Bruce Feldman, one of the best college football writers in the nation as well as an accomplished author, was suspended indefinitely by ESPN during a conference call with three network officials Thursday morning.
According to Sports By Brooks, Feldman has been banned from writing on any ESPN format, is barred from appearing on any ESPN platform such as television or radio, is not allowed to use his Twitter account and cannot participate in any promotion of Mike Leach's recently released book Swing Your Sword, in which Feldman played a role.
Leach, of course, is the former Texas Tech head coach whose contract was terminated by the school in 2009. His famous departure from the school stemmed from complaints about his alleged treatment of Adam James, the son of ESPN college football analyst Craig James. Yes, unfortunately, the connection can be made right there.
Even before Leach was let go by the Red Raiders, Feldman had agreed in principle to help the coach with his book. According to the report, following the drama in Lubbock, Feldman was only going to participate in the project if he garnered approval from ESPN management, which he did, per the report.
And as Brooks astutely mentions, Feldman has not promoted or mentioned the Leach book on his Twitter account or ESPN blog. However, ESPN Vice President and Director of News Vince Doria, ESPN The Magazine Editor-in-Chief & ESPN Books Editorial Director Gary Hoenig, and ESPN.com Editor-in-Chief Pat Stiegman told Feldman that he was being suspended indefinitely for his participation in the book.
First off, I've only crossed paths in-person with Feldman one time, which came this past February at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, and I was as impressed with his professionalism as anyone I've ever met. Second, being suspended for his role in Leach's book is nothing short of an absolute travesty, especially if he truly was given the 'OK' by ESPN management.
While the suspension is absurd, we can only hope that Feldman is back on the job in time for the 2011 college football campaign, contributing his expertise on a variety of platforms.
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