Jay Mariotti Returns to ESPN For Freelance Assignment


Nearly three years after ESPN cut ties with Jay Mariotti, the former columnist is again working with the network.

In a piece published Monday, Mariotti told Sherman Report that he has started working on a freelance assignment for ESPN. An ESPN spokesman confirmed to Sports Media Watch that Mariotti is indeed “working on a freelance piece” for the network.

The assignment, Mariotti said, will be “freelance storytelling, potentially a longer-form piece the network does so well.”

Mariotti was a panelist on the ESPN show “Around the Horn” from its debut in 2002 to his arrest on domestic violence charges in 2010. He has not been back on any ESPN platform since.

In the 2010 case, Mariotti received three years probation and community service after pleading no contest to a single misdemeanor domestic violence charge. He was arrested again in 2011 for allegedly assaulting the same woman from the initial case. After again pleading no contest, he received five years probation and three months of community service.

It is not clear whether the freelance assignment will lead to additional work for ESPN. Mariotti told Sherman Report that he plans to “see where it goes from here.”

Mariotti can look toward Stephen A. Smith for inspiration. After letting Smith go in 2008, ESPN rehired the pundit in 2011 for what was supposed to be a fairly minimal role online and on the radio. Today, Smith has arguably more exposure on ESPN television than he ever did before.

(Monday’s news from ESPN, shermanreport.com)