ESPN reporter Jeannine Edwards will work the Cotton Bowl on December 29, then leave the network and retire from broadcasting, ESPN announced Tuesday.
Per ESPN Front Row, Edwards turned down a contract offer from ESPN so she could spend more time with her family.
“I’ve made this decision after a lot of thought and careful consideration,” said Edwards, who indicated she was offered a new contract with ESPN. “It wasn’t easy, and I still can’t believe I’m saying the word ‘retire,’ but I felt the time was right.”
Edwards, whose husband Glenn Spencer is the defensive coordinator for Oklahoma State, said that spending more time with her family is the main reason for her decision. Both she and Spencer have parents who need extra care, and her father passed away in June.
“When anyone gets of a certain age and your parents are elderly, I think you maybe start to rethink your priorities, so that’s what I’ve been doing the last year or so,” she said. “We’re both struggling to find the time to be there for our families who need us most right now.”
Since joining ESPN a horse racing analyst in 1995, Edwards has served as a SportsCenter bureau reporter and worked the sidelines on college basketball and college football broadcasts.
Edwards is not the first prominent ESPNer to decline a contract extension and depart the network this year. Former SportsCenter anchor Lindsay Czarniak walked away after ESPN asked her to take a new job and a pay-cut upon her return from maternity leave (having given up the 6 p.m. SportsCenter show to Jemele Hill and Michael Smith), and ESPN Radio host Ryen Russillo recently announced he will leave Bristol because he was unsatisfied with ESPN’s extension offer.
ESPN has seemed to seek savings this year not only by laying off employees but also by driving a tough bargain with longtime talent, though we don’t know whether or not that was the case with Edwards, who may very well have walked away regardless of ESPN’s offer.
Either way, we wish Edwards the best of luck in her post-ESPN life.