Will Selva, an anchor at ESPN for three years, issued an apology Wednesday for taking all but of a few words from the lead of a column written by Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register, previewing Tuesday's game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the San Antonio Spurs.
Selva, who anchored the overnight "Highlight Express," which repeated through the morning, used Ding's sentences virtually verbatim to set up the game highlights. In a statement issued by ESPN, Selva said he had been researching stories from local newspapers, and came across Ding's column. Selva said he cut and pasted the story into his script, but forgot to write his own words.
"I made a horrible mistake and I'm deeply sorry. I did not live up to my high standards or ESPN's," Selva said in the statement. "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."
Josh Krulewitz, an ESPN spokesman, said in a statement, "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 declined to say whether Selva had been disciplined by ESPN. However, a network source said Selva was suspended for an undisclosed period of time.