Scott Van Pelt doesn’t deny that he might be tasked with hosting Monday Night Countdown in the future. But for now, reporting it as a done deal would be erroneous.
Last week, Richard Deitsch of The Athletic reported “Scott Van Pelt will be getting the Monday Night Countdown job.” Hours later, Deitsch attempted to make that report “clearer” with a follow-up tweet that claimed ESPN wants Van Pelt for the job, but he has not accepted it yet. We went from Van Pelt “will be getting” the job to Van Pelt has not accepted the job. Then Monday morning, Van Pelt joined The Dan Patrick Show and completely downplayed Deitsch’s report, stating he has not even been offered the job.
“It was reported that I was the guy. And other than me not having been offered the job or accepting a job I haven’t been offered, it was spot on,” Van Pelt told Patrick with a laugh. “God, that was weird. I mean, you read things and you’re like, ‘Whoa, whoa.’
“People were congratulating me! You hear an athlete or somebody in sports say, ‘Well, that’s just not true.’ And you kind of always think, ‘Sure it is.’ Well, this was a situation where something was reported about me, which was not accurate. Now, I don’t want to be coy and act like it couldn’t happen.”
Van Pelt admitted he has had conversations with ESPN about the Monday Night Countdown opening to assess whether him filling the void was a mutual fit. Deitsch may have learned that the conversations with ESPN are further along than Van Pelt portrayed during his appearance on The Dan Patrick Show. But as of now, Van Pelt says nothing has been formally offered or accepted.
The Monday Night Countdown gig became available last month after longtime ESPN talent Suzy Kolber was part of the company’s latest round of layoffs. Andrew Marchand of The New York Post previously reported Van Pelt and Laura Rutledge were leading candidates to take over the role.
“There are plenty of great men and women at our place that could do as good or better than I in that spot,” Van Pelt said, adding that he is currently scheduled to start the ninth season of his nightly SportsCenter in August.