Report: Caesars Sportsbook is “preparing to go after” Adam Schefter

USA TODAY Sports

The rumors have percolated in industry circles for weeks. Wednesday’s developments may have caused the rumors to transmogrify into an official report.

Via Michael McCarthy and A.J. Perez of FrontOfficeSports.com, Caesaers Sportsbook “is preparing go after” ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Schefter’s contract expires in the summer of 2022. A buzz has been building among those in the NFL media business that Schefter plans to leave ESPN for one of the gambling companies. Surely, Caesers isn’t the only one thinking about trying to hire him.

None of that should be a surprise. The sports books are VERY aggressive about exploring opportunities to add individual reporters/analysts and/or entire media companies. A massive audience for sports content instantly becomes a captive audience for the purposes of converting members of that audience into gambling customers.

As more and more states legalize gambling, the competition for media personalities and/or media outlets will intensify.

What’s compelling about the Schefter/Caesars report is that, while it had been an open secret for many in the media, it finally became reduced to print last night, after Schefter found himself heavily criticized for sending an unpublished article to Washington executive Bruce Allen in 2011, referring to Allen as “Mr. Editor,” and asking Allen if there is anything that should be “added, changed, tweaked” before the story goes live.

Well after defending himself in a Wednesday morning radio appearance, Schefter issued a statement acknowledging that he shouldn’t have done what he did. The statement was not posted or amplified by Schefter’s Twitter account, but by the much smaller ESPN P.R. Twitter page.

Throw in the publication of a report that took the backroom chatter public in the hours after Schefter issued a statement that he quite possibly didn’t want to issue, and it’s fair to wonder whether Schefter or his agent leaked his potential departure as a message to ESPN. Indeed, the die may have been cast the moment Schefter concluded (if he did) that ESPN didn’t support him on the Allen situation the way that Schefter believed it should.

Meanwhile, the article about Schefter also mentions that “cash-rich gambling companies could eventually try to pick off ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski.” That’s not an accident. The chatter has been that Schefter and Wojnarowski are considering joining a gambling company as part of a package deal.

The question of reporters whose value comes from having inside information (even if, as to Schefter, it’s obtained and published literally five minutes before it’s otherwise announced) working for gambling operations who thrive on having inside information raises plenty of questions that may or may not ever be fully explored and resolved.

While some will suggest that the NFL will be faced with telling its teams to cut Schefter off if he works for a sports book, someone will need to remind the NFL of the ever-growing collection of gambling commercials that end with a reference to the fact that the company in question is an “official sports betting partner of the NFL.”

26 responses to “Report: Caesars Sportsbook is “preparing to go after” Adam Schefter

  1. Way less exciting than the headline made it seem. I thought they were going after his kneecaps….

  2. People like Schefter and Woj are overrated. I watch sports for the actual games. I don’t watch it for who breaks news first.

  3. It is paramount for the integrity of the game that the NFL bar those in teams’ football operations staff (coaches, players, trainers, equipment staff, team doctors) from communicating with those who are employed by a sports book.

    The people who work in marketing and sponsorship for the NFL and these teams, let them talk all they want. Just keep the football operations folks away from sportsbooks employees.

    If not, this will inevitably become a significant issue.

  4. Im still confused why going to the source to review the story for accuracy is a problem in the media world?

  5. Given his recent history he seems like a bad hire for them. As just a normal reporter he can get away with a lot but working for a gambling company the first time he gets nailed for running a story without solid sources or sitting on a story like he did in this latest WFT example it’ll result in big lawsuits.

  6. No way will Schefter go anywhere where he can’t be on TV daily. This is likely a ploy to get a bigger contract from ESPN. It will very likely work.

  7. 50Stars says:
    October 14, 2021 at 10:32 am
    Im still confused why going to the source to review the story for accuracy is a problem in the media world?
    ———————————————-
    Because you don’t give the source freedom to edit/change/embellish a story and call him “Mr. Editor” I am all for fact checking (the real kind, now what passes for it today) and verifying the story, but please, ESPN and Shefter haven’t worried about being factual for a long long time.

  8. Shefter didn’t go to Allen to confirm accuracy. That’s a naive interpretation. He handed him “prior restraint” which is the end if real journalism if allowed to take root.

  9. 50Stars says:
    October 14, 2021 at 10:32 am
    Im still confused why going to the source to review the story for accuracy is a problem in the media world?

    —————————

    Because allowing the person to modify the story you are writing about them hides the true story and only represents the narrative they want you to hear.

  10. patsfan1818 says:
    October 14, 2021 at 10:13 am

    An analyst with gambling interests well that’s not a conflict of interest at all.

    So, how IS it a conflict of interest?
    What is his “interest”?
    And how does it affect games,or outcomes?
    Don’t see how it does.
    It’s really doesn’t. It only affects gamblers, right?

  11. Gambling is and will always be a criminal enterprise… The NFL stands to lose all credibility when the owners, GMs, and players start fixing games. And it will happen!

  12. This begs the question, why are not team employees getting nailed, fined and suspended by the NFL for giving this information to Vegas? Unless we have a wink and nod deal between the NFL and Vegas.

  13. “Im still confused why going to the source to review the story for accuracy is a problem in the media world?”

    There is a significant difference between fact checking and letting your subject alter the story to their liking. One is called “journalism” and the other is called “public relations”. Schefter knew exactly what he was doing, and it wasn’t journalism.

  14. Thank goodness all NFL players and coaches are doing it solely for the love of the game. Otherwise, I could see trouble brewing by having billions of dollars in profits potentially making their way into the pockets of players and coaches in an effort to affect the outcomes of games. Grateful no NFL player or coach could possibly be influenced by money though.

  15. He should go to the gambling company. The Allen story proved he’s not a real journalist.

    Frankly, it’s shocking that ESPN supported him. I know he’s a big name, but what he did is such an enormous breach of industry ethics that in my view, ESPN obliterated whatever is left of its credibility by not condemning what he did and placing him on unpaid leave while it investigates.

  16. Now we see – just what this guy will do to get a story – or some form of insider information – What other stuff is going to come out on this guy. Maybe some of his so-called insider FRIENDS – need to be wary and because of that he will probably need to take the next job because he will not be getting the EARLY stuff now.

  17. Anybody associated with the LEAGUE should not have any connection to gambling, period.
    That DOES “affect” the game, and is undeniably a “conflict of interest”

    But how is an analyst doing it a conflict of interest?

    The used to give odds out on the CBS show back in the day…

  18. If a sports book hires Schefter, they’re hiring him for his cozy relationships with NFL teams and that raises all kinds of ethical issues – it’s a conflict of interest for the NFL, not the betting companies.

    Say the Bucs are scheduled to play a team they’re supposed beat, but the night before the game the sports book’s “insider” finds out that Brady won’t be playing because of an injury (or that he has an injury that’s hampering him more than it being admitted by Brady or the team – or an undisclosed illness like food poisoning) – that insider knowledge may change bets or impact betting lines.

    Like insider trading in the stock market that’s illegal but that members of Congress and other powerful people get to do all the time. It rigs the system to some degree, even if all it does is potentially give some people a betting advantage.

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