Last August, venerable ESPN anchor Bob Ley announced that he would be taking a six-month sabbatical from October through the end of March. April came and went without a return or announcement, and as it turns out he is extending his time away from the network indefinitely.
“Bob Ley has decided to extend his time away from Outside the Lines,” an ESPN spokesperson tells The Big Lead in a statement. “We look forward to Bob’s return when he will add to his unprecedented list of accomplishments built during his nearly 40 years and counting at ESPN. Outside the Lines will continue with hosts Ryan Smith and Jeremy Schaap.”
The most natural question in light of this news is what’s the reason for this? but any answer on our end would amount to speculation. Ley, nicknamed The General, joined ESPN in its first week as a network in 1979, and anecdotally, it still feels odd seven months later when he’s not there on OTL.
If you miss Ley and want to spend some time with him, he sat down with Stephen A. Smith for 90 minutes last month at Seton Hall, where Ley is on the board of regents: