Who Is Jeff Darlington? ESPN’s National NFL Reporter Breaks Scottie Scheffler Arrest

    ESPN’s Jeff Darlington was in the right place at the right time on Friday, capturing video of Scottie Scheffler's arrest and interacting with the golfer while he was detained.

    On Friday morning, the sports world was buzzing over the arrest of No. 1-ranked golfer and Masters champion Scottie Scheffler outside of the PGA Championship in Louisville, Ky.

    Scheffler was arrested for trying to drive around a fatal car crash, which he believed to be security for the event. ESPN’s Jeff Darlington was in the right place at the right time, capturing video of the incident and even interacting with Scheffler as he was detained.

    Here’s everything you need to know about Darlington and the situation.

    Jeff Darlington’s Rise to Prominence

    Darlington is a national NFL reporter who’s been covering the league since 2005. After graduating from the University of Florida with a journalism degree and covering the Florida Gators beat for the Orlando Sentinel, Darlington made a name for himself as a Miami Dolphins beat reporter for the Miami Herald and Palm Beach Post. From 2011 to 2016, Darlington became a national NFL reporter for NFL Network and NFL.com.

    In Sept. 2016, Darlington joined ESPN as a reporter, interviewer, and on-air contributor. He regularly appears on “Sunday NFL Countdown,” “Get Up,” “NFL Live,” and “SportsCenter,” among other shows. Darlington has done notable sit-down interviews with Antonio Brown (for which he won an Emmy award), Tom Brady, Patrick Mahomes, and Dak Prescott. In 2014, Darlington had a cameo in the movie “Draft Day.”

    In 2020, Darlington received praise for his accurate reporting during Brady’s free agency, as he was one of the first reporters to link Brady to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

    In addition to being an Emmy-award-winning reporter, Darlington has won two Associated Press Sports Editors awards for breaking news, and he was named “Best Sportswriter” by the New Times Broward-Palm Beach in 2010.

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    Why was the national NFL reporter at the PGA Championship in Louisville? His role at ESPN appears to be expanding, as he’s beginning to cover additional sports outside of football.

    What Happened to Scottie Scheffler?

    Darlington was on the scene as Scheffler tried to enter the PGA Championship, so he witnessed the entire incident between the top golfer and police.

    As Scheffler pulled up to the PGA Championship, police officers were blocking the entrance. The officers were responding to a fatal car crash, but Scheffler reportedly thought they were security for the event, so he tried to go around them. The police officers told him to stop, but Scheffler continued driving. The police officer attached himself to the vehicle and Scheffler continued driving for roughly 10 yards.

    Once Scheffler stopped, the officer attempted to pull him out of the car, and he was arrested. Darlington recorded the following video of Scheffler’s arrest, and the superstar golfer asked the ESPN reporter for help.

    Scheffler was charged with felony second-degree assault on a police officer, third-degree criminal mischief, reckless driving, and disregarding signals from officers directing traffic

    Scheffler has since been released and returned to the course to resume play. He released the following statement to Darlington:

    “This morning, I was proceeding as directed by police officers. It was a very chaotic situation, understandably so considering the tragic accident that had occurred earlier, and there was a big misunderstanding of what I thought I was being asked to do. I never intended to disregard any of the instructions. I’m hopeful to put this to the side and focus on golf today.

    “Of course, all of us involved in the tournament express our deepest sympathies to the family of the man who passed away in the earlier accident this morning. It truly puts everything in perspective.”

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