ESPN released the following short statement on Franklin’s firing: “Based on what occurred last Friday, we have ended our relationship with him.”
As reported here on Sunday, Franklin made insulting comments to ESPN sideline reporter Jeannine Edwards last Friday that included calling her an “a–hole” and, as later clarified by Edwards, “sweet baby.”
After Franklin’s comments to Edwards were reported by a third party to ESPN management, Franklin was subsequently taken off the ESPN Saturday Fiesta Bowl radio broadcast.
Franklin signed a two-year contract with ESPN last July. He had been scheduled to work Big 12 basketball games twice per week this season.
After the firing, an ESPN source told me that Franklin’s termination was not only related to the incident with Edwards, but also an inappropriate on-air comment the veteran announcer made to ESPN sideline reporter Holly Rowe in 2005.
Another ESPN source indicated to me after the termination that ESPN Programming Executive Norby Williamson was dissatisfied with Franklin’s level of contrition following the incident with Edwards. That lack of remorse included Franklin failing to apologize to Edwards personally.
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