Pat Forde, the longtime ESPN.com columnist who is the Worldwide Leader’s foremost college football and basketball writer, is leaving ESPN for rival Yahoo Sports, according to multiple sources. Forde’s contract at ESPN expires Nov. 1, at which point he’ll move to Yahoo.
Forde didn’t answer a phone call or reply to a text, and ESPN.com Editor-in-Chief Sr. VP of Editorial, ESPN Print and Digital Media Rob King refused comment when reached on his cell phone.
Forde’s departure, which is apparently amicable (unlike Bruce Feldman’s in September), has been rumored in nerdy sports media circles for months. Sources say Forde has long been unhappy with what he couldn’t report on or look into because of ESPN’s many conflicts of interest. Additionally, Forde might be the only ESPN writer to take a jab at the Longhorn Network, and sources say he wasn’t thrilled with the way the Feldman saga unfolded (Forde, obviously, wasn’t the only one).
I’ve got to be blunt: This is a massive, massive loss for ESPN. Forde was a staple on the radio and TV, and his Forde-Yard-Dash column was probably the .com’s most popular college football feature.