If that wasn't delicate enough, the son of an ESPN broadcaster played for the coach and said he had been locked in a closet by the coach during a practice while recovering from a concussion. ESPN's reporting of the incident was quite critical.
The coach was fired and later sued ESPN for libel. When the coach's book was excerpted last week, details critical of ESPN emerged --- the network, dealing with the libel suit, has not been able to respond.
Initial reports said the network suspended the writer, but that proved wrong --- he was simply asked not to blog or Tweet while the network sorted out the matter.
As one might expect in such circumstances, the Poynter Review Project calls the matter the most complicated it has faced.
The panel found problems galore in the approval of the book project, the handling of the reporter's involvement, and the failure to end the involvement when the former coach sued. It alluded to the many familiarities of sportswriters and sports figures, but thought
It found "a culture of optimistically searching for a middle pathway, when at times someone just needs to say no." Along the way it also found some substandard reporting of the issue by others.