ESPN’s ‘Outside the Lines’ Seems to Have Its Limits in Covering Football Scandals

On Twitter, Alex Marvez, the sharp lead pro football columnist for, points to an intriguing story by the blogger “SPORTSbyBROOKS” on a cover-up by ESPN’s usually excellent investigative program, Outside the Lines, regarding network personality Mel Kiper’s questionable involvement in a summer 7-on-7 football program, an activity banned by the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

You can read the story at

Marvez is a journalist worth following. Part of the reason may be that he has a background in covering the pro wrestling industry, which equips him with a well-tested bullshit detector.

On the general subject of ESPN and Outside the Lines, I have given them credit for important early investigations of tainted and commercially conflicted research on brain injuries by National Football League-affiliated doctors. But ESPN, which was once ahead of the curve on this national health scandal, has been playing lackluster catch-up lately. I wonder why. More on this subject here as we move along.


Irv Muchnick

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June 2011

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