SI.com's Richard Deitsch had the news that Oliver will be replaced by another familiar face on Fox's No. 1 NFL team: Erin Andrews. Andrews has been in the TV sports field for over a decade, which included her work for ESPN college game day and sideline reporting before moving over to Fox.
Oliver spoke to Deitsch about the news saying that Fox Sports officials Eric Shanks and John Entz came to her Atlanta home in April to inform her that she would no longer be on sideline reporting duty in 2014. The story said that Oliver asked that she be able to complete her 20th season, and Fox Sports agreed to the request. She will be on Fox's No. 2 team of Kevin Burkhardt and John Lynch this season.
"I think it was predetermined coming in," Oliver told SI.com. "Not at that meeting, but two years ago it was determined that no matter what I did or did not do, a change would be made for this year.”
“I said I wanted to do a 20th year [on the sidelines]. I expressed to them that I was not done and had something to offer. Again, I think it was predetermined coming in. Not at that meeting, but two years ago it was determined that no matter what I did or did not do, a change would be made for this year.”
Fox Sports' spin to SI.com is that Oliver will be in a more expanded role, doing long-form pieces, major interviews and producing, mostly for Showtime's "60 Minutes Sports." It's pretty easy to see through that. The sad fact is, as Oliver pointed out, even lasting 19 years in her role as a female sideline reporter is rare.
“But I live in the real world and I know that television tends to get younger and where women are concerned,” Oliver, who is 53, told SI.com. “Just turn on your TV. It’s everywhere. And I’m not saying these younger girls don’t deserve a chance. I know I’ve had my turn.”
Fox Sports president Eric Shanks responded to the report of Oliver's eventual replacement process that is going to be taking place over the course of the 2014 NFL season.
“I think in the last five years we have made a lot of changes with the NFL crews,” Shanks said. “We have made changes to keep our coverage across the board fresh, including the addition of Burkhardt and Lynch -– which has been one of the more exciting pairings we have put together. This is kind of the next move in that evolution.”