SBD/Closing Bell

John Skipper Defends ESPN's Decisions On Bernie Fine Story

Skipper defends ESPN's handling of '03 phone recording of Bernie Fine's wife
ESPN's John Skipper had strong comments today for people who question the net's use of a recording from '03 of Syracuse assistant coach Bernie Fine’s wife. Speaking at the IMG Intercollegiate Athletics Forum in N.Y., Skipper said, “There were significant credibility issues with Bobby Davis. … We did not believe we could go forward with a story. We also made a decision not to go to the police. In light of the Penn State situation, it feels bad, and we’re cognizant of that. But we believe the guys who made the decisions … made the right decisions and that was the end of our obligation. I do not agree we acted inappropriately.”

Skipper said he wasn’t aware of the tape at the time. “It was never elevated above the journalists,” he said. Skipper also chafed at comments that ESPN was just as at fault as Penn State for allegedly “covering up” information. Skipper: “Penn State had a problem with their institution within their chain of command. This is not about something that happened at ESPN, this is not about someone at our end in our chain of command that was alleged of anything. … The perception that our actions are similar to Penn State’s is irresponsible."

See our blog for more from the conference, including thoughts from NCAA President Mark Emmert and several ADs on current topics in college sports.
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