Amid a mass exodus from ESPN (recent casualties include Chris Chelios and Neil Everett), Scott Van Pelt’s presence on the midnight edition of SportsCenter remains a constant. But for how much longer? That’s for Van Pelt to decide. However, the SportsCenter veteran recently expressed to Sports Illustrated’s Jimmy Traina that his time in the anchor chair may soon be coming to a close, doubting he’ll last another three years in his current capacity.
“I’ve been doing this a long time,” said Van Pelt, who relocated from ESPN’s Bristol headquarters to his native D.C. in 2020. “Look, I don’t want to do that forever. And that would lead to the natural, ‘What would you want to do?’ I don’t know.”
Scott Van Pelt is a SportsCenter staple, but he says that won't last much longer
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) June 15, 2023
While SVP insists he still very much enjoys SportsCenter, particularly on nights like Monday when the Denver Nuggets celebrated their first NBA title, the daily grind can be difficult, struggling, as so many do, to find a healthy work-life balance.
“No chance I’m doing this [three more years],” said the 56-year-old late-night fixture. “My contract doesn’t run that long, and there are conversations to be had about what all is part of it. At some point you just got to step aside and let somebody else have it.”
In addition to his SportsCenter duties, Van Pelt also contributes to ESPN’s golf coverage, traveling to The Masters and other major tournaments. Best known for his signature “One Big Thing” segment and his humorous exchanges with MLB expert Tim Kurkjian (who can never keep a straight face when hearing a Baltimore accent), Van Pelt has often served as the voice of reason at ESPN, a welcome reprieve from the network’s hyperbolic debate shows that stretch credibility with outlandish takes on topics that require nuance.
“I don’t think it would be cold turkey,” said Van Pelt, suggesting he could be swayed to stay on as a part-time host if the money is right. “Listen, they have reestablished the market. And they can come to me with LIV numbers and say to me, ‘Van Pelt, we really like this thing you do.’”
It’s too early to speculate on who might replace Van Pelt on SportsCenter. Whoever it is, when that day comes, will have mighty big shoes to fill.