Laura Rutledge photo from espnpressroom.com

ESPN’s Laura Rutledge Talks Current Events Around the CFB and NFL World

Former University of Florida alum Laura Rutledge is a reporter for ESPN and SEC Network. She also worked at CNN, where she reported and hosted for CNN International and served as a sports anchor. She obtained her degree in broadcast journalism and won the Red Barber Award for Excellence in Reporting at UF in 2011.

Rutledge spoke with WRUF’s Steve Russell to discuss some of the trending news around college football and her thoughts on the upcoming NFL season.

College Football

There is a lot of news over conference expansion in the NCAA. It was just announced that UCLA and USC will be added to the Big Ten, and the Big 12 Conference is looking to steal another six teams from the PAC 12: Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, Oregon, Utah and Washington.

Rutledge gave her thoughts on all the shuffling in the NCAA.

She mentions how the CFB will still be fun to watch, however, there will be many who will not enjoy the changes.

She also gave her thoughts on how the expanded divisions could have an effect on the college athletes’ welfare. With west coast teams like USC and UCLA joining a conference with teams on the east coast and Midwest, travel could be tricky and tiresome.

Another pressing issue in college football, and college sports as a whole, is NIL deals. There is a lot of controversy over student-athletes profiting off of their name and likeliness, and Rutledge also shared her thoughts on that topic.

Rutledge was also asked about her thoughts on how NIL deals could affect women’s college athletes. With large NIL deals typically going to more popular athletes in more popular sports, it can potentially disproportionately benefit male athletes.

The college sports world is changing fast. Time will tell if these changes will benefit student-athletes in the long run. If these benefits do come, will they be fair and equal for all college athletes?

NFL

The NFL experienced a very eventful offseason. With Russell Wilson heading to the Denver Broncos, Tyreek Hill shipped to the Miami Dolphins, Khalil Mack going to the Los Angeles Chargers and so much more, the NFL is in for an exciting season. Rutledge talked about her excitement for the upcoming season.

Rutledge mentions the questions surrounding Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns. Mayfield has been traded to the Carolina Panthers for a fifth-round pick.

This trade shows the offseason is not over yet, and we can possibly see more movement around the NFL.

About Aileyahu Shanes

Journalism student at the University of Florida. Contributor for WRUF and WUFT. You can reach Aileyahu at a.markellshanes@ufl.edu or 786-316-5878.

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