ESPN Anchor Will Selva Suspended After Plagiarizing Newspaper Columnist

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Kevin Ding tweeted (above) and blogged about his charges that ESPN anchor Will Selva plagiarized his column on the Spurs-Lakers game. (Credit: Twitter)

ESPN anchor Will Selva was suspended after being called out for plagiarism, according to NBA Fanhouse.  Selva apologized yesterday after an Orange County Register reporter Kevin Ding accused him of stealing the lede from Ding’s story about this week’s  San Antonio SpursLos Angeles Lakers game.

Ding alleged ESPN News anchor Will Selva lifted the opening paragraphs from his Dec. 26 advance column during Selva’s “open” to Dec. 28’s the NBA Spurs-Lakers game, Sports by Brooks reported.  Ding, a “Lakers and NBA columnist,” made his claims in a blogpost (available here).

“Hey, Will Selva of ESPNEWS,” Ding blogged.  “Glad you liked my last column so much. Try not to plagiarize it next time.”

Ding’s Dec. 26 Register column read:

“Christmas isn’t over yet, Lakers fans.

The big game, it turns out, will be the game after the supposed Game of the Year.

In San Antonio on Tuesday night, the Lakers will be out to give themselves and their fans the much-needed gift of hope.”

Selva had said on air (see transcript here):

“Christmas isn’t over yet.

The big game I it turns out is the game after the supposed game of the year.

In San Antonio, on Tuesday night, the Lakers were out to give themselves and their fans the much-needed gift of hope.

Ding also tweeted his claim Dec. 27, writing:  “Back at hotel, I just watched ESPNEWS anchor Will Selva plagiarize my last Lakers column as lead-in to his highlights:

As Ding reported, “ESPN responded” to the allegations with both Selva and an ESPN spokesperson apologizing.

Selva claimed that the plagiarism was a mistake made by “sloppiness” and that he won’t repeat his error.  He stated:

“I made a horrible mistake and I’m deeply sorry.  I did not live up to my high standards or ESPN’s. As I often do, I research local stories to use as background for writing my script. In this case, I cut and pasted the story with every intention of writing my own. I simply forgot and I completely understand why this is a major problem. I sincerely apologize for my sloppiness, especially to Kevin Ding, viewers and colleagues. In my 15 years in broadcast journalism, nothing like this has ever happened and I will make every effort to ensure it won’t happen again.”

ESPN’s communications vice president Josh Krulewitz likewise weighed in, claiming Selva didn’t “intentionally” make the error.  Krulewitz stated:

“This is something we take extremely seriously and we’ve taken appropriate action. We looked into how it happened and found that this very bad mistake was made because he should have been more thorough, even on deadline, not because he was intentionally trying to claim someone else’s work as his own.”

Krulewitz wrote in an e-mail to iMediaEthics : “We are not commenting on the exact action we took other than to say we take the matter very seriously and took the appropriate action….I think Will’s statement explains how it happened with added context from our statement.”

We wrote back to Krulewitz asking for confirmation or denial that Selva was suspended indefinitely.  He wrote:  “No comment about what specific action we took other than what I said below..though for what its worth original report that had ‘indefinite’ has since removed that/changed.”

We have also written to Kevin Ding and will update with any response.

Hat Tip: Romenesko

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ESPN Anchor Will Selva Suspended After Plagiarizing Newspaper Columnist

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