Editor's note: Post has been updated with comment from ESPN's Josh Krulewitz. His full response has been added at the bottom.
ESPN, the self-proclaimed "Worldwide Leader in Sports," is at it again, taking another media outlet's report and passing it off as its own.
On Wednesday at 1:56 p.m. (ET), ESPN posted a story on its website that said: "Former Arizona coach Mike Stoops will join the Oklahoma staff — and his brother — as co-defensive coordinator, a move that will be announced as soon as Wednesday, sources said." A screengrab of the original page is posted above (click to enlarge).
Again we ask, who are these "sources" and why don't they want their names published? Could it be that there was only one source on the story, and that source was Dean Blevins?
Blevins, a former Oklahoma quarterback, is sports director at KWTV News 9, the CBS affiliate in Oklahoma City. After ESPN posted its story, Blevins, who has been named the Oklahoma sportscaster of year eight times, sent out the following tweet:
So again we ask, is ESPN, which makes liberal use of "sources" throughout its website, taking credit for a story it didn't break?
The reporter on the story was Joe Schad, and after he was presented with our information, Schad was asked for a comment. He declined and directed all questions to Josh Krulewitz, who is ESPN's vice president, public relations for college and news.
Krulewitz specifically was asked why Blevins wasn't credited and responded in an email that he "will try to look into this." That was Wednesday night and at the time of this post, Krulewitz has yet to provide ESPN's side of the story.
ESPN has a history of not giving credit to other media outlets. On Nov. 30, 2008, ESPN reported that, according to sources, Missouri assistant Dave Christensen would be named coach at Wyoming.
However, Christensen's arrival in Laramie was first reported by Austin Ward of the Casper Star-Tribune. Also beating ESPN were Bob Hammond of the Laramie Boomerang and Pat Rooney of the Rocky Mountain News. Again, the reporter on the ESPN story was Schad.
If ESPN decides to "look into this," we'll post the response.
Updated: Here is the response, in full, from Krulewitz:
"First of all, the reporter (in this case joe) has no role in how the story is credited on our outlets...we have an entire news operation, led by news editors, who make editorial judgments around the clock..as you know, we regularly credit other entities who break news...we are diligent about it and take it very seriously...we also break many stories and credit our reporters in those instances.
"In this case, Joe had a source who said Stoops formally agreed to rejoin the staff at Oklahoma and that an announcement was imminent. He advanced the story with direct sourcing. Of course, you wouldn't expect a reporter to reveal who his sources are. As you know, it's common practice throughout the industry not to ("sources tell outlet x"). I can assure you Joe's source was not somebody else's reporting as you seem to believe. Additionally, I've seen several entities credit Joe for breaking/advancing the story. USA Today and Oklahoma are just 2 that I've attached. Thanks for your patience."