One of the best college football writers in the business, Bruce Feldman, was suspended indefinitely yesterday by the World Wide Leader. Was it justified? Absolutely not.
Yesterday, ESPN big-wigs had a conference call and decided to ban Feldman from writing for any ESPN outlet, can not appear on any ESPN broadcast and is not allowed to use his twitter account. He is also not allowed to participate in any book promotion from the Mike Leach book, Swing Your Sword, that Feldman helped write.
Why you ask?
Back in 2009, Feldman has agreed to help Coach Leach write his autobiography. After Feldman agreed to help write the book, Leach was fired from the Texas Tech football program for the alleged mistreatment of Adam James, son of another ESPN college football analyst, Craig James. ESPN still gave the green-light to go ahead and help Leach with the book….
The book does go into specific details on how Craig James and ESPN had twisted the news and swayed the public opinion of what happened to James son, Adam. James actually was in contact with a communications firm, Spaeth Communications, to help him spin the info.
An excerpt from the book read:
There were statements out there from Adam Jamesâ€™s two position coaches, Dana Holgorsen and Lincoln Riley. There was a statement from the strength coach, Bennie Wylie. There were statements from three of Jamesâ€™s teammatesâ€”players that had been successful in the program and had witnessed Adamâ€™s behavior, as well as mine.CBSSports.com and other media outlets chose to run those statements. ESPN, which also had them, chose not to.
When one of my agents asked Joe Schad, the ESPN reporter, why they neglected to report those statements, he said he didnâ€™t see how they were relevant to the story. But when Craig James gave Schad Adamâ€™s cell number so he could hand the phone over to his roommate Chris Perry, a back-up lineman whom weâ€™d suspended twice, his statement was considered relevant.
With the book release this past Monday, Feldman has made sure he didn’t promote the book via twitter or on his blog. Staying true to the word he gave his employer-He was allowed to help him write the book, but no promoting it.
ESPN went back on their word. He was suspended for his involvement. AFTER the had already given him the go ahead.
Bruce Feldman is one of the most respected college football writers in the business and has always been loyal to the ESPN brand. For them to go back after giving him permission to help Leach with the book, is a stab in the back. They are protecting Craig James and his feelings. My guess, and I know I am not the only one, is that James was angry about the information that came out about him in the book, and threatened to walk on ESPN unless they did something about it.
Through all this, several writers for other media outlets have taken to twitter to defend this debacle ESPN has started. The twitter hashtag #FreeBruce has been a constant since the announcement of his suspension yesterday.
The only person from ESPN that has spoken publicly about the situation is… Craig James…
So no one else at ESPN is allowed to talk about it, but the person who caused this? And he claims to have no clue what happened.
This seems a little fishy to me. I think someone is starting to feel guilty. Hopefully one of these days we will get the story from Feldman, when he is allowed to talk, and released from the ESPN leash.