ESPN'S "SPORTSCENTER" Features Butch Varno

December 2, 2003

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. - Middlebury College friend Butch Varno will be the subject of a 10-minute feature debuting on ESPN's "SportsCenter" during the 11:30 p.m. show on Sunday, Dec. 7. The piece may also air as part of Saturday morning's "College Football GameDay" as well ESPN's "Outside the Lines", with dates and times to be announced.

The segment will capture the longtime tradition among Middlebury College athletes of picking up Middlebury native Varno at his apartment and bringing him to home football and basketball contests. Varno is unable to provide his own transportation due to the cerebral palsy that confines him to a wheelchair. The ESPN piece will mark the second time Varno has been the subject of a national media story. Earlier this year, he and the Middlebury students who assist him, were the subject of Rick Reilly's column in the March 10 issue of Sports Illustrated.

The story will explore the wonderful relationships that have developed over the years between Varno and numerous Middlebury athletes. Several people were interviewed for the piece, including students, alumni and administrators, who have been involved with Butch throughout his 42-year relationship with the College.

ESPN came to the Middlebury campus twice this fall to gather footage and interviews for the piece. Producer Andy Tennant and his crew were in Vermont the weekend of Sept. 27 as well as Oct. 11. Chris Connolly, whose resume includes work with ESPN, ABC's "20/20" and MTV, was the reporter who covered the story.


Currently scheduled air dates and times:

Sunday, Dec. 7 during 11:30 p.m. SportsCenter following the NFL game
Monday, Dec. 8 during 1:00 a.m. SportsCenter
Monday, Dec. 8 4 during 6:30 a.m. SportsCenter
Monday, Dec. 8 during 8:00 a.m. SportsCenter
Monday, Dec. 8 during 9:30 a.m. SportsCenter

**SportsCenter is 1:30 long. there is always the possibility of ESPN making programming changes.