Jalen Rose was popped for DUI on March 11. It took nearly three weeks for the story to emerge. In the interim, Rose was on every ESPN platform imaginable, pumping up his Fab 5 30-by-30 documentary. Unknowingly, ESPN ran the risk of being humiliated – can you imagine the reaction if Rose were on Sportscenter, prattling on about Grant Hill and Uncle Toms, as news was breaking that he was arrested for DUI?
Worst yet is this quote from ESPN brass about the night the story broke:
Meanwhile, ESPN was trying to confirm the story through Rose’s agent and its own reporting.
“Some of the story the agent was telling us was inconsistent with our reporting,” said Vince Doria, ESPN’s senior vice president and director of news.
Inconsistent being code for … what, exactly?
Rose has apologized. He’s got a lengthy message on his website. Still, he’s been suspended (there’s no mention if he’s still getting paid). It seems like 2-weeks is standard operating procedure for anyone who gets in a dust-up with the law (see Bryant, Howard).
Then the question becomes – is ESPN so pissed about how he handled this that they bury him on NBA playoff coverage? Or will he regain his role as a prominent member of the ESPN NBA team?