Jenny Dell's reassignment as the Boston Red Sox's NESN sideline reporter has been made official after her relationship with player Will Middlebrooks was made public on New Year's Eve.
NESN spokesman Gary Roy told the Boston Globe last week that Dell
will move away from Red Sox coverage but stay with the network.
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"NESN has an active search for a Red Sox sideline reporter," Roy said. "Jenny Dell, a multi-talented on-air personality, is anchoring NESN Sports Today and handling other assignments for NESN."
Dell said goodbye to her fans Friday on Twitter as news broke about her move.
While Roy did not specifically say the relationship was the reason for the move, the couple posted a photo on Twitter on New Year's Eve.
"The relationship wasn't exactly a well-kept secret around the team for some time, but the official acknowledgment of it via a Middlebrooks tweet on New Year's Eve brought fair questions about the ethics of a reporter dating a player," the Boston Globe reported. "While a sideline reporter isn't necessarily a journalist, the effect that fraternizing with the players has on genuine female journalists who have fought for access and credibility is palpable."
The relationship brought criticism to the NESN for allowing Dell to continue as sideline reporter in what was seen as a conflict of interest.
Richard Deitsch, of Sports Illustrated, polled female reporters asking if it is ever appropriate to start a relationship with a player whose team they cover.
"Never, never, never. Did I mention never?" said USA Today's Lindsay Jones.
Abby Chin, the Boston Celtics sideline reporter for Comcast Sports Net, told Sports Illustrated: "Women in this business don't get three strikes, they get one."
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