Bob Ley Taking Six-Month Break from ESPN

Kyle Koster

Bob Ley this morning announced a six-month sabbatical from his Outside the Lines hosting duties, citing the need to recharge. ESPN’s longest-serving commenter, who joined the company on its third day of broadcast, revealed that he’s been considering such a break for a while and that the decision is 100 percent his own.

Ley will return April 1. Jeremy Schaap, Kate Fagan, and Ryan Smith will assume his OTL duties.

Just a few weeks ago, Ley was the subject of a Ringer profile painting him as the most important on-air talent at ESPN, the person most capable of serving as a compass for the company in today’s political climate. It’s tough to argue that conclusion. That mantle falls to someone else for the next half-year.