A week ago, with a new show in partnership with the site Barstool Sports about to air for the first time on ESPN, a back-and-forth emerged between ESPN's Sam Ponder and Barstool over demeaning comments members of the site had made about Ponder in the past.

ESPN released a statement from a spokesman saying in part: "The comments about Sam Ponder were offensive and inappropriate, and we understand her reaction." The show debuted nonetheless.

Another episode was presumably set to air this week — until ESPN quickly pulled the plug Monday with a new statement, this time from President John Skipper that read in part: "While we had approval on the content of the show, I erred in assuming we could distance our efforts from the Barstool site and its content."

Yeah, it's probably hard to distance yourself from the Barstool brand when the show has Barstool in the title.

Read Michael Rand's blog at startribune.com/randball. michael.rand@startribune.com.