ESPN has been curiously silent today in reporting the allegations of sexual assault against Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
Newsday and many other outlets have published at least the AP account.
ProFootballTalk.com reported ESPN issued a "do not report" edict on the story to its staff.
Why? Roethlisberger has a warm relationship with ESPN, including business dealings with the network such as appearing at its "upfront" presentation to advertising buyers. Hmm.
It turns out ESPN generally avoids reporting on civil suits against sports figures.
Its statement on this matter: "At this point, we are not reporting the allegations against Ben Roethlisberger because no criminal complaint has been filed. As far as we know, this is a civil lawsuit that Roethlisberger has yet to address publicly."
(UPDATE: Not that ESPN never reports on civil suits, or even plans to file civil suits, as evidenced by this from last month. Hmm.)
(New ESPN ombudsman Don Ohlmeyer is going to have a busy first column in August!)