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ESPN Pulls Out of Grid Poll

6/08/2005 6:53 AM Eastern

ESPN withdrew from the college-football coaches' poll Tuesday, saying it wanted all ballots to be made public, and not just the final ones.

The network follows AP, which asked the NCAA’s Bowl Championship Series to remove its poll from the BCS’ weekly formula in December.

USA Today will continue to run the poll, which helps to determine which teams play for the national championship.

“Coaches have the perfect right to conduct their voting the way they see fit," ESPN vice president and director of news Vince Doria told AP. "We just feel, in our best interests here, that we couldn't reconcile having our name on the poll and being able to cover any controversy that might arise."

He continued, “We just felt that in order to be as ethical as we possibly could in this situation, that's what we needed to do. This wasn't a case of us questioning the ethics of the coaches or the validity of the voting. These things tend to create controversy. When there is some vetting to be done, it needs to be done thoroughly, and we didn't feel that it could be done.”

ESPN had sponsored the coaches' poll with USA Today since 1997.

September