Kenny Florian has been suspended by Fox Sports after it was revealed that he had significantly plagiarized several lines in his preview for UFC Fight Night 81’s T.J. Dillashaw-Dominick Cruz main event.
When it was made clear that Florian had taken some phrases verbatim or only slightly re-worded from boxing writer Lee Wylie’s profile on 40’s boxer Willie Pep, a disclaimer was added to Florian’s article that it was an “oversight,” and that language in the preview article “borrowed” from Wylie. Florian himself tried to defend himself after a personal apology to Wylie:
— Kenny Florian (@kennyflorian) January 15, 2016
A day after the disclaimer was added to the article (which is still live), Fox Sports released the following statement:
It is vitally important that FOX Sports and FOXSports.com maintain credibility and trust with their readers, viewers and fans. FOX UFC on-air personality Kenny Florian is being suspended beginning immediately for a critical oversight in a story posted earlier this week on FOXSports.com. Florian has admitted and regrets his mistake and apologized for the error.
No further terms of the suspension were revealed, but it will likely remove Florian from UFC Tonight for the foreseeable future, along with any planned commentary gigs in the next month or so.
Penick’s Analysis: That they continue to roll with “critical oversight” is downplaying the reality, which is that Florian just cribbed his descriptors and several phrases from another writer. It’s unfortunate from someone in his position, and severely damages the significant post-fighting career he had developed for himself in this analyst position. This is something worthy of expulsion on college campuses, and it could be quite hard for him to come back from.
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