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SportsCenter Broadcast Copied and Pasted article from RealGM.com

by Photo of Alex Ellefson

Last night’s broadcast was not the first time ESPN has been accused of plagiarism.

SportsCenter Broadcast Copied and Pasted article from RealGM.com

In this article…

Last night, while RealGM.com columnist Jarrod Rudolph watched the SportsCenter broadcast about Dwight Howard and his ongoing struggle to leave Orlando, he noticed something bizarre. SportsCenter anchor Chris Cotter had taken the article he wrote about Howard and blatantly plagiarized his story on air. 

The story was about Dwight Howard's meeting with the Magic's GM, Rob Hennigan, who unsuccessfully tried to persuade Howard to stall his trade negotiations and give Orlando more time to build a winning team. 

This is what Rudolph wrote on RealGM.com:

"Orlando Magic General Manager Rob Hennigan met with the franchise's disenchanted superstar Dwight Howard on Wednesday in Los Angeles, sources have confirmed to RealGM. Hennigan traveled to Los Angeles to have a face-to-face discussion with Howard with the hopes of persuading him to back off his trade request and allow the organization more time to build a championship contender. Hennigan, however, was unsuccessful in his pitch as Howard reiterated his desire to leave Orlando as soon as possible, according to sources."

And this is what ESPN reported an hour later:

"Orlando Magic General Manager Rob Hennigan met with the franchise's disenchanted superstar Dwight Howard today in Los Angeles and according to sources, Hennigan traveled to LA to have this face-to-face discussion with Howard with the hopes of persuading him back off his trade request and allow the organization more time to build a championship contender. Hennigan was unsuccessful in his pitch however, as Howard reiterated his desire to leave Orlando as soon as possible."

Small changes by ESPN, like writing "LA" instead of "Los Angeles" and shifting the placement of the word "however" don't come close to qualifying as a rephrasing.  That's identical. The network wouldn't even acknowledge RealGM.com as their source. Maybe, because they figured if they identified the origin of their story, then they might have to write their own material?

This isn't the first time that ESPN has been accused of plagiarism. in 2010, Will Selva was suspended by the network for copying the lead from a column in the Orange County Register and used it to introduce his own story. And earlier this month, Deadspin.com discovered that the entertainment writer for ESPN.com, Lynn Hoppes, liked to copy and paste snippets from Wikipedia for his articles. 

Last night's incident by ESPN, demonstrates more than just a moral transgression. It's one thing for a college student to plagiarize an essay and hand it to their professor, but it takes a much greater idiot to commit plagiarism and then broadcast it on national television. 

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