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The growing body of scholarship on sport scandals focuses on how media cover these incidents, how scandalized parties disrupt expectations and repair their images, and the circumstances under which punishment and forgiveness are issued. This article uses Deadspin, Sports Illustrated, and ESPN’s coverage of the 2013 Manti Te’o hoax to suggest that sport scandals also compose instruments through which media outlets fashion their brands, critique competitors, and compete for market share. It demonstrates how these outlets used the Te’o incident to negotiate their positions in the sport-media industry and, more broadly, how sport scandals and coverage of them can reshape that increasingly digital industry’s established hierarchies.
Burroughs is with the Dept. of Communication Studies, and Vogan, the Dept. of Journalism & Mass Communication and American Studies, and University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA. Address author correspondence to Travis Vogan at firstname.lastname@example.org