Last week, we learned that ESPN's Jalen Rose had been retroactively arrested for a DUI earlier in the month of March. Rose faces a court date later this month. Interestingly, we first heard about the news from a local television station in Detroit, WDIV, who beat ESPN at what would seem to be their own story. The response from ESPN after news of the arrest broke was fairly swift - Rose was pulled off ESPN television. It is this decision by ESPN and the fallout from their overall response to Jalen Rose's arrest that is cause for discussion, analysis, and major questions for the folks at Bristol. ESPN's practical monopoly over the sports world puts them in a position where the most criticism, analysis, and questioning exists. In the case of Jalen Rose, there are plenty of questions to be asked of the Bristol machine. After the jump, check out the entire story and ESPN's response to those unanswered questions we asked the network.
*Jalen Rose: Fab 5 producer + ESPN analyst
-Here's where Rose was first thrust into the monster that is ESPN promotion. The family of networks heavily hyped ESPN's Fab Five documentary. The doc scored for ESPN in the ratings department as the highest rated under the 30 for 30 umbrella... surely it was helped by a cavalcade of hosts and analysts proclaiming that it was among the best documentaries the network had produced. While it was well done, the Fab Five program was also one of the most unbalanced ESPN documentaries under the acclaimed 30 for 30 label. Perhaps that should be no surprise though - Fab Five member and ESPN analyst Jalen Rose was an executive producer for the project. Rose made himself a further part of the story with his incendiary comments about African American basketball players at Duke as "Uncle Toms." It was a controversial remark, even in the context of the documentary, yet it became more hype and more debate fodder. The networks seized on that comment to create more publicity for Rose and the documentary and fill their hours of debate and discussion shows.
*The DUI arrest
-As the dust settled from the documentary controversy, we learned of Rose's DUI arrest. Except, as pointed out here at AA, the timeline was all disjointed. The public first learned of Rose's arrest weeks after the incident initially happened on March 11th. ESPN, so often out in front of these stories, was beaten to the punch by a local TV station. The initial response from ESPN was brief. In one of the first ESPN.com articles about the story, a spokesman merely said the network was "looking into it." ESPN then made the decision to pull Rose from appearing on television until the case could be sorted out. Or did they... an ESPN spokesman had this to say in a decidedly vague response to the situation...
“Jalen has accepted full responsibility for his actions. Both parties are taking this very seriously, and as a result, we’ve agreed that he will not be on our air while he addresses this situation.”