom line is that Feldman obviously did something that caught ESPN’s eye and made them want to double check some things before they allowed him to continue submitting stories.

I have no problem with that cautionary measure.