Jay Mariotti: 10 Reasons He'll Never Be on ESPN Again

Elliott Pohnl@@ElliottPohnl_BRFeatured ColumnistAugust 26, 2010

Jay Mariotti: 10 Reasons He'll Never Be on ESPN Again

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    Jay Mariotti's arrest following a domestic incident with his girlfriend at a Santa Monica, California bar has put ESPN's brass in a difficult position.

    Thursday, Mariotti's other employer, AOL Fanhouse, suspended him while the incident continues to be investigated.

    AOL's decision places the pressure on ESPN to act accordingly and cut ties with the outspoken contributor to Around the Horn.

    Here's a look at 10 reasons Mariotti will never see the airwaves on ESPN again.

No. 10: A Bad Run Of Employee Troubles

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    Mariotti's arrest is just the latest problem in a long string of troubles for on-air personalities and talent at ESPN.

    From the suspensions of Woody Paige and Jay Crawford to the Steve Phillips affair that ended in a frightening manner, the network has been beset with problems.

    The Mariotti incident might prompt a swift removal in an effort to part ways with an employee before something else goes wrong.

No. 9: The Need to Start Anew

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    ESPN's reluctance to part with personalities is understandable, especially if they are not actually convicted of a crime.

    Mariotti's arrest offers the perfect chance for the network to adopt a harsh zero-tolerance type policy.

    In this particular case, a suspension might simply not be enough.

No. 8: Treatment Against Women By ESPN Personalities

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    A number of ESPN employees have made disparaging remarks towards women or even taken it a step further.

    Former Baseball Tonight analyst Harold Reynolds got the axe after he was accused of getting a little over-aggressive while hugging a production assistant.  Then of course there was Sean Salisbury, who sent pictures of his "special talent" to female co-workers, which quickly got him fired.

    The reasons behind the firing weren't revealed by the network, but painted an ugly picture once they leaked in the media.

    Other incidents include Woody Paige and Jay Crawford propositioning female employees for lap-dances as "perks of the job" and sexually explicit emails sent to female employees by former NBA analyst Jason Jackson.

No. 7: Did the Suspension of Tony Kornheiser Signal the Tide is Turning?

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    ESPN suspended Tony Kornheiser for comments he made on his radio show regarding her wardrobe choice on Sportscenter,

    "Hannah Storm in a horrifying, horrifying outfit today. She's got on red go-go boots and a catholic school plaid skirt ... way too short for somebody in her 40s or maybe early 50s by now...She's got on her typically very, very tight shirt. She looks like she has sausage casing wrapping around her upper body"

    Kornheiser apologized and said he was speaking in jest, but the suspension was not immediately lifted.

No. 6: Jay Mariotti is Replaceable

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    Tony Kornheiser is a valuable asset to one of the most successful talk shows ESPN produces, making it unlikely that a suspension would turn into a dismissal even under the most egregious of circumstances.

    Jay Mariotti on the other hand, is not overly valuable.

    The contributor to PTI's sister show, Mariotti would be easily to replace.  His popularity on the show is much less than the likes of Bob Ryan and Woody Paige.

    He won't be missed by many, that's for sure.

No. 5: The Need to Seek Help

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    The most popular way to put troubles behind you as a celebrity: pack up and head to rehab.

    What exactly would Mariotti rehab?

    It doesn't really matter, but walking away from ESPN "to get help" would be a good way to ensure that his talking-head career doesn't come to a permanent end.

    Don't be surprised to see a statement from Mariotti asking for forgiveness and expressing his desire to rehabilitate his problems.

No. 4: Too Embarassed to Return to the Air

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    Even if he isn't suspended by ESPN, Mariotti probably won't return for a few months anyway.

    Frankly, he could simply be embarrassed about what transpired.

    Mariotti is known for having a massive ego, but the public manner of his arrest would certainly be enough to make him hesitate to return quickly.

No. 3: The Hypocrisy of His Words

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    His actions have led to embarrassment, but it will be his words that make him look like an idiot.

    Mariotti spoke out against athletes who mistreated women, ranging from Scottie Pippen to Albert Belle. 

    Most notably, he ripped Jason Kidd as he dealt with domestic violence accusations from his wife and said he didn't feel bad for the taunts of "wife beater" he faced in NBA arenas.

    He famously said Kidd's actions  would haunt him forever and added the superstar didn't deserve another chance.

    Now, it appears that Mariotti's words may haunt him forever.

No. 2: Negative Press in the Press

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    Now that AOL has acted, ESPN's decision will be watched with a close eye by other media outlets ready to offer an opinion.

    The massive conglomerate controls the sports media world, but certainly isn't immune to criticism from its peers.

    Finally, it's beginning to appear ESPN no longer wants to be associated as a safe-haven for punks.

No. 1: Image Problem with the Consumer

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    In addition to facing media scrutiny, ESPN is likely to face at least some backlash from the public if it allows Mariotti to stay on.

    The transgressions of the network's previous personalities have been mostly forgotten or overlooked, but that might no longer be the case.

    ESPN has drawn more criticism than ever in recent months, from the airing of "The Decision" to the choice to go with style over substance in programming.

    Although it might seem like a reach to connect a felony charge with the overall quality of programming, in the end it all adds up to become a huge turn-off for viewers.