Originally posted on The Sports Rocker  |  Last updated 10/14/11
A prominent sports blog, The Big Lead, reported yesterday that one of ESPN's lead college football and basketball analysts, Pat Forde, will soon be leaving ESPN for Yahoo! Sports. As reported by several outlets, including Bleacher Report, Forde was critical of the ESPN Longhorn Network deal with the U of Texas. Unfortunately for ESPN, this is just another brick falling off the facade.

Pat Forde is, reportedly leaving for Yahoo! Sports. He is probably the .com's side most popular collge football and basketball columnists. That is going to be a big hole to fill. Forde was a good read, and has a wealth of knowledge. On the nerd side, he has a faithful following on twitter. While twitter doesn't exactly contribute to the bottomline, ESPN is high on its writers and reporters projecting the network's brand into the interwebs. While he may seem to be "just" a columnist or sometime TV personality, this is a big loss for ESPN.

Brian Feldman left for CBS after his writing partnership with former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach came under scrutiny by ESPN execs.  Feldman was a college football writer for ESPN. You can read about that in more than a thousand other places, so I'm not rehashing that. This biggest point is that within a 2-3 month span, ESPN is losing two of it's most prominent college football writers during the season.

Brian Kenny left ESPN for the MLB Network once his contract expired in August. Kenny was a primary anchor for the 6:00 PM Sportscenter slot, worked on ESPN's boxing telecasts, and was also a host on Baseball Tonight. While not big on the .com side, Kenny was active on the television side.

Former morning Sportscenter anchor Josh Elliott joined ABC's weekday morning news program. I wouldn't consider this a move to a rival network like the ones mentioned above. Disney owns ABC and ESPN.

Peter Gammons joined the MLB Network after he left ESPN.

And there are plenty more that have left for other opportunities.

And truth be told, ESPN will be fine. I'm sure if ESPN took applications to replace Forde's roll, you'd need a  truck to hold them all. There are plenty of people in the sports world who would love to take his soon-to-be vacanct position. And the same goes for any job opening at ESPN.

While the talent may be stockpiled, it should be concerning for ESPN to have their big names leave the Wold Wide Leader for an up-and-coming Yahoo! Sports network, which for all purposes is only on the web, but does have a growing radio network.

And future applicants should also take note: The worst thing you can do at ESPN is to be critical of ESPN.
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