SBD/September 12, 2013/Media

ESPN Calls Jason Whitlock's Comments On SI's Thayer Evans "Not Acceptable"

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Whitlock called Thayer a "huge, enormous, gigantic Oklahoma homer"
ESPN this morning stated the critical comments Jason Whitlock recently made regarding SI's Thayer Evans were "not acceptable," according to Ed Sherman of SHERMANREPORT.com. The company in a statement said, "We have discussed Jason’s comments with him. They were personal in nature, they do not represent ESPN and they are not acceptable based on the standards we have set." Whitlock on Tuesday appeared on Oklahoma City-based WWLS-FM and "blasted Evans, who along with George Dohrmann is writing a series of stories about improprieties in the Oklahoma State football program." ESPN's media policy states in part, "Comments must not be personal, vicious, dismissive ... No cheap shots." It also states, "No personal attacks or innuendo toward people, media companies, networks or publications" (SHERMANREPORT.com, 9/12). THE BIG LEAD's Jason McIntyre notes Whitlock "technically hasn’t even started working" for ESPN, and his contract is not "fully signed" (THEBIGLEAD.com, 9/12).

IT'S NOT PERSONAL, I SWEAR: Whitlock in the interview said, "Having worked with Thayer Evans at Fox Sports, having followed his work for some time, I am completely and utterly flabbergasted that a legitimate news outlet would allow Thayer Evans to be involved in some type of investigative piece on college football that tears down a program, and particularly one that tears down Oklahoma State when it is no secret what a huge, enormous, gigantic Oklahoma homer Thayer Evans is. This is just incredible. Knowing the lack of competence that’s there with Thayer Evans, knowing the level of simplemindedness that’s there with Thayer Evans, to base any part of the story on his reporting is mind-boggling." He added, "It doesn’t surprise me there are sources in this story saying the reporting was heavy-handed and leading. I don’t want to make the whole thing about Thayer Evans, but there’s just no way to avoid it. I’ve worked with him. He’s simpleminded. He’s a hack that can’t write. This isn’t personal, I promise. I have no reason to dislike Thayer Evans personally, and I don’t. But I’ve read enough of his work this guy isn’t qualified for this job and by now Sports Illustrated and anybody else should be well aware of this" (WWLS-FM, 9/10).
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