ESPN College Baseball Announcer Troy Eklund in Hot Water After Claiming Tennessee Player Tested Positive For PEDs
The folks over at the University of Tennessee are mighty displeased with ESPN this morning after the network's announcing team made a big mistake on Friday night's broadcast of the NCAA Tournament.
The Vols were taking on Alabama State in the opening round. Only an hour before the game, Tennessee announced starting catcher Evan Russell would be unavailable. They gave no other explanation; after the game, manager Tony Vitello said Russell was sick.
But in the interim, there was room for speculation. ESPN's broadcast team discussed Russell's absence during the Oklahoma State-Mississipi State regional matchup, and Troy Eklund spoke at length about the fact that Russell tested positive for PEDs and now the whole team would have to get tested-- a rumor about Russell's absence that was proved untrue.
Pretty big mistake to make. Tennessee released a statement on Eklund's comments on Saturday morning and said they expected an apology from ESPN in short order after adamantly stating, again, that Russell did not miss the game due to any NCAA violation.
An apology is merited, and Eklund will surely agree. Mistakes get made on the broadcast all the time. This one was a bad one, though.
UPDATE: Eklund apologized while on-air during Grand Canyon vs. Missouri State.