Apparently the University of Central Florida’s 62-55 American Athletic Conference championship game win over Memphis wasn’t thrilling enough for ESPN. The network just had to inject some of its own drama.
With the game in double overtime, ESPN reported online and on the game broadcast (which aired on ABC) that UCF coach Scott Frost would be leaving the school to become the next coach of the Nebraska Cornhuskers.
Breaking: UCF coach Scott Frost will be named Nebraska’s next head coach. (via multiple reports, first reported by Brett McMurphy) pic.twitter.com/htuUwyFS1K
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) December 2, 2017
The move isn’t a complete shock, considering Frost is a former Nebraska quarterback who had been linked to the job in recent days. What was more shocking was the timing of ESPN’s report, considering Frost was in the middle of a hard-fought championship game and hadn’t had a chance to break the news to his own players.
Almost immediately, Twitter blew up with criticism of how ESPN had handled the story.
What @espn and @Brett_McMurphy did is pretty terrible for UCF, its fans, and Scott Frost. Breaking that he’s leaving during his game cheated him of the chance to tell his team himself. If I’m him I’m furious.
— Ryan Hinckley (@GatorRyan) December 2, 2017
ESPN’s Steve Levy “Scott Frost will be named the next head coach of Nebraska, first reported by our own Brett McMurphy”….McMurphy was laid off by ESPN back in April. ..Awkward pic.twitter.com/Aip929CDRX
— gifdsports (@gifdsports) December 2, 2017
Maybe I’m just over blowing this but was ESPN announcing the hiring of Scott Frost BEFORE the UCF game was even over BS. Let UCF enjoy an absolutely amazing season. Congrats to all my Central Florida friends!! 12-0 👍🏻🎉🎉
— Larry The Cable Guy (@GitRDoneLarry) December 2, 2017
Even the comments on ESPN’s Facebook post breaking the story bashed the network almost unanimously.
After the game, ESPN managed to make matters even worse. Reporter Todd McShay asked a clearly emotional Frost whether the reports of his move to Nebraska were true.
Frost remained classy and simply responded, “I’m going to go celebrate with my team.”
— Ben Murphy (@BenMurphyTV) December 2, 2017
The audacity of ESPN to ask such a question immediately after the biggest win in school history triggered even more outrage.
Husker fan here. Really irks me they break news that way. Let the man enjoy his team. Pure lack of class. Amazing game.
— Rob O (@ordway_robert) December 2, 2017
Nice timing on that report @ESPN. Moves like that is why the network is failing.
— Tim Evans (@timevans33) December 2, 2017
Todd McShay is classless for that. & ESPN should be ashamed if they told him to ask Scott Frost about the Nebraska job after his team just finished a perfect season and won a conference championship.
— Nittany Pride (@NittanyPride) December 2, 2017
It’s yet another PR win for ESPN just three days after laying off 150 employees right before Christmas.
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