Brett McMurphy, once ESPN’s go-to guy for college football reporting, was among the company’s widespread layoffs in April 2017. Since then, he has continued digging and unearthing news. Yesterday he broke the explosive Urban Meyer story, which led to Ohio State putting the coach on administrative leave.
ESPN was slow to chase the news. Awful Announcing reported many of the network’s college football minds happened to be at a seminar when McMurphy posted his story to Facebook. Some of the criticism is unfair because many outlets prefer to let their news divisions flesh out outside reporting before running with it themselves.
Eventually, ESPN joined the fray and attempted to advance the news broken by its former employee. This led to a surprising appearance by McMurphy on SportsCenter with Scott Van Pelt at midnight.
When asked, McMurphy expressed skepticism that Meyer would ever coach the Buckeyes again, citing both the transgressions and contract structure at play.
It’s a testament to the professionalism of these two that they were able set the past aside and plow ahead. And to the mutual respect.
Saying what McMurphy did as an independent yesterday was amazing is not hyperbole. He put in the hours and work without the resources of a corporate behemoth underwriting. When he had it, he posted it to his own social media page. It was all him.