Yesterday in Los Angeles Superior Court, ESPN and AOL employee Jay Mariotti pleaded no contest, which has the effect of a guilty plea, to a misdemeanor charge of domestic violence against his girlfriend as part of a plea bargain to avoid jail time.
Since Mariotti’s plea bargain to avoid jail time, I’ve talked to several sources at ESPN and AOL Fanhouse about the prospect of Mariotti maintaining his jobs at the two media companies.
Multiple sources at ESPN have confirmed to me that Mariotti is finished at the network. The only remaining question in Bristol regarding Mariotti is how company executives will handle the release of the news. Mariotti is a contract employee at ESPN, meaning he’s paid per appearance and has no binding contract with the network for future work.
Without Mariotti under contract, one could make the argument that ESPN is under no obligation to do any more than what it did yesterday regarding Mariotti. ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz said after Mariotti’s plea bargain, “We have no current plans to use him at this time.”
“At this time” does leave the door cracked, but I’ve been told that Mariotti will not return to Around The Horn nor appear on any ESPN production in the future.
AOL Fanhouse though is, from what I’ve been told, taking a different tack on Mariotti’s future employ. Read more…