By Eric Jackson
ATLANTA — Brett McMurphy broke major news in 2018 on Facebook.
McMurphy, laid off from ESPN in 2017, continued to pursue stories. He spoke on the final day of the 2019 APSE Summer Conference about his reporting on domestic abuse allegations against former Ohio State assistant football coach Zach Smith and then-head football coach Urban Meyer’s handling of those allegations. Meyer, suspended for three games after an Ohio State investigation, retired after the 2018 season. Smith was fired last summer.
The stipulations in McMurphy’s ESPN contract stated that if he joined a third-party media outlet he would forfeit the rest of the money owed to him over the final 16 months of his deal. Unable to create a personal website, he chose an unlikely vehicle — Facebook.
McMurphy, now a college football insider for Stadium Network, exposed a history of wrongdoing by Smith under Meyer’s watch.
“One thing that I learned being laid off and for those who don’t have
the million-dollar gorilla (ESPN) behind you, is that you can still be
relevant,” McMurphy said. “You can still break stories and can still
have an impact if you put solid, accurate information out there whether
it’s on Twitter, Facebook, whatever. People are going to find you. I
learned that you don’t have to work for ESPN or CBS Sports.”