Posted by Adam Jacobi
Well, that suspension levied on Bruce Feldman for co-authoring Mike Leach's book, Swing Your Sword, didn't last long. In fact, if you ask ESPN, it didn't happen at all. ESPN announced in a statement this afternoon that Feldman had been returned to his normal duties with the company, ending a 20-hour controversy over Feldman's treatment and involvement with the book. Here's ESPN's statement in full:
"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."
Now, the notion that Feldman was never under any disciplinary action, frankly, strains credulity. Again, it took 20 hours for ESPN to address this issue, and it's one that could have been resolved in, well, minutes. Further, the idea that Feldman wasn't suspended is apparently news to Mike Leach, who excoriated ESPN on the radio this morning, saying ESPN "isn't going to let little inconvenient details like the facts get in the way of their agenda."
Moreover, the suspension was all but confirmed by Craig James, who expressed surprise on Twitter about the news this morning -- something that SB Nation's Spencer Hall believed to be true in this editorial, which is a little too scathing and scattershot to be of merit here.
With that, then, this issue is effectively settled unless one of the parties feels the need to bring it up again; that seems unlikely. As mentioned before, suspensions almost always degrade a product, especially since Feldman was hardly a limiting agent for ESPN Insider, so ESPN is now better off for having reinstated (or whatever they want to call it) Feldman, so let's leave things like that and move on to more important things. Like video game football.