Deadspin notified the world of this odd story last night, in which ESPN SportsCenter anchor Chris Cotter read a story about Dwight Howard meeting with Magic GM Rob Hennigan. Nothing major about that, right? Well, aside from the fact that the report Cotter read was nearly a word-for-word transcript of a post on RealGM.com and author Jarrod Rudolph from last night, posted before the evening SportsCenter went on the air. This wouldn't be the first plagiarism run-in for an ESPN anchor as Will Selva was suspended indefinitely for lifting words from the Orange County Register in 2010.
Cotter came to ESPN at the beginning of the year from Fox Business Network, where he served as an anchor, but has a substantial amount of sports experience, including time at SNY, Comcast Sports Southeast, and Turner Sports.
How does the anchor on Sportscenter read my article verbatim and not credit me? That's ri-damn-diculous.— Jarrod N Rudolph (@JRudolphSports) July 26, 2012
This is ESPN's second notable run-in with plagiarism this month, following the Lynn Hoppes Wikipedia disaster. Combine these two incidents with the ridiculous Sarah Phillips saga and an apparently forged interview with German soccer star Lukas Podolski, and you have to wonder just what the hell is going on with certain ESPN employees. Neither ESPN nor Cotter has publicly commented on the situation, which only piles on a bad month for ESPN's journalistic reputation.
Update: ESPN has responded to Deadspin saying a writer "inadvertently" copied the report into Cotter's script. No word if the earlier Podolski interview was "inadvertently" made up yet though.