ESPN has issued an apology to the US National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and returned 37 Emmy trophies after fake names, dating back to 2010, had been reported by The Athletic.
ESPN producers were discovered to have used false names for award categories and gave trophies to on-air personalities who weren’t eligible under rules. The phony names, largely associated with the College GameDay show, resembled those of on-air talent and were submitted as “associate producers.”
“Some members of our team were clearly wrong in submitting certain names that may go back to 1997 in Emmy categories where they were not eligible for recognition or statuettes,” ESPN said in a statement.
“This was a misguided attempt to recognize on-air individuals who were important members of our production team,” the statement continued. “Once current leadership was made aware, we apologized to NATAS for violating guidelines and worked closely with them to completely overhaul our submission process to safeguard against anything like this happening again.”
The Athletic reported “Dirk Howard” was submitted for Desmond Howard. “Erik Andrews” was the name given in place of Erin Andrews, “Kirk Henry” for Kirk Herbstreit, as those personalities were eligible to win individual awards but not as part of a show.
ESPN vice president Craig Lazarus, former senior vice president Lee Fitting and College GameDay coordinating producer Drew Gallagher were “ruled ineligible from future Emmy participation.”
Source: Sports Illustrated