SBD/December 8, 2011/Media

ESPN's John Skipper Defends Decisions Made By Net During Fine Investigation

Skipper said perception that ESPN's actions are similar to Penn State’s is "irresponsible"
ESPN's John Skipper had strong comments yesterday 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 was not 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" (THE DAILY).

REALITY-TV SEQUEL? FOXSPORTS.com’s Jason Whitlock writes the Fine investigation has "never been a search for the truth," as it has been an "ESPN-generated, reality-TV sequel to the real-life Jerry Sandusky-Penn State tragedy." ESPN and the Syracuse Post-Standard are "leading a public lynching of Fine’s reputation before there’s ever been anything remotely resembling a fair airing of the facts." Whitlock: "The Bernie Fine Media Circus is a really bad TV show. ... Is there a search for the truth by the media organizations with the deepest investments in the Bernie Fine Media Circus? I don’t think so" (FOXSPORTS.com, 12/8).
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