SBD/November 21, 2011/Media

ESPN's Lee Corso Curses On Live TV, Issues Apology

Corso apologized on air after a commercial break in the Nebraska-Michigan game
ESPN’s Lee Corso “blurted out an expletive starting with the letter ‘F’ during the final segment of ESPN's ‘College GameDay’ late Saturday morning,” according to Steve Coogan of USA TODAY. Corso picked up a large SMU megaphone, indicating “he was leaning toward picking the Mustangs to upset an undefeated Houston team.” After about five seconds of “screaming into the megaphone, Corso clearly said ‘Ah ---- it,’ while tossing it aside before putting on the headgear for Shasta, the Houston mascot.” The incident left "GameDay" analysts Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit “laughing and making jokes.” Fowler before the segment ended said, "Shasta, shame on you. Wash that mouth out." Later, during a break in the action of ESPN's coverage of Michigan's win over Nebraska, the net “aired Corso reading a statement of apology for uttering the expletive.” Corso: "Earlier today on ‘College GameDay,’ I used an expletive I shouldn't have. I apologize and promise it won't happen again." ESPN VP/PR Josh Krulewitz on Saturday said that Corso “had apologized on air to viewers and that there would be no further action” (USATODAY.com, 11/19). Corso said, “It was live TV, and I got excited and said something I shouldn’t have. I was really embarrassed” (USA TODAY, 11/21). In Phoenix, Bob Young wrote he is “willing to forgive” Corso, as “spontaneity is one of the reasons the show works so well” (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 11/20). IMG' Tim McGhee wrote on his Twitter feed, "After all that's happened in college sports, Corso's curse is not a big f'ing deal." Yahoo Sports' Dan Wetzel wrote, "So ESPN's ticker runs ugly details of sexual molestation for two weeks but Corso swears once and it's an issue?" The Tallahassee Democrat's Ira Schoffel: "Only Corso can get MORE love for dropping an F bomb on national tv."

ENOUGH ALREADY: In DC, Tracee Hamilton wrote of the media coverage surrounding the Penn State child sexual abuse scandal, “Last weekend, while trying to sit through ESPN’s coverage from State College, Pa., I was tempted to yell, ‘You reporters get off his damn lawn!’ at the journalists camped out at Joe Paterno’s house, where absolutely nothing happened all day long.” She noted it “took a lot for me to feel sorry for Paterno that day … but I do think he could have been left in peace on what was the first Saturday of the rest of his life.” Hamilton: “And don’t get [me] wrong, I felt sorry for the ESPN reporter, too. It can’t be fun, filling all that airtime with nothing whatsoever worthwhile to say” (WASHINGTON POST, 11/19).
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