An AOL spokesperson told SI’s Richard Deitsch Thursday morning that Mariotti was suspended indefinitely from his Fanhouse duties:
We are continuing to gather all the facts. In the meantime, we have suspended Jay Mariotti and are not featuring any new work from him.
After the AOL statement, I asked ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz about the status of Mariotti at the network. Krulewitz replied, “he (Mariotti) is not scheduled to be on (Around The Horn) next week.”When I asked Krulewitz if Mariotti’s absence was related to his arrest in Los Angeles last week, he declined comment.
Mariotti was arrested and charged with felony domestic assault in L.A. on Saturday morning after an alleged altercation with his girlfriend. The police report from the incident has not yet been made public by the Los Angeles Police Dept.
Sources told me today that the Around The Horn panelist appearance schedule is drawn only a week in advance. That said, I’ve been advised that Mariotti’s legal troubles were indeed relevant to his not being assigned to the show next week.
Meanwhile, the move by AOL Fanhouse comes in light of website commenters posting indelicate reactions to Mariotti’s arrest on many of his archived columns on the website.
Despite the indefinite suspension, Mariotti’s past work remains on the AOL Fanhouse site.
Today’s moves by AOL and ESPN were necessary despite very little information being available about Mariotti’s legal entanglement. Mariotti is a provocative opinion maker by trade with those opinions now marginalized until more facts of his domestic assault charge are made available.
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