Univ. Of Washington Football, ESPN Still Working To Mend Relationship
Univ. of Washington AD Jennifer Cohen and ESPN execs continue to work "behind the scenes" to "repair the relationship" between them following a broadcast last year in which ESPN's Mark Jones used cupcakes to describe the school's non-conference football schedule, according to Adam Jude of the SEATTLE TIMES. ESPN will broadcast Saturday's Arizona State-Washington game at Husky Stadium, but earlier this month, there was a "puzzling setback" to the relationship's recovery when Jones "seemed to gloat on Twitter about the Huskies’ season-opening loss to Auburn." Jones ended up "setting off a small firestorm from UW fans." When the issue initially cropped up last October, during the broadcast of the Cal-UW game, Jones and analyst Rod Gilmore "sounded personally insulted" that UW coach Chris Petersen "declined to meet with them face-to-face the day before the game." Even after Jones' tweet this season, Cohen said that she is "encouraged with the state of the relationship with ESPN." Former UW QB Brock Huard is "part of the ESPN broadcast team" for Saturday's game. In May, ESPN sent Huard and Kirk Herbstreit to "speak at the Pac-12’s annual coaches’ and athletic directors’ meetings in Scottsdale." Cohen "saw that as evidence of ESPN’s commitment to improve the relationship with the conference overall." Petersen said that the issues with ESPN did "not change his approach to media access." Petersen: "Not one bit." But Jude notes while Petersen is not always available for face-to-face interviews, this week he is "scheduled to meet with the ESPN crew in person on Friday" (SEATTLE TIMES, 9/21).