There were two Top-10 matchups in men’s college basketball yesterday, yet one of the game got the silent treatment from the “worldwide leader in sports” online. If any fan went to ESPN’s website for the sport on Sunday morning, s/he would have click/scroll eight times down the page to find the first mention of the Michigan/Michigan State game from Saturday night.
Meanwhile, stories “above the fold” (or eight folds, as it were) included a number of stories about Atlantic Coast Conference and Southeastern Conference teams that are not even ranked: Arkansas vs. Alabama rates “news” while Wolverines and Spartans do not.
(For the record, that’s No. 52 against No. 60 in the KenPom rankings “earning” more coverage on the worldwide leader in sports than No. 4 against No. 6 …)
We all know ESPN has had a complicit and probably unethical relationship with college football for a long time now, but to see it spread to college basketball coverage is just another nail in the coffin for the “journalistic” integrity of the network—and the sport itself.
Since when does a game between unranked Mississippi State and Texas A&M rate more coverage than the Associated Press’ No. 7 versus No. 9 for the Big Ten title? Evidently, every day on ESPN. Welcome to the new world order.
In comparison, CBS Sports’ website for men’s college hoops has the Michigan/MSU game above the fold, so to speak, right on the top of the page. That, at least, provides some balance to journalistic integrity.
Keep this in mind the next time you look to ESPN for coverage of your favorite team/sport. If it doesn’t help the network make money, you may not find what you want. That is not exactly what a “worldwide leader” does when it comes to journalism.