Corso Continues Tenure On "College GameDay" Despite Difficulties From Stroke
Eight years after ESPN's Lee Corso suffered a major stroke that makes it difficult for him to talk, he "can’t ad-lib" on "College GameDay" like he used to, but he can still "stay on track" by memorizing a script, according to Ava Wallace of the WASHINGTON POST. Corso: "They could’ve dumped me. ESPN was good to keep me. I work with great people, people that, I think, respect me enough to allow me to make the mistakes I do." Corso added, "It hurts me not to be able to communicate like I used to. I used to be pretty good at coming back, you know, quick one-liners. I don’t have spontaneity, I can’t do that as much now. ... It gets frustrating, because I want to be able to be like I was." Wallace noted Corso’s fellow analysts "help him pronounce names, sometimes finish his sentences when he can’t and gently correct him if he makes a mistake." Producers also "adjust segments on the show to accommodate his needs." ESPN VP/College Sports Lee Fitting said, “We said we had to take it slowly. We said, ‘Let’s not put Coach in a position to fail.' ... He’s always on the set for the most important parts of the show: The beginning, the middle and the end, and that’s where we need him. We love and value his opinion and analysis, and we work around sort of all of our comfort level to put him in the best spot.” Wallace noted Corso "signed a new, multiyear contract with the network earlier this year." Fitting: "I got no resistance from above. ... He’s on the Mount Rushmore of ESPN.” Corso: "When ESPN says they’re going to move in another direction, I’ll say, ‘Thank you very much. It’s been a great run'" (WASHINGTON POST, 10/15).
EAST COAST BIAS? THE ATHLETIC's John Walters wrote for the sixth time in seven weeks, "College GameDay" "originated from a site located in the Eastern Time Zone" -- this time at James Madison Univ. It was the "second time in the past three years" the show has gone to JMU, and it is a "bad look." Meanwhile, on Saturday, Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit called Arkansas-Alabama for the ESPN primetime game for the first time this season, while Utah-USC on ABC's "Saturday Night Football" went to "another crew" -- Steve Levy and Brian Griese (THEATHLETIC.com, 10/15).