In a surreal sort of way, it kinda makes sense that this development unfolds on the day that longtime Seattle Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki joins the New York Yankees – hours before the two teams start a three-game series in Seattle.
Brett McMurphy’s forte is not so much baseball, but college football. It’s what earned him several news writing awards during his 22 1/2-year tenure at the Tampa Tribune. And while he parted ways with the publication in the fall of 2009, he immediately landed a post at AOL Fanhouse (now consolidated into the Sporting News website), where he toiled for a year and a half. It was during his association with Fanhouse that he was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for breaking news after reporting that University of South Florida Bulls head football coach Jim Leavitt had allegedly abused a player during halftime of a game against the Lousville Cardinals.
Last May, McMurphy accepted a position at CBS Sports, where he continued to break college football news – even as recent as Sunday, when he first reported that Penn State University could be hit with a $60 million fine when the sanctions were announced on Monday – a figure that proved to be accurate.
Mere hours after the Penn State sanctions were reported and tweeted to McMurphy’s 22,000+ followers on Twitter, Brett McMurphy broke another major bit of news – this one involving himself: He’s headed to ESPN.
As first reported by Jason McIntyre, McMurphy has given the Eyeball Network his two weeks notice, and will begin working for the Worldwide Leader just in time for the start of the new college football season.
As J-Mac observes: “ESPN was essentially running a distant third to CBS and Yahoo when it came to college sports news… It’s about time ESPN got Joe Schad some help.” Schad, who himself started in the field of sportswriting, has been with ESPN since 2005. Both Schad and McMurphy are billed as a “national college football writer/reporter” for their respective (current) place of employment.
It is not known if McMurphy will have to uproot his family from Tampa (according to his bio on CBSSports.com – while it’s still there, anyway), where he’s lived even long after leaving the Tribune, to Connecticut as a requirement of his new ESPN position.
One thing’s for certain – well, two things; he’ll likely be seeking out a new Twitter handle in due time – but most importantly: as opposed to his previous two employers, I think Brett McMurphy is going to spend much more than a year and a half with ESPN.
Perhaps – God willing – as much time as he put in at the Tampa Tribune.