ESPN responds to Big 12’s cease and desist

Jan 6, 2010, Newport Beach, CA, USA; The ESPN staff for the 2010 BCS National Championship at press conference at the Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa. From left: Todd Blackledge, Jon Gruden, Kirk Herbstreit, Brent Musburger, Burke Magnus and Steve Miller. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports

Less than 24 hours after Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby sent a cease and desist letter to ESPN, alleging the network’s involvement with another conference in an attempt to destabilize the Big 12, ESPN has responded.

“The accusations you have made are entirely without merit,” reads a letter addressed to Bowlsby and signed by ESPN Director of Programming Burke Magnus. “Apart from a single vague allegation that ESPN has been ‘actively engaged in discussions with at least one other’ unnamed conference, which ESPN disputes, your letter consists entirely of unsubstantiated speculation and legal conclusions. To be clear, ESPN has engaged in no wrongful conduct and, thus, there is nothing to ‘cease and desist.'”

“We trust this will put the matter to rest.”

Considering Bowlsby claims to have “irrefutable” evidence of the claims he made in his letter, and during follow-up interviews Wednesday evening, then I feel confident in saying this matter has not been put to rest.


Jared Stansbury


Jared a native of Clarinda, Iowa, started as the Cyclone Fanatic intern in August 2013, primarily working as a videographer until starting on the women’s basketball beat prior to the 2014-15 season. Upon earning his Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Iowa State in May 2016, Jared was hired as the site’s full-time staff writer, taking over as the primary day-to-day reporter on football and men’s basketball. He was elevated to the position of managing editor in January 2020. He is a regular contributor on 1460 KXNO in Des Moines and makes regular guest appearances on radio stations across the Midwest. Jared resides in Ankeny with his four-year-old puggle, Lolo.

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