On July 14, Bruce Feldman was suspended indefinitely by ESPN.com Editor-in-Chief Pat Stiegman after Stiegman informed Feldman that he was to stop working or Tweeting because of his now-confirmed, ESPN-approved involvement with the new Mike Leach book, Swing Your Sword.
At the time of his suspension Thursday, Feldman was not given any indication by Stiegman when the company would allow him to return to his duties.
During a Jan. 15, 2010, ESPN.com chat, Feldman was asked by a reader: “Bruce, love your books. what is next on the horizon? you have alot of interesting CFB topics to disect [sic].”
In his response, Feldman noted that he was working on the Leach book:
Thanks! Am working on a book with Mike Leach, which is one of the reasons why I’m not in a position to discuss a lot of the questions people have sent in about him right now. Book is slated to come out about a year from now.
Less than 24 hours after I reported the news of Feldman’s suspension, ESPN alleged in an official company statement that Feldman had not been given “any suspension or any other form of disciplinary action“ and that “Bruce has resumed his assignments.”
“There was never any suspension or any other form of disciplinary action. We took the time to review his upcoming work assignments in light of the book to which he contributed and will manage any conflicts or other issues as needed. Bruce has resumed his assignments.”
Since that time, Feldman has not published any work for ESPN, appeared on any ESPN outlet nor Tweeted from his official @bfeldmanespn.com account.
Feldman’s last Tweet from his @bfeldmanespn Twitter account was six days ago - the day before Stiegman suspended him. Until July 14, Feldman had gone only three days without Tweeting since January 1, 2011, Tweeting 1,438 times year-to-date.
After I was informed by an ESPN managment source Monday night that Feldman has not told anyone at ESPN he is coming back to work, I posed the following on the record question to ESPN Senior VP of Media Relations Josh Krulewitz:
“An ESPN management source has confirmed to me that no one at the company has actually personally confirmed with Bruce that he’s officially come back to work. If that’s erroneous, can I get an on the record denial? If not, a confirmation?”
Krulewitz’s on the record response:
“ESPN has been in regular contact with Bruce.“
In a ESPN.com ombudsman piece analyzing Feldman’s currently unknown status at the company published Monday on ESPN.com, ESPN also failed to confirm it has confirmed that Bruce has resumed his assignments.