Ashton Kutcher Tapped as 'CGD' Guest ... Met with Chant, 'Take a Shower!!!'

Ashton Kutcher was invited to an ESPN set this weekend to share his thoughts on college football -- but all he got in return from the crowd was some harsh advice on his hygiene.

The actor got tapped by the network to be the guest prediction picker ahead of Saturday's slate of games, especially the big Iowa matchup later today between Iowa State and the University of Iowa -- with the latter being Ashton's alma mater.

As soon as AK touched down by jet and was revealed as the big surprise for the broadcast, he got torched by the college crowd that were standing by at Jack Trice Stadium.

They were chanting "Take a shower!" pretty damn loudly ... which the mics on set were picking up and broadcasting while Ashton was being intro'd. Doesn't seem like he heard it right then and there, but don't sweat ... the Cyclone fans had another go at it.

Not too long after, Ashton eventually plopped down on his chair for the pre-game panel ... where he was talking football and charities of his -- and there, too, the "Take a Shower!" chant picked up again. This time, it was way closer ... and Ashton probably heard.

He didn't flinch ... acting as if it didn't bother him. And, who knows ... maybe it doesn't. The guy already made fun of himself over the whole bathing fiasco earlier this summer.

Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media.

ICYMI ... Ashton and Mila Kunis revealed back in July that they didn't really wash their kids daily, and only threw 'em in the shower as they saw fit, or if they saw noticeable dirt. It sparked a huge debate about kids and cleanliness -- but the Kutchers took it in stride.

Looks like that whole stench is following Ashton here well into September. Pee-yew!!!

Todd McShay Stepping Away From ESPN ... 'Focus On My Health'

Todd McShay just announced he's temporarily stepping away from his role at ESPN ... just 3 days after viewers expressed concern over his appearance at the Alabama-Miami game.

McShay was reporting from the sideline during the big college football matchup ... when fans -- including ex-NFL player Darius Butler -- noticed things looked off with the reporter.

"I don't know Todd McShay personally," Butler said, "but I hope he's ok."

It's unclear if McShay's announcement Tuesday is in any way related to the concerns over his television appearance ... the longtime ESPN reporter said only, "I am going to take some time away to focus on my health and my family."

"Thank you ESPN for being so supportive and for all the well wishes -- I can't wait to be back on the sidelines soon."

ESPN announced it's fully supporting McShay's decision ... adding in a statement of their own, "Todd has ESPN's full support as he steps away at this time to focus on his health and his family."

McShay has battled health problems in the past year ... he tested positive for COVID in early 2020, and he was also removed from his role as a sideline reporter during a game in November due to illness.

The 44-year-old has been a mainstay on ESPN through the years ... famously becoming one of most notable draft reporters on television.

Drake Taking Over Music Duties For 'MNF' ... This Season

Started from the bottom, now he's taking over "Monday Night Football" ... 'cause Drake is teaming up with ESPN to curate music for the upcoming season!!

The announcement just dropped minutes ago ... with the network saying the 6 God will be in charge of the aux cord for 10 games throughout the 2021-22 campaign.

ESPN says Drake will feature his newest songs and possibly some classics ... and while he has more than enough tracks to fill that demand, he'll also feature some other artists worthy of getting exposure.

Of course, this isn't the first collab between Drake and ESPN -- he "hacked" into "SportsCenter" last month to share the release date for his newest album, "Certified Lover Boy," ... which is doing record-breaking numbers in its first week.

"Now we are here ... the kickoff of the football season," ESPN's VP of Sports Marketing, Emeka Ofodile, said Tuesday. "And, who better to curate music for Monday Night Football than Drake, who sits firmly at the intersection of music and sports."

BTW -- Drake is a massive sports fanatic and can be spotted passionately cheering at sporting events ... so it's a safe bet he'll put that same energy into his new gig.

"We couldn't be more excited for this upcoming collaboration," Ofodile added.

Big names like Diplo and DJ Khaled have shared music duties in previous years ... which ESPN said was a "big hit."

Now, it's time for the Drakeover ... and for anyone who's not a fan, ya may wanna have that mute button ready ... 'cause we're expecting a LOT of Champagne Papi.

Paul Pierce No Regrets Over Stripper Twerkfest 'Didn't Do Anything Illegal'

Paul Pierce is NOT sorry for posting a bunch of booty-shakin' women on his Instagram Live earlier this year ... saying he was just having some harmless adult fun.

The 43-year-old NBA legend posted a kinda NSFW video from inside a friend's home after a night of drinking and smoking back in April ... showing a group of barely-clothed ladies twerking and dancing.

The video went viral on social media ... and ESPN parted ways with The Truth shortly after.

Now, Pierce is opening up on the days following the incident ... saying his agent recommended he apologize -- in case it would affect Hall of Fame voting -- but he elected not to.

"Come on, I didn’t do anything illegal," Pierce told Sports Illustrated. “These motherf***ers in the Hall of Fame, some did [cocaine], f***ing battery. What the f*** did I do? I was just having a good time."

"All the people coming after me, half you motherf***ers do the same s***. You’re just hiding it. And, you all are married while you’re doing it. I’m divorced. I’m retired. I’m having fun."


Of course, the vid had zero impact on getting Pierce into the Hall -- he's set to be enshrined alongside Chris Bosh and Chris Webber this weekend -- but if it did, he says it would have been "the biggest stiff job in Hall of Fame history."

Pierce had previously told us he's poised to make a BIG comeback ... but as for now, he's remained off the TV.

There's more ... Pierce talked about the messy breakup among the 2008 Celtics championship team ... and he doesn't count out a potential make up down the line.

Rachel Nichols ESPN Honoring Contract, Paying Salary ... No On-Air Decision Made

Rachel Nichols is out of a TV hosting gig, but not the big paycheck that comes with it -- 'cause TMZ Sports has learned the network will honor Nichols' deal, and continue to pay her.

Nichols -- who's been with ESPN since 2004 -- was removed from the network's NBA coverage on Wednesday ... and saw her show, "The Jump" canceled.

Question is, with all her current responsibilities taken away, what's the veteran TV host and reporter's future with ESPN?

The answer ... well, no decision has been made.

Our ESPN sources tell us that while Nichols was solely concentrating on the NBA, the network has not yet decided whether they will use her in another capacity.

We're told Nichols' contract doesn't expire anytime in the near future -- and rather than try and find a way out from underneath the lucrative deal -- ESPN has decided to continue to pay the star TV anchor.

Of course, Nichols was at the center of an explosive controversy back in June ... when the NY Times released audio of Rachel venting to a top PR consultant about fellow ESPN employee, Maria Taylor.

Nichols was heard blasting ESPN for attempting to move her aside to make way for Taylor -- a Black woman -- in light of the current racial climate and the network's "crappy longtime record on diversity," as Nichols phrased it on the recording.

As for Taylor, she turned down a big-money offer from ESPN, and left for NBC.

Nichols acknowledged the move on social media, writing ... "Got to create a whole show and spend five years hanging out with some of my favorite people, talking about one my favorite things."

"An eternal thank you to our amazing producers & crew — The Jump was never built to last forever but it sure was fun. More to come..."

ESPN recently charged Senior VP Dave Roberts with overseeing their NBA coverage. We're told the decision was ultimately made by Roberts.

On Wednesday, Roberts issued a short statement on the shakeup, saying both sides "mutually agreed that this approach regarding our NBA coverage was best for all concerned."

Roberts continued ... "Rachel is an excellent reporter, host and journalist, and we thank her for her many contributions to our NBA content."

Nichols reportedly has about a year remaining on the deal ... and will likely have no trouble finding work when her current deal expires.

Alternatively, if Nichols gets antsy sitting on the bench, we're told ESPN would likely be open to discussing her departure from the network.

Dana White 'Massive F*** Up' Not Showing Trump On UFC 264 Broadcast


Dana White says it was a "massive f*** up" by the UFC for NOT showing former President Donald Trump during the Conor McGregor fight card.

The UFC prez tells TMZ Sports the flub was a mix of his production team dropping the ball, a technical issue, and the unpredictability of live television.

The way Dana explains it ... there was a plan in place to show Trump sitting near the Octagon. Cameras were supposed to pan from some big-name celebrities to the former Prez ... but things didn't go according to script.

“We were getting ready to show him right between the co-main and main events, I think you remember that we showed OBJ. We showed OBJ, then it was supposed to go to David Spade, 2 Chainz, and then the president, and we had some kinda glitch in the truck. Then the Conor fight ended up ending in the 2nd round so we never got a chance."

White continued ... "Let me tell you what, massive f*** up by my production team, but ya know, it’s live TV and these things happen.”


We obtained video of DT arriving at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas midway through the main card ... and you see Trump being greeted by Dana and getting a nice ovation from the packed crowd.

But, Trump was never seen on the broadcast ... leading some to speculate there was something nefarious going on with the ESPN broadcast.

Dana says that's NOT the case ... telling us any former president deserves to be shown on TV, regardless of political affiliation.

While Dana's obviously upset at his production team ... Trump isn't bothered by his lack of TV face time.

ESPN's Rachel Nichols Apologizes to Maria Taylor on TV ... Perk & Jefferson Chime In


Rachel Nichols has apologized to fellow ESPN colleague, Maria Taylor, on national television -- this after a bombshell NYT report -- and ex-NBA stars Kendrick Perkins and Richard Jefferson were there to add their two cents.

The veteran NBA anchor took a moment Monday on "The Jump" to address the Times' story from this weekend -- which shed light on drama at the sports network over the past year ... this following recorded controversial remarks Rachel made surrounding Maria, who's Black.

New York Times

Right off the bat, RN acknowledged she didn't like that she'd become the story ... but owned up to it nonetheless, saying she was deeply sorry to anyone she let down with her comments, especially Maria. Rachel added she was grateful to be part of the ESPN team.

Perk and Rich took it from there ... with the former chiming in first, thanking Rachel for taking responsibility for her actions, and relaying to the audience that he knew her heart -- while also pointing out he'd always felt comfortable in her presence. He also shouted out Maria, whom he said was deserving of every opportunity that came her way ... and that he hoped they could all support each other going forward. RJ echoed those sentiments as well.

He ended on a somewhat sobering note though, saying he, Rachel and others at ESPN have had hard convos of late in regards to this ... and that they'll continue to have hard convos. Rachel thanked them for their POVs, and they continued on with NBA Finals coverage.

The response comes on the heels of surfaced audio, which depicts Rachel having a candid conversation with LeBron James' PR advisor, Adam Mendelsohn, last year during the playoffs ... during which Rachel expressed frustration that ESPN was looking to have Maria share hosting duties with her during the Finals -- something Rachel likened to a "diversity" move.

The NYT reported that ESPN was doing major damage control in house in the wake of the clips leaking among employees internally.

ESPN's Rachel Nichols Caught on Video/Audio ... Controversial Comments About Black Co-Worker, Maria Taylor

Rachel Nichols -- a star anchor for ESPN, covering all things NBA -- was caught on camera last year talking to LeBron James' publicist about how to prevent a fellow female anchor, who's Black, from taking over her job during the Finals ... and the fallout seems devastating.

The New York Times published a bombshell report Sunday, detailing the drama at the sports network over the past year and change ... this after a video of Nichols talking to Adam Mendelsohn was secretly recorded by an ESPN employee, leaked ... and spread like wildfire.

New York Times

Nichols was working/filming from a hotel room last May just as the NBA Playoffs were getting underway (due to the pandemic) and it appears she left her camera on somehow, and the thing was still recording when she had this chat with Mendelsohn ... with the feed going back to the ESPN studio, where somebody captured the damning words exchanged.

In the first snippet posted by the Times, you can hear Nichols venting to Mendelsohn -- who's a PR/comms wiz -- about how ESPN had approached her with the idea of doing sideline reporting during the Finals that year, as opposed to hosting -- a task Nichols has shared on and off lately with Maria Taylor, another rising star ... who's African-American.

Check out the convo ... Nichols basically says she declined ESPN's offer, because she knew it would make way for Maria to handle hosting duties full-time, essentially pushing Nichols out of the picture ... something she was clearly not down for, as she wanted to maintain her gig.

Nichols goes on to say of Maria shortly thereafter ... "If you need to give her more things to do because you are feeling pressure about your crappy longtime record on diversity -- which, by the way, I know personally from the female side of it -- like, go for it." She adds, "Just find it somewhere else. You are not going to find it from me or taking my thing away."

In a 2nd audio snipped ... Mendelsohn is heard giving advice to Nichols about how she could frame the dynamic of ESPN pitting two females against each other in order to gain leverage, even if it would potentially be at Maria's expense. He also had some interesting thoughts on #MeToo and BLM, saying he had "nothing left" and was exhausted ... in what sounds like what he (and perhaps Nichols) considered phony pandering/appeasing at the executive level.

After this video/audio was spread around among ESPN workers internally, it eventually reached the higher ranks ... and the NYT reports the network has been in damage control mode ever since, with fears that Nichols might sue -- and that Taylor might leave entirely.

The latter's contract is up this year ... and word is she has not responded to Nichols' attempts to apologize or make peace. Messy stuff, for sure ... and very telling.

Joey Chestnut New Hot Dog Record at #76 ... ESPN Broadcast Cut Out!!!


Joey Chestnut is again a hot dog eating-champion, breaking his own record for a stunning 76 wieners ... something that would've been great to see, but made impossible by ESPN.

The annual Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest was held once more Sunday -- a 4th of July tradition now -- and JC was gunning for an even higher count than last year's haul ... which clocked in at 75, a new world record at the time. In 2021, he surpassed it by one.

Joey was scarfing down dogs on camera, but when the crucial moment arrived for hot dogs 75 and 76 ... the broadcast glitched up big time, and a still shot of Joey stayed frozen on screen for a good few seconds. Moments later, time had jumped ... and everyone missed it.

As incredible of a feat it was for Joey, his performance was unfortunately outshined by the technical issue ... which is going more viral than even Joey is right now. Some folks captured the flub live and reposted it on the internet ... and yeah, it's as bad as they're making it out to be.

Anyway ... congrats to Joey for taking the big prize (again) and holding on tightly to the belt. It's not an easy task, especially when you're pretty much tasked with one-upping your own stomach year after year ... something he's done successfully for quite a long time now.

BTW, if you're wondering what he wolfed down in 10 minutes by the nutrition facts numbers -- it amounted to 22,800 calories, 1,368 grams of fat, 1,824 grams of carbs and 836 grams of protein. That's about 11 days and change worth of grub for one person ... lordy.

Kenny Mayne Leaving ESPN After 27 Years ... 'Salary Cap Casualty'

It's the end of an era ... Kenny Mayne announced he's leaving ESPN after an epic 27-year run.

"I am leaving ESPN," Mayne tweeted Monday ... "Salary cap casualty."

61-year-old Mayne -- who started at ESPN in 1994 -- thanked former ESPN execs Vince Doria and Al Jaffe for helping him get hired back in the day ... and also praised the current staff.

"I will miss the people. I will miss the vending machine set up over by the old [Scott Van Pelt] joint. We had everything. IntoTheGreatWideOpen#."

Kenny is one of the most popular ESPN personalities ever -- both as an anchor of SportsCenter and as a feature reporter.

In fact, he was so popular, Mayne was tapped for "Dancing with the Stars" back in 2006 ... but was the first to be eliminated. But, the audience loved him and he would occasionally come back to the show for hilarious cameos.

Before ESPN, Mayne was a pretty solid QB back at Wenatchee Valley Community College in Washington and later played at UNLV.

Mayne signed a free-agent deal with the Seattle Seahawks in 1982, according to ESPN ... but eventually decided on a career in broadcasting.

No word on what's next for Mayne -- but the dude's a legend. He'll be okay.

Paul Pierce Vows Big Comeback After ESPN Split ... 'Truth' Gonna Bounce Back Like Never Before!!!


There will be no pity party for Paul Pierce -- the NBA legend's not wasting any time sulking over his departure from ESPN ... insisting he's already on the verge of a major comeback.

"Truth gonna bounce back like never before ... that's all you gotta know," so claimed "The Truth" on his way out of Il Pastaio restaurant in Beverly Hills Friday night.

So what's Paul's big move?? Well, we know Barstool Sports is making a recruiting push. In fact, Dave Portnoy personally tweeted out to Pierce just hours after his split with ESPN ... urging him to hit him up.

Pierce wouldn't dish out any details of his next gig after dinner though, but whatever it is ... he's pretty fired up about it.

As we reported ... ESPN parted ways with Pierce last week, though the network wouldn't reveal the reason for its decision.

Worth noting though ... it happened just days after the former NBA star posted some racy content on his Instagram Live, showing him surrounded by scantily clad women twerking all over the place. In other words ... what tons of professional athletes have done for years.

Paul Pierce Out At ESPN ... Days After Wild Twerking IG Sesh

Paul Pierce's run with ESPN is officially over -- the network is parting ways with the ex-NBA superstar just days after Pierce posted a racy twerk session with some scantily clad women on Instagram.

Unclear if the video is the reason for Pierce's departure ... but it drew a lot of attention over the weekend.

Also worth noting -- the timing of the move is interesting ... especially since the NBA season is far from over.

Pierce spent the past 3.5 years with the network ... appearing on "NBA Countdown" and "The Jump."

The ex-Celtics forward seemingly addressed the split on Twitter just minutes ago ... saying, "Big Things coming soon stay tuned make sure u smile #Truthshallsetufree"

PP also shared a 4-second video with the message ... showing himself laughing and smiling.

Pierce played 19 seasons in the NBA before joining ESPN ... he was a 10-time All-Star and won a title alongside Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett in 2008. He was named NBA Finals MVP.

Story developing ...

Floyd Mayweather Revolutionized Boxing Business ... Max Kellerman Explains


Like it or not, Floyd Mayweather is a genius -- and played the "game of boxing" better than anyone else in the history of the sport ... changing it forever, so says Max Kellerman.

There will always be an argument about who's the best pure boxer of all time -- Floyd? Muhammad Ali? Joe Louis? -- but when it comes to the business side of the sport, Max tells us there's only one name in the conversation.

"He retired undefeated. He made hundreds of millions of dollars. He never took a bad beating. He has a very good point that he's the best ever at playing the boxing game," the "First Take" star told us in NYC.

"Boxing, at its core, is basically fans and networks exploiting fighters. And, what Floyd and [his business partner] Al Haymon did is they flipped the paradigm around. They said 'No no, you're not gonna exploit us' -- in fact, the fighters, in this case, Floyd, are gonna exploit the fans and networks. 'I know you wanna see us in the maximum kinda risk situation but in fact, I wanna put myself in the minimum risk, maximum reward situation.'"

Max points out Floyd navigated his career masterfully with 3 main factors -- "The timing of when he picked the opponents, his boxing style and then, of course, his own excellence."

Think about it ... Floyd has some incredible names on his resume -- from Canelo Alvarez to Oscar De La Hoya, Manny Pacquiao even Conor McGregor.

We also asked Max -- a boxing savant -- about the upcoming Gervonta Davis vs. Leo Santa Cruz fight ... and if he thinks Ryan Garcia would have a shot against Teofimo Lopez.

Good stuff. Stay dry out there.

Chicago Radio Host Fired From Job After Sexist Comments About Maria Taylor

11:59 AM PT -- The Score is washing its hands of Dan McNeil after his tweet about Maria Taylor ... announcing he's been fired from the station effective immediately.

"For each one of us our words have power," Rachel Williamson, Entercom Chicago regional resident told Julie DiCaro. "For our brand and on-air personalities that is amplified and brings increased responsibility in how we chose to use our voices."

"Last night's tweet, and its degrading and humiliating tone to a fellow female broadcaster, was unacceptable."

Williamson continued ... "We have the best teams in Chicago, and we must hold ourselves to high expectations to continue to be leaders in our organization, our industry and our community."

"We apologize to all who were offended by Dan's words, especially Maria."

ESPN's Maria Taylor made her "Monday Night Football" debut this week ... and celebrated the milestone by bodying radio hosts who made sexist comments about her wardrobe on Twitter.

Dan McNeil of Chicago's 670 The Score, thought it was his place to criticize Taylor's outfit during last night's 'MNF' broadcast ... tweeting out, "NFL sideline reporter or a host for the [Adult Video News] annual awards presentation?"

The tweet -- which rightfully received a ton of backlash -- stayed live on McNeil's account for roughly 30 minutes before he deleted it, according to Awful Announcing.

Taylor fired back at McNeil late Monday night ... saying, "Well Danny Dearest if you would like to continue making sexist comments about me...please bring your misogyny with you to the NBA Countdown double header I’ll be hosting tomorrow night."

"Hey ladies remember you can wear whatever you feel confident in!"

Other big names have shown support for Taylor, including fellow reporter Taylor Rooks -- "Always ride with @MariaTaylor - I love you my sister. Keep being GREAT. These haters could never."

Saints star Malcolm Jenkins added ... "Exactly the reason why we’re focusing on building up black women this season. @MariaTaylor congratulations on such a big accomplishment! Keep leveling up."

So far, McNeil hasn't apologized for his comment and The Score has not addressed the issue ... but it's only a matter of time.

Originally Published -- 8:12 AM PT

ESPN's Rachel Nichols Secretly Recorded in Hotel Room ... 'Intrusion of Privacy'

ESPN host Rachel Nichols was unknowingly recorded in her hotel room while on a private conversation ... and video was sent to a media outlet in an apparent attempt to damage her career.

Nichols -- host of "The Jump" -- is currently covering the NBA restart at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida ... where she has been shooting segments from her hotel room.

But, Nichols was unaware a video feed was recording her while she was on a recent private phone call in her room -- and the video was later captured on cell phone by someone who had access to it.

Some of the footage -- roughly 4 minutes -- was sent to the website Deadspin, according to the site.

"Nichols is clearly unaware the video feed set up in her room for remote filming of her show is running while she discusses internal ESPN matters," Deadspin reports.

ESPN has already issued a statement supporting Nichols and condemning whoever is leaking the footage.

"We are extremely disappointed about the leak of a private conversation. It’s indefensible and an intrusion on Rachel’s privacy."

The network added, "As for the substance of the conversation, it is not reflective of our decision-making on staffing assignments for the NBA, which has largely been driven by the circumstances of the pandemic."

It's not the first time a high profile ESPN personality has been secretly recorded in their own hotel room.

Back in 2008, Erin Andrews was videotaped nude through the peephole of her hotel room in Nashville.

The man responsible for the video was later sentenced to 2 and a half years in prison.

Story developing ...

Sammy Sosa Still Won't Admit Steroid Use ... Doesn't Care About HOF

Sammy Sosa still won't do it -- he will NOT admit to taking PEDs during that legendary '98 season ... but admits he's made his peace with God.

51-year-old Sosa sat down with ESPN for its new 30 for 30 "Long Gone Summer" and was pressed on if he'll ever "come clean" about his alleged PED use during the famous Home Run Chase, as Chicago Cubs owners have long hoped he will.

Sosa cracked a smirk and said, "What do they want about me when pretty much everyone in that era did it?"

When pressed again, Sosa laughed uncomfortably and added, "I'm a very happy person, my friend. I'm good, I'm happy. Know what I mean?"

"There is about 4 or 5 [players from that PED era], maybe more than that, in the Hall of Fame. So, am I the one to blame?"

It was pointed out in the doc, Sosa has denied using steroids and other PEDs in the past -- even doing so before congress in 2005.

Reporter Paul Sullivan pointed out ... "there is no smoking gun" to prove Sosa did cheat.

"The only proof is the New York Times story about the leaked voluntary drug test. But, even that one, who's seen it except the NYT guy?"

Still ... COME ON!!!

Even 56-year-old Mark McGwire has come clean about taking PEDs ... and says in the new doc, "I regret doing it."

But, not Sammy. He's digging in his heels.

"A lot of people say different things, different opinions but I can say to you, what Mark and I did in '98 was incredible."

"Doesn't matter if we're never going to make it to the Hall of Fame, but that's okay."

"I have a peace with God. I'm happy. I've got my family. I've got my granddaughter, I'm good. but I believe what Mark and I did in 98, definitely, we shocked the world and I do not think something like that will happen again."

As for McGwire, he called his use of PEDs "stupid" -- but claims he only really used 'em to help recover from injuries ... not for the added power boost.

McGwire finished that season with 70 home runs. Sosa finished with 66.

That record was broken in 2001 ... when Barry Bonds hit 73.

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