Feb 8, 2024; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Doug Gottlieb on the Fox Sports set on radio row at the Super Bowl 58 media center at the Mandalay Bay resort and casino. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Despite stealing a classmate’s credit card at Notre Dame nearly 30 years ago, Doug Gottlieb maintains that the incident has yet to impact his sports media career significantly.

Following the credit card theft that cost him his scholarship and tarnished his reputation — even within his own home — Gottlieb left Notre Dame for Golden West College. He then thrived at Oklahoma State, shattering their assist records and becoming the NCAA’s 10th all-time leader in career assists (947). After a few stints playing overseas, he transitioned into broadcasting.

And despite the statute of limitations that has long passed, the credit card incident continues to weigh on Gottlieb, a constant reminder in his mind.

“I don’t think it’s hurt me,” Gottlieb told Awful Announcing’s Brandon Contes. “Again, if you want to use it against me, I’m sure it can be used against me.”

While it’s undoubtedly easy fodder for social media criticism, it hasn’t damaged Gottlieb’s credibility or career. He claims it never arose during his hiring process at CBS, Fox, or even ESPN, where he started in 2003, seven years after the incident. Given the time gap, he felt disclosure wasn’t necessary.

“When I got hired at CBS, literally, the night before I signed the contract that was to be announced, I called David Berson, and I called Sean McManus,” recalls Gottlieb. “And I said, ‘Hey, are you aware of my background of what happened at Notre Dame?’ And both of them said, ‘No.’ And I said, ‘I want you to know, I was a freshman in college, and at the end of the season, I got caught using three (stolen) credit cards. I had left the school. I haven’t had an issue with the law since, outside the occasional speeding ticket. I just wanted you to know because I’m guessing tomorrow, when this goes out, at least somebody in a newspaper will put that somewhere. And I know you get the clips; it’s gonna come to your desk, and I would feel terrible if you didn’t know this existed.”

The Doug Gottlieb Show host said that both Berson and McManus couldn’t believe that he relayed this to him, and according to Gottlieb, they said it was “amazing” that he would do such a thing. The CBS Sports executives indicated they had already done a background check on him and were good with the findings.

“I want to make sure I give David and Sean credit,” Gottlieb continued. “Look, they did a thorough background check on who you are and what you were. Because Berson and I were at ESPN at the same time, so we traveled in a lot of the same circles. I mean, I know they actually talked to producers. I had producers telling me that they were asking about me when I signed at (CBS Sports). It’s interesting. They were thorough. Just, somehow, that one got lost. Which is great; I wish more people would get lost. It’s like, pick out the worst time in your life. Now, imagine if, at the worst time of your life, you go on social media every day, and somebody says, ‘Hey, remember when you embarrassed your entire family? Remember that? Just wanna say good morning.'”

Gottlieb doesn’t recall the credit card incident coming up during his hiring process at Fox. He remembers being featured in a positive article written by Seth Davis for The Athletic, and he credits Davis with doing a great job. Notably, his agent, Nick Khan, wished that Gottlieb had informed him about the planned article beforehand so he could have notified Fox executives.

He expressed surprise that the incident wasn’t discussed at Fox, believing it was common knowledge. His agent, Khan, explained that executives generally dislike surprises. He referenced Gottlieb proactively calling Berson and McManus at CBS and suggested he do the same with Fox. While Gottlieb admits he didn’t initially see the need, he relented.

“So, I don’t think it hurt me getting a job, but I also don’t think executives love having a guy who’s committed a crime — albeit 30 years — and expunged from his record if they don’t know it’s coming,” says Gottlieb.

About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.