Few people at ESPN are a bigger part of the network's college football coverage than Paul Finebaum. The college football personality is the face of the SEC Network and one of the most-prominent voices discussing the sport.
Finebaum might be on his way out of ESPN, though. He and the Worldwide Leader are reportedly in the middle of some pretty big contract discussions. A departure from the network is very possible.
Sporting News has more information on what's going on. A rival network is pursuing him hard.
FOX Sports and the Big Ten Network, among others, are interested in signing him.
Sources say new ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro has personally reached out to woo Finebaum. ESPN is the most powerful TV player in college football, and Finebaum's TV/radio simulcast and frequent appearances on "College GameDay," "SEC Nation" and "SportsCenter" have made him one of college football's top voices. Finebaum and his reps at CAA could not be reached for comment. ESPN declined to comment.
Meanwhile, sources said Finebaum is also drawing interest from Sinclair Broadcast Group, Cumulus Media and Sirius XM (which airs his show and almost hired him to program his own channel before he joined ESPN in 2013).
Finebaum is reportedly willing to skip out on SEC Media Days later this month if his contract situation is not resolved. It's tough to imagine ESPN's college football coverage - specifically that of the SEC - without him, but it seems like we might approaching a world in which that's the case.