Bob Ley, ESPN’s longest tenured commentator, is indefinitely extending his leave of absence from the network and from his “Outside the Lines” hosting duties.
ESPN released this statement about Ley’s decision, via USA Today:
“Bob Ley has decided to extend his time away from 'Outside the Lines'. We look forward to Bob’s return when he will add to his unprecedented list of accomplishments built during his nearly 40 years and counting at ESPN. 'Outside the Lines' will continue with hosts Ryan Smith and Jeremy Schaap.”
Ley, who has been with ESPN since 1979, announced last year that he would be taking a six-month sabbatical starting Oct. 1. He emphasized that it wasn’t the network’s decision — Ley himself wanted a chance to recharge.
Beginning Oct. 1 I'll be taking a six-month sabbatical from my @OTLonESPN duties. The idea of stepping back to re-charge is fully 100% mine, and one I've been considering for a while. I truly appreciate the company's understanding and cooperation. -30
— Bob Ley (@BobLeyESPN) August 15, 2018
I'll catch you on the flip side. pic.twitter.com/q0HNBn5rmu
— Bob Ley (@BobLeyESPN) September 28, 2018
ESPN announced the indefinite extension of his sabbatical as the six months was running out.
“Outside the Lines” premiered in May 1990 with Ley as host. He was awarded a sports Emmy in 2018 for his hosting duties on the show.
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