SBD/July 23, 2012/Media

ESPN's Use Of Chris Fowler To Discuss Penn State Penalties Seen As Upgrade Over Millen

ESPN's Chris Fowler served as the main "SportsCenter" studio analyst this morning to discuss the NCAA's sanctions handed down to Penn State and its football program, a contrast to the net's decision to use analyst and former Penn State football player Matt Millen as its main voice following the release of the Freeh Report on July 12. SI.com's Richard Deitsch on Twitter wrote, "Chris Fowler is the first college football voice ESPN viewers get after the NCAA Penn State presser. Much, much better, ESPN. ... Producer leading SportsCenter's PSU coverage today is Michael Shiffman. Solid work so far and needed after Matt Millen-led fiasco." The Birmingham News' Jon Solomon: "Chris Fowler is providing really good perspective. Much better decision by ESPN than Matt Millen." The Omaha World-Herald's Samuel McKewon: "Good to see Chris Fowler working a little ESPN desk this morning after sanctions. They coulda used him a couple weeks ago." NFL Network's Albert Breer: "Enjoying Chris Fowler's perspective on all this -- Tremendous, keeping the victims primary when discussing Paterno's legacy." Meanwhile, Big Ten Network this morning aired NCAA President Mark Emmert's press conference live, as well as the Big Ten's separate press conference announcing additional sanctions against the school. Sporting News' Matt Hayes: "BTN doing a really nice job right now" (THE DAILY).

STRONG WORK: SI.com’s Deitsch wrote ESPN's Steve Bunin's work on "Outside The Lines" in discussing the Penn State scandal “has been strong, a thoughtful and direct interviewer whether dealing with the Paterno Family spokesperson or media opining on the Penn State story.” ESPN's Tom Rinaldi's interview with Jay Paterno following the release of the Freeh Report “is something ESPN management ought to show to staffers paid to conduct on-camera interviews.” His questions “were direct, his manner was firm but respectful, and it's really worth watching.” Rinaldi said, "What we wanted to ask (were) simple and straightforward questions to elicit the reaction of Jay Paterno on the findings of the Freeh Report and not to simply provide a venue -- although that is very important -- but to get some of the questions that we thought would naturally be in viewers' minds” (SI.com, 7/20).
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