Just who do they think they're fooling by ignoring this story? If you're not much of a sports fan you may not have heard about it but ESPN's core audience eats, drinks and breathes sports and has obviously heard about the story through alternate media sources. And yes, of course it's because he's the quarterback of the current Super Bowl champions. If this is where the bar is set for the level of journalistic integrity at ESPN I'm pretty sure that
The accusations of sexual assault contained in a civil lawsuit filed against Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger have been widely reported in the sports and entertainment news media — except by ESPN.
The sports-media giant’s single exemption from its reporting blackout has been to let its ESPN Radio station in Pittsburgh update the case in news reports. But the station’s talk-show hosts are prohibited from discussing it…
...The ban on reporting the lawsuit was issued on ESPN’s internal newswire and e-mail system at 10:48 p.m. Eastern Monday, after the news began to break. Doria said ESPN’s caution was to protect Roethlisberger from the fallout of potentially false allegations, not to shield its TV partner, the N.F.L.
[Update: ESPN has apparently decided to cover the story after Reno law enforcement officials have announced that they will not investigate the accusations unless the woman files a criminal complaint against Roethlisberger. Now don't get me wrong: I like Ben Roethlisberger and I love NFL football; I wouldn't want to see any type of false accusations or lawsuits damage that sport. But this is news in the sporting world and ESPN had an obligation to report on it, regardless of their conflict of interest. Glad they finally came to their senses.]