Featured Coaches Lash Out On-Record At ESPN

Joe Davidson of the SACRAMENTO BEE reports the negative reaction from coaches, school officials and media over ESPN’s methods of covering a local high school game Friday night.

ESPN attitude criticized


Coaches said the sports network barged into Folsom this week, flexed its biceps and took control of seemingly every working detail of the Folsom-Grant encounter, turning a lot of heads and stomachs.

It was the overall sense of the ESPN superiority that flustered school and district officials who did their best to make this a smooth, memorable event.

ESPN, in conjunction with Paragon Marketing Group, requested the student bodies of both schools to engage in early morning, on-campus rallies. They pulled players out of class to do interviews.

But ESPN also softened – under a barrage of local media complaints. As of early Friday evening, ESPN insisted that local television outlets were to have no access to the field – meaning no highlights on their newscasts – but it was adjusted to limited access from the end zones.

All told, there were 117 credentialed media, and few had kind words of ESPN.

“I’ve covered eight Super Bowls and never had as many difficulties as I have with this game,” Fox 40 sports director Jim Crandell said.

Said Bryan May of KXTV-10: “I’m from Texas, where football is really big, and worked a game that had 75,000 fans – and it wasn’t like this. This is nuts.”

It’s one thing for the media to complain about the ESPN. It’s another when head coaches of both of the teams involved go on the record in their criticism of ESPN: Read more…