Is Craig James worth it?

This is the damnedest thing.

ESPN college football writer Bruce Feldman was suspended indefinitely during a conference call with three ESPN officials this morning.

ESPN Vice President and Director of News Vince Doria, ESPN THE MAGAZINE Editor-in-Chief & ESPN Books Editorial Director Gary Hoenig, and Editor-in-Chief Pat Stiegman participated in the conference call and were behind the decision to punish Feldman.

Doria, Hoenig and Stiegman informed Feldman today that he has been banned from writing for any ESPN entity, is forbidden from appearing on any ESPN platform, is not allowed to Tweet from his Twitter account nor participate in any promotion of a recently-released book in which Feldman played a role.

The reason for the move apparently is in reaction to the editing help Feldman gave Mike Leach in writing his new book.

What makes this bizarre is two things.  First, Feldman’s involvement in the book has been no secret for a long time.  And second, well, you tell me…

… Multiple management and editorial sources at ESPN have told me in recent months that Feldman would only participate in the Leach book project upon direct approval from ESPN management – which Feldman indeed received[Emphasis added.]

Feldman has also acted professionally in not promoting the book publicly in anything he’s written or posted since the book’s release.

Despite that the suspension has provoked a fairly substantial public outcry, the WWL refuses to give an explanation for its decision.  And honestly, it’s hard to figure out what’s going on here.  The timing seems too weird for mere pettiness and if it’s meant to send a message to Mike Leach, how effective is that likely to be?  All I’m left with as a possibility is that Craig James has pictures of somebody high up at the network caught in a compromising position.

Seriously, what’s the point to this?  It’s not like ESPN needs the bad publicity.


UPDATE:  Classic corporate weasel statement here.

“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.”

Yeah, sure.


Filed under ESPN Is The Devil, Mike Leach. Yar!

31 responses to “Is Craig James worth it?

  1. TennesseeDawg

    I smell a lawsuit. Most people would not have known of Feldman’s involvement until ESPN created it’s own negative publicity.


    • heyberto

      Exactly. I too am left wondering what the big deal is with protecting Craig James’ interests so vehemently, or if it’s something else entirely. I’m thinking it’s the former, just based on previous stances ESPN has taken in James’ favor.


      • TennesseeDawg

        Got to keep James close to the vest now for ESPN. Leach will probably be suing and can’t have James out there to come back an haunt them.


    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      “…what’s the point to this?” Answer: ESPN corporate executives think they are bullet-proof and that they can do anything they want, anytime they want, without any consequences. They are the epitome of arrogance. “Absolute power corrupts absolutely.” ESPN has absolute power in televised sports. I heard Jack Arute on radio talk about the only way to beat ESPN–“a la carte.” That means take away ESPN’s automatic inclusion on cable and allow people the right to select which stations they want from their cable providers. That way ESPN will have to please the customer. At present ESPN gets $3 per month from every customer of cable nationwide whether the customer wants ESPN or not. Worse, the customer cannot even cancel it. ESPN is the way it is because its executives think that nobody can do anything to them–and they are right.


  2. AthensHomerDawg

    It seems like ESPN just can’t get out of their own way.


  3. TimRankine

    Geesh, what goofy titles the execs at espn have.


  4. Go Dawgs!

    Before I’d even finished reading the post, I came to the same conclusion that Craig James must have pictures of someone at ESPN headquarters doing something inappropriate, possibly with a domestic animal.

    In all seriousness, are we certain that the Feldman suspension is over the Mike Leach book? If he did indeed get prior approval from the WWL to participate, I’d say his lawyers won’t even break a sweat suing their asses over that. Isn’t it possible that he did something else against company policy? It’s certainly not as if Brooks has the best track record on such things.

    If indeed it’s about Leach, though, poor Mike Leach. If ESPN has him in their sights to this extent, they’ll never let him coach anywhere lofty again… and if you don’t think they’ve got that kind of power, I humbly disagree.


    • Cojones

      They only have the power that fans give them. If a campaign was begun to boycott their advertisers you might get their attention(as well as all the recipients of contracts,etc, like the SEC that receives money from them). No cojones, no glory.


      • Cojones

        Yes, they do have pictures of James while Leach was getting screwed! Oh, you meant James had the pics….nevermind.


  5. Dog in Fla

    “Feldman has also acted professionally in not promoting the book publicly in anything he’s written or posted since the book’s release.”

    True; however, after reading the early reviews, ESPN determined that Feldman aided and abetted Mike in making “Craig James Look Like an Even Bigger Douche”


    • Hogbody Spradlin

      How is it possible to make Craig James look like a bigger douche? Or spolied brat, which is more specific. He’s already Nimitz class.

      Different thought, if I read the post right: Feldman had management permission to do what he was doing? But they decide now to suspend him. Hmm.


    • Cojones

      And Spaeth Communications becomes “Spaeth Balls”, the outer-spaced movie starring Craig James as the “Grand Douche of Luxembourg”!


  6. AlphaDawg

    I like Feldmans stuff, he would be a great asset at Yahoo Sports. Yahoo, has slowly become the anti-WWL, with no overtly obvious bias.


  7. Dog in Fla

    @ Hogbody: “Nimitz-class.” I love it.

    “Different thought, if I read the post right: Feldman had management permission to do what he was doing? But they decide now to suspend him. Hmm.”

    Sounds like a “Nimitz-class” foul-up by ESPN.


  8. Every online media outlet should be opening the checkbook for Feldman.

    Honestly after learning that ESPN honchos truly consider Chris Berman a genius, I can’t say I’m terribly surprised.


  9. Dog in Fla

    @ Tennessee Dawg: “Leach will probably be suing”

    I think Zero has already been launched from the carrier. Pirate Leach and his team of German lawyers have already bombed Bristol and the Swift Boat PR firm in Leach v. ESPN, Inc., and Spaeth Communications, Inc.

    Click to access leach_lawsuit.pdf

    and Lubbock in the Leach v. Texas Tech 3rd Am. Complaint (can’t remember if part or all of this was settled or dismissed v. Leach or it may still be pending for all I know)

    Click to access Document5.pdf


  10. W Cobb Dawg

    Maybe another Disney division published the book, and this is a way of hyping it. ……nah, it’s more likely they’re a bunch of f-ups.


  11. Mayor of Dawgtown

    The answer to the specific question posed (“Is Craig James worth it?”) is “NO!” Why ESPN hasn’t fired the guy is beyond me but they clearly are not going to do that.


  12. Dog in Fla

    I thought the general line in the Rubicon in the ‘How About a Hug’ terms and conditions of the ESPN Double Super Secret Employees’ Manual for Human Racehorses was that you don’t get laid off unless and until you keep getting caught in your office space with a dead girl or a live boy

    However, you can get suspended by simply pointing out the obvious

    or for making Craig look like an even bigger douche like Feldman did


  13. Michael

    ESPN, like Wal-Mart is an example of a corporation that is too big for its own good. They no longer solely report on sporting news, they create sporting news. I couldn’t stand Mike Leach until I started reading more about how he was being screwed over first by TTU and then by ESPN. Now, I hope he plants that sword up Craig James’ backside.


  14. Dog in Fla

    @ “Cojones
    July 15, 2011 at 1:44 PM
    You mean “The Swift Boot PR-ick firm.”


    or for making Craig look like an even bigger douche like Feldman did


  15. Americus Dawg

    I think that Leach & James should just duke it out in a steel cage match … Leach would open a big can of whoop-*ss on him! But then again, Craig would be too chicken-sh*t to participate … what a loser.


  16. Hogbody Spradlin

    “Classic corporate weasel statement”?

    You’re too kind.


  17. Mayor of Dawgtown

    Did I understand the addendum to this thread correctly? ESPN now has backed down, reinstated Feldman and is now trying to pretend that Feldman had never been suspended in the first place? This reminds me of the Nixon White House when the press secretary would say something 100% opposite of what he had said the day before and when quizzed about the previous statement would respond: “That statement is no longer operative.”