Earlier today, we reached out to ESPN for clarification on analyst Matt Millen's role at The Second Mile. The charity's website listed Millen as a member of the The Second Mile's honorary board, a nominal role absent of responsibility. The 2009 and 2010 tax returns for the charity, however, had Millen listed as a "director" of what looked like the "state board of directors," which is the body that governs The Second Mile. (Top photo courtesy Express-Times/lehighvalleylive.com)
This all felt a little fuzzy, so we reached out to ESPN to ask if anyone there realized that Millen was listed as a director on the tax returns. An ESPN spokesman responded to say that ESPN was aware of Millen's presence on the charity's honorary board, which the spokesman said Millen has disclosed "several times" on air. The spokesman directed us to Millen's emotional appearance on SportsCenter three days ago. At the beginning of the segment, host Chris McKendry introduced Millen as "a board member of The Second Mile charity." An accurate statement, regardless of which board she meant. But every indication from ESPN—including the language on ESPN's in-house blog on which the video segment appears—suggests she meant the honorary board.
That may seem like a minor distinction. It's not. A director on the state board decides the overall direction of The Second Mile, votes on who gets booted off the board, and is, ostensibly, privy to the inner workings of the organization. You have to wonder if Millen was forthcoming with ESPN about the extent of his involvement in The Second Mile.
We couldn't get clarity. So, later today, we tried again and e-mailed the same spokesman with a link to our story and a message:
Well, the thing is, [Millen]'s the only director [on the honorary board] that's on the tax return, which seems to indicate he had more involvement than the other notables. No Holtz. No Vermeil. No Ripken. Just Millen.
A good deal of time went by. A curious amount. About an hour-and-half of silence. That's a long time to consider a pretty straightforward line of inquiry. Finally, we got an answer back. And the answer was this:
Photo via the Easton Express-Times